On a Beach Walk: No. 30

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I look out over the water thinking about my life – especially my mortality. At age 65, my life is more than half over. Probably considerably more. Will this be my last year visiting this beach or will I have 20 more visits? I don’t know. None of us know – but only time will tell.

I ponder about the future of my life in a realistic way: future travels, future health, future concerns, future thrills, and more.

I wonder who will take care of us when we are elderly (assuming we need it). We have no kids. Each of us have one younger sibling that provided us with two nieces and two nephews. We certainly can’t see any of them stepping in – especially because they may have their parents to watch over.

I don’t worry about what would my wife do if I passed away first. She’s strong and will figure out what is best for her.

I occasionally wonder about what I would do if her life ended before mine. Would I stay in the area or move? Would I spend more time in Italy to engage my Italian roots? Would I enter a new relationship? I wonder about accepting someone’s baggage so late in life and them accepting mine.

Given my life’s ups and downs, I wonder who would attend my funeral. Then again, a time will come when I’m no longer a thought to anyone – and that’s OK.

I wonder about everlasting life. Yes, I believe in God – but I don’t worry about what if that leads to nowhere. After all, what is there to lose?

Given the ups and downs in my life, I wonder who will attend my funeral. Then again, the time will come when I’m no longer a thought to anyone still alive – and that’s OK.

Even though life has many ups and downs with a future that is unknown, walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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43 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: No. 30

  1. A moving and thoughtful text Frank, most of us who are fortunate enough to live to our golden years will face these questions and dilemmas for which we will not have the answers. I have no parents or siblings (my parents passed away relatively young … my mother when I was eight years old …so I don’t face the issue of being caretaker. The idea of my son caring for me in later years is unacceptable. Prior to families separating as they have in modern times, forming their own small units, they lived and died together. There wasn’t the question of what to do with the elderly.

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  2. It’s true we all deal with these thoughts somewhere along the line if we are fortunate enough to be counted amongst the aged. I think it’s sensible to do what we can to ensure our wishes are taken care of – living wills, funeral plans etc. I don’t like the thought of my small family having to organise all that when they are grieving. The rest I leave alone and do my best to enjoy each day that I now am gifted. If you must dwell on thoughts of mortality though, walking along the beach is probably a pretty amazing place to do it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pauline,
      Thanks for sharing your related thoughts. Who knows why I thought these things while walking many months ago. I’ve got the feeling this was on or near my birthday. My wife and I know a bit of each other’s choices if one passes on before the other – but it could be more inclusive. I’ve thought about the songs – and who knows – maybe I’ll do a post on that.

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  3. so do you walk barefoot?

    and recently my husband was just telling about an Andy Stanley podcast he heard (twice) and an activity they did was to imagine what you would want people to say at your funeral.
    I am not sure of the aim for the activity – but I do think what you presented here is worth pondering.
    And while I am not yet 50, I might have less time than you.
    We just never know….

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    • Yvette,
      Great question – yes – I prefer to walk barefoot. Two exceptions are a) the temperature is too darn cold, and b) the very long walk is on my agenda (such as the day I walked 5 miles for lunch, then walked back).

      Interesting thought about the activity you suggested. Hmmm … I can see a post on that – but not sure I would want to do it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie,
      Deep thoughts may not always provide answers, but they are still good. Thanks for mentioning that you’ve considered some of these thoughts – and looking at the comments, we aren’t the only ones. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Good thinking, Frank… one of the best ways to keep our perspective, when we become too focused on one or more of those little things that can drive us crazy at times, is to contemplate our mortality; where we came from, and where we’re going… our mortality. I do it all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A very thoughtful piece Frank and very true. I do have children but I hate to think of them having to look after me in old age. My own parents are getting older, however, and I face the possibility of looking after them in the future. Having said that, I guess none of us know how long we’ll be here for, so yes, let’s make the most of the moment we’re in! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • E R,
      Thanks for sharing your situation. I find it interesting that readers here are not all the same age, but everyone (well, at least so far) have related in some way. Best wishes for what lies ahead with your parents.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Merril,
      Beach walks are absolutely a wonderful place to think about this stuff. Your mom at 96 still impresses me. I recall a visitor here whose mother turned 100 several years ago. What a life they’ve seen!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. My husband and I do not have children either and I think about that too sometimes. One hopes that the body will remain healthy and we’ll be able to care for ourselves, but that’s something you just can’t predict.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wendy,
      Interesting how everyone has related to a different part of this post. With no children being a common factor with us, yes – it is weird thinking about being older with no children to help, lean on, or whatever. Cheers to good health in the days ahead!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Cincy,

    Some deep thoughts there, but with good solid ideas as to what each eventuality would probably look like.
    I think we get to a point in our lives where vanity gives way to feeling good and getting a clean bill of health. The rest is just details, which will figure themselves out one way or the other. Without your health, none of it is going to matter for very long anyway.

    Here’s to deep thoughts and good health

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beach walks can bring out a certain amount of self-reflection. I’m circling the drain a little faster than you. At 77 I have given up the thoughts about care and even the afterlife. I pretty much focus on the story of the day and figure all else will fall into place when it is time. I have had a good run and if it were to end tomorrow I would have no regrets. Thanks for the beach walk.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The fascinating aspect of all the ‘what if’s’ is nestled somewhere in it probably doesn’t matter category since the mortal soul is different from the hear-after one. But always entertaining to speculate, eh? Happy walking on the beach. Seems like a very good place in which to contemplate the complexities of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My church recently did a Sunday School series on end of life questions and planning. It got my wife and me talking about a lot of practical as well as spiritual things, some of which you brought up in your post, which she and I will make time to read together.

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  11. Great thoughts on the process of aging. I imagine it’s because I live in Florida with many who are older that my eyes have been opened to these issues you bring up in this post for some time. My older friends with children find themselves alone due to distance issues. Many children don’t want the responsibility. It’s not the way it was when I was growing up. It was the child’s duty to repay their parents for raising them. Sadly, many elderly are never visited in their homes or in assisted living facilities. Loneliness is a huge factor for many elderly. My hubby and I feel blessed to have fairly good health but that could falter one day. We’ve saved money for in-home care but one can’t be certain. Since I’m a bit older I must admit I do think 🤔 about it. Pondering thoughts on a beach 🏝 walk …
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  12. As you say, everyone responds to a different aspect of your post—or chooses one aspect to comment on. That’s the beauty and the oddity of a blog conversation. I zoom in on the beach walking, like many others.

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    • Rachel,
      Welcome first-time commentor. It seems you have been a walking along the beach on these pages before – so many thanks for commenting. Interesting how different points of this post affected different people. Hope you chime in again in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think it’s probably good to take a little mental inventory every now and then as we age. It’s hard not to wonder about some things when we see friends experiencing age-related losses we know will come to us at some time. I’m 66 and my husband is a few years older, and although we are in excellent health and have strength today, we know we have more sand at the bottom of the hour glass than at the top! I wonder about the future and hope that I can remain flexible enough with my thinking to adapt wot whatever comes! I hope you have many, many more beach walks, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I think the more we are faced with death, the more we can reflect on what it will be for us. Dealing with my mother-in-law has given me a kick in the butt to ensure all my stuff is taken care of so that there is no doubt for my boys. Do I see them taking care of me? Nope. I don’t want them to have to, quite frankly. So, for that reason, it is all the more important to ensure the pesky paperwork is done. And to not wait for a rainy day because, sadly, that day can come when you least expect it.
    As for the who will attend? I think if we are good people who care about others, that will reflect on the attendance. I know I am still blown away by how many came for Mick so…

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  15. Pingback: On a Beach Walk: No. 30 — A Frank Angle – SEO

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