Baby boomers often drive past their childhood home finding themselves longing for those times when they were growing up surrounded by family. Some in the baby-boom age range may even be lucky enough to have family members still living in that same house, making such memories even sweeter.
For example, for one Ohio family, these types of memories are ever-present.
This story is about a senior in her late 80’s who recently lost her husband and struggled to live alone without her life partner. The family recognized the grief she was feeling.
Additionally, her own health issues were making it too difficult for her to live on her own.
The family knew that they needed to act soon to help her — and they did. The 63-year-old baby boomer daughter and her 70-year-old husband moved in with her!
The daughter was raised in this house in suburban Columbus.
She looks at the walls as if they could talk.
She sits at the same dining room table where her mother used to bring home cooked meals to the table; now it's the daughter who usually brings dinner to the table for her appreciative mother: who always welcomes the company of her daughter.
This was an interesting choice that the boomer couple made, for they lived about three hours away and had to close up their own house to make this commitment to be with Mom.
They had raised their own family in the home they left behind, yet they welcomed the opportunity to be part of Mom's life on a full-time basis. The decision was not made lightly, but it was made with love.
This baby boomer couple didn't think that an assisted living community would be a good fit for their mother’s personality. While assisted living works well for many families who find themselves in similar situations, some seniors just simply need to be in the surroundings where they feel most comfortable.
The Ohio family had spent much of their life in this house.
Thus, they felt it was best to continue to call the family house their home.
For the baby boomer woman, an interesting dynamic emerges.
She finds her old record albums in the basement of her mother’s house; she sits on the living room couch looking at the spot in front of the fireplace where she practiced dancing for the prom.
It's the same house where she brought her boyfriend and future husband home to meet her parents for the first time. Her husband also shares many years of memories of good times spent in this house, dating all the way back to the 1970s when they first started dating.
Some can read this story and see sacrifices the baby boomers make to care for an elderly parent, but the daughter never sees it that way.
The baby boomer daughter gives her mother the ultimate respect because she truly cares for and loves her Mom. Her mother is always so kind, loving, and appreciative.
She tells everyone that she is honored to be able to help her mother and that she is a pleasure to care for. Some may be amazed by how much of their own life this boomer couple is giving up to now focus on the caregiving for Mom.
It's true that this is an incredibly caring, generous, respectful, and honorable couple.
But what is most paramount is that the mix of past memories, being in the house of her youth, and caring for such a wonderful and deserving mother is just simply rewarding.
So in this Ohio home, you now have a baby boomer couple living with their 88-year-old mother. The evenings are filled with laughter at the dinner table and there is always a stack of DVD-movies she can choose from for post-dinner entertainment.
The baby boomer woman has handy her cell phone to text or exchange photos and videos with her own children and to keep up with her grandchildren. The present is mixed with the past and future.
Stories of old high school friends and parties from the 1970's are mixed in with catching the weather forecast to plan their walk in the neighborhood park and setting up doctors appointments for mom.
Adjustments are made for a Mom who is now older now, but her warmth always remains.
The baby boomer daughter thinks to herself, "Mom raised me with such love — she was always there for me, and now I want to be there for her."
Yes, maybe it is a role reversal, but some important things have never changed in this Ohio home. As the decades have passed, the loving environment has remains, staying the same.
Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns "Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation." He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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