I have been reading a slew of articles on the Internet lately that try to address the growing number of people my age who are entering into the twilight of our lives and doing so alone. We have no spouse, no children and not grandchildren. Recently I ran across this posting from a woman in her 20's and I thought it was interesting:
"I am pretty sure we are not going to have children. I hate babies. Being pregnant looks horrible. I love my free time and being able to do whatever I want. I love my relationship with FI and don’t want kids to get in the way of it. I always envisioned not being a mother. I hate everyone telling me I’m selfish. I hate feeling the only reason I would want a kid is to please family. My mother will most likely never be a grandmother.
Well, on to my question. getting older scares the shit out of me. FI is an only child. My brother hated me since the day I was born and lives 5 states down so there will be no family when we’re older. FI and I don’t have many friends and those we do already have children or plan to. I am scared of years from now, out living FI and being all alone. My grandpa died so for years, my mother and I took care of my grandma until she passed. The thought of being all alone and/or dying alone is scary!
wow, how depressing. Lol.
Read more: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/those-who-chose-not-to-have-kids-are-you-scared-of-being-alone/#ixzz3phwU1edu"
When I read this I laughed out loud. I did not post LOL....I actually laughed out loud and then clamped my hand over my mouth.
Because, like the young poster, I too once worried and fretted over this very issue. What was going to happen to me when I get to be my Mom's age (she turned 94 October 9)? I have no children (I am both post abortive and the mother of a child lost to miscarriage) and, of course, no in laws or grandchildren to turn to when my phone is accidentally off the hook for two hours or I need a ride to go shopping. Woe is me, what will I do?
I tell you what I am going to do - I am going to do just fine.
See, I figured out (after a considerable time spent worrying about stuff that hasn't happened yet) that no one, including all my friends with perfect Hallmark families, have any guarantee in this life when it comes to human beings. The reality is, while we must not ever forget that our purpose is to love and serve we cannot do that with the idea that someday we will be loved and served in return. In fact, if that is why I am doing this deal (a quid pro quo version of Christianity) then I am going to have some explaining to do when I stand in front of Jesus at the end of my life. It won't matter how many packages I delivered to St Vincent de Paul, how many Rosaries I prayed and how many Masses I never missed...if I have not Love then I am an empty gong.
Just as accepting Jesus into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior will never guarantee my salvation, neither will my abundant good works - especially if I am doing those good works with the idea that God will make sure I am not alone at the end of my life, that someone will be there to love me and care for me and that everything will be okay.
That is not how this deal works.
Now, I could turn this into a 'I told you so' thing about my choices to abort my children when I was younger but it isn't even about that - I know men and women who did everything as best they could when raising their children who are currently trying to find rides to Mass on Sundays because Junior or Junior Miss are too damn busy to bother with Mom or Dad now that they are 80. I also know people who have had no kids and have no family who are surrounded by people loving them, helping them and making them feel wanted and needed.
In other words there is just no guarantee. When I hit my knees in the morning, when I hold those I dearly love in prayer, when I end my day with a honest appraisal of what I did right and what I did wrong, and then ask God to forgive my sins and give me the grace to do the whole darn thing again the next day?
I better be doing it for one reason and one reason only:
Because Faith without Works is DEAD - and I don't want to be one of the Walking Dead.
Instead of being afraid today, I am confident. I am confident that whatever lies ahead for me I will be given just the grace and strength needed to deal with it. If I am all alone, living with a dog and nineteen cats, God will give me the strength to deal with it. If I am in a bed in a corner in a nursing home for the indigent, God will give me the strength and to deal with it. If I die without a friend or relative at the bedside I will die knowing that my Guardian Angel is sitting right there with me, ready to help me through to the next phase of life.
And then, if I am faithful, I will be able to stand in front of Him and tell Him the truth:
I did all that stuff for one reason - because I Love You....
God, grant me the courage to do that today. And when I falter, when I worry, when I slip into fear and that awful human need for recognition and dependence comes over me, help me to remember that my wants and needs are fulfilled by You and You alone.