Start Planning for Long-Term Care

On the way to school yesterday…

Youngest Son: Mom, how old are you?

Me: I’m 44.

YS: So you’re almost 50. That means you’re halfway there.

Me: Halfway to what?

YS: Halfway to 100 years old.

Me: You think I will live to be 100?

YS: No. You’ll probably live to be around 91 or 92 or something like that.

Me: Well that’s still pretty old. Are you going to take care of me in my old age?

YS: No.

Me: No? You won’t take care of me?

YS: Mom. I’m going to be busy doing my own thing.

Me: Oh really? You know, you’ll be in your 60’s by then. You think you’re going to be too busy to take care of your dear old mom?

YS: (Sighing. Exasperated.) Yes, Mom. I’ll be busy doing my own thing.

Me: Okay… I’ll remember that.

Long pause and the car gets quiet as my emotions vacillate between wanting to crack up and being scared for my future. The conversation resumes…

YS: Mom, can we sell those games I want to get rid of on eBay tonight? Please? Will you help me?

Me: Sorry. I’ll be too busy doing my own thing.

YS: Fine, Mom. I’ll take care of you when you’re old. (This kid can change his mind/attitude/emotions on a dime!)

Me: Oh! (Laughing.) Now you change your tune!

YS: Well…yeah…I mean only a horrible son wouldn’t take care of his mom when she’s really old.

Me: Yes, a horrible son indeed. Well. (Arriving at the school.) Well, have a good day. Go do your own thing.

YS: Really, Mom?

Yes, REALLY! I see how it’s going to be. Depending on how valuable I am at the time, my precious Youngest Son will decide whether or not he has time to take care of me in my really old age. Thank goodness I have another child who might not be as busy (insert eye roll here) and maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll have a couple of daughters-in-law that like me enough to put me in a nice home. Total. Crapshoot.

Go ahead and start praying for me now.

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