Live life to the fullest and share the experience as much as you can
As an adult, with children who will one day be my caregiver (or maybe not), I think about things I can avoid as a care receiver. I have begun a journal of the things I want my children, family and friends to have to remember me by (or maybe not). I want them to know that I don’t especially like macaroni and cheese, unless it has peas and hotdogs in it. I use moisturizer every day after my shower. I like red nail polish on my toenails, orange shades of lipstick and brown/black mascara. Don’t be afraid to offer me a glass of wine or a cocktail–I’ll enjoy it.
I won’t leave a guilt trip on anyone who does not want my great grandmother’s, mother’s furniture or clock. I have enjoyed them, but kids these days like industrial, minimalism or something like that. If they do want something sentimental, I will put masking tape with their name on it, just like my mother did.
I have promised to not hold a grudge or expect too much from anyone. I will forgive and not mention if I remember. I will share the things that make me happy and make me smile, but I won’t harp on them. I hear of families torn apart by misunderstandings, grudges, and differences of opinions over religion, politics, and money. I seem to remember my mother telling me we just don’t discuss such things. (Of course, we never talked about sex). I know even though I don’t always agree with my family, they probably know it. I have made sure I have my Will, Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, and any other paper work finished. I am not concerned about when I’m gone as much as before I get there.
If going to a music program or creating art is offered in my community, I want to be there. Even if I don’t remember it, can’t hear it or can’t see it. It would be nice to know whoever took me might have enjoyed the experience.
When a family has shared what they would like or do like in their life, hopefully those things aren’t forgotten or ignored. Money should never be an issue. There is always a way. And if there is no family to carry on, there will always be volunteers who will care. We are never alone.