My Superman

 

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We love them so much, and then a health scare comes along and reminds us that nothing lasts forever. The realization that one day, what we have and hold so dear to our heart could be taken away from us, takes our breath away. He is my husband, my partner, the love of my life, the nail to my coffin, my best friend and he is getting older right beside me. There are a few years between us -five to be exact- and I can see it in his eyes, aging is not easy for him.

We always talk about women, we make fun about menopause, and we address all the problems that come with it, but we hardly talk about what aging does to a man.

I am not gentle when it comes to our age. I make relentless fun of it every chance I get and I might have to rethink my approach. Perhaps I should wear my gentle gloves now and then and pamper my knight in shining armor?

Last night I looked at him when he was dozing off sitting in his chair and with his eyes closed, I could see the age in his face. My Superman is getting older. His hair is now silver-white and his receding hairline has made more room for his beautiful face. It’s getting light on top of his head, something that we don’t mention at all.

“I don’t have the strengths anymore that I use to have,” he just said the other day and I could see that admitting it hurt him a bit. Raised to be a provider and protector, fading strengths must be hard on a man.

Just a few month ago I watched him when he mowed the lawn, and I could sense that he needed a break. I stepped in, declared yard work a workout routine and “made” him go inside so I could enjoy myself. I too start to feel physical limitations, and I don’t like it either.

The aging process has been kind to me so far, but there are definite signs that I cannot deny. An extensive list of foods that I can’t eat anymore is taped on the inside of a cabinet, just in case, I might forget. Another cabinet holds all the medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol, that the love of my life has to take now.

Some new vitamins and supplements have found their way into our cupboards. Many of them will stay there and will be forgotten -out of sight, out of mind.

I have never heard men talk about age and aging the way we women do. I am not sure if they ever talk about it in the first place. I know my husband has worries, just like I do and I wish he would talk about it as openly as I have here on my blog and with my female friends.

Perhaps I will have to learn to listen to what is unsaid.

The good news is we are aging together. We are still having fun and enjoy life and I hope it will stay like that for a very long time.

 

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I found this picture on the internet and I want this to be us in 10 or 20 years. Wouldn’t it be fun to skinny dip in our late 60’s or 70’s just because we can?

 

 

 

 

 

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40 thoughts on “My Superman

  1. This was a very timely post for me. Hubba is 6 months younger than I, and of course never lets me forget it. We were both fortunate to retire early and in fairly good health. His health has improved since retirement, since he is now away from stressful job and more active physically. I, on the other hand, have become more of a lazy sloth, preferring as I do to spend my time parked in a chair, reading or writing, until I realized that this sedentary lifestyle was not healthy and so embarked on what I hoped would be a new habit of regular exercise. Silly me! My body, after three years with little to no movement, painfully rebelled after just a few attempts at getting it to move and bend in ways it hadn’t for quite some time. The result was that, after being the healthier specimen between the two of us, I have now scared the bejeesus out of my husband by admitting to and more importantly displaying my now painful physical limitations, which I am used to seeing in him but that he never expected and had not before seen in me. After fighting it for six months or so, I just this weekend decided to bite the bullet, visit the doctors and hopefully find the right treatments to get me back on track to enjoy better health and mobility in what I had anticipated to be the final third of my life. Until I complete some other family commitments and have a chance to start my therapeutic recovery journey, I’m hoping to get by on drugs which I otherwise avoid.

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  2. What a fabulous, honest, thought-provoking (in all good ways) post. We should open up more about this subject. My guy is 7 years older than me, and he is determined to not age. Ha. He’s past retirement age but will never retire. And I get that. But he does know he’s slowing down. It’s a little scary to me, because he needs naps now, and works out too much and then is sore for days. No, men don’t want to discuss aging. However, we have good friends who are the same age as we are (the woman is my age, and her guy 7 years older also), and when we get together, we all talk honestly about our fears as we age. The main thing we agree on is to not let our ATTITUDE get old. To always MOVE and love and learn new things. But, to also plan for a time when we can’t move and do whatever we want to. xo

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  3. Love the final photo and I sympathise with all you have said. We are a few years older, I think, and these have mostly been kind years, but we had a health scare last year and I am aware of new limitations. I like to plan for my later years, but my husband, like yours, never willingly talks about ageing. Atul Gawande’s brilliant book, Being Mortal, has sat unread for several months by his bed.

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  4. It’s the other way on for us. I’m 5 years older. Mick had a kidney removed when he was in his twenties and I’ve always been aware of vulnerabitlity. Aging is a worry, but we’re not exactly young now and still enjoying life, so the aim is to make the most of it before our luck runs out. 🙂 I hope you two can do the same.

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  5. What a delightful post. I so identify with everything in it. My hubby is 8 years older than me and has always been my rock. Because of his heart issue he needs to slow down but doesn’t want to. He can still do a lot but in half the time – that’s why it is important to retire when the time comes! We are determined to enjoy our retirement. Our ideas of how have changed – no more fitting everything into the limited holiday leave time – now we can take 3 months to do a trip that we would previously have done in a week!

    Love your picture of the skinny dipping old couple. That’s how I want to be at 80!

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  6. I’m two years older than the hubster (I’m 50). When I was a kid, that was over the hill… staring retirement right in the face (55 was retirement age back then). Now it’s considered middle age — fifteen more years before we can think about retiring. But damn, don’t I feel old? And he’s feeling it too. He recently lost a friend so we’ve been talking a lot about death and our time on this mortal coil. Ain’t none of use getting any younger.

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  7. Beautiful post, Bridget, and I love the picture of you and your husband. This is such a touching post and one that I can relate to as my love and I also slow down, ache, fill our pill boxes, and worry about each other. At least we go through it together. You are both blessed with love ❤

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  8. As usual, Bridget, another thought provoking post.

    I too can see it in my husband. After several heated arguments about aging and retirement, I finally realized that his denial was a reflection of how much it bothered him. I too have had to learn to listen to what is not said.

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    • I feel so relieved now, knowing that other wives have the same “problem” with their husbands.

      Perhaps it’s like Tony said, they have been raised that way and not all can adjust later on in life.

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  9. Unfortunately, it seems we men have indoctrinated ourselves (and have been indoctrinated by others) into believing a rather distorted view of what a ‘man’ is supposed to be. Apparently, it doesn’t include opening up about our feelings and owning them. I envy women for their frankness about such things. It’s one reason why I prefer their company over that of my male counterparts. I want to learn how to be fully human again. Loved this post. Beautiful.

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  10. I’m right there with you…and it can be hard. I dig at hubby as he is older than me, but honestly he is holding up better than me so far. But he is getting older, I see it in his face and how he tires easier these days. I have also notice he is not quite as sure footed as he once was……..it worries me, I am a big clutz and have always been so I am used to it, he is not and still thinks he is as agile as a goat.

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  11. I think the idea of ageing comes up when my husband loses friends, men he grew up with that have died in the last year or 2 which hits home and makes him think of his own mortality. He makes a point of saying almost everyday how thankful he is to be here, though every now and then he will comment on the lines on his face becoming deeper, or how his hair is no longer there on top where it once was. Keeping a young attitude while being mindful and accepting that we cannot run as we did 10 years ago but are content with walking now, is what is important. My husband is 11 years older than I am so he says I keep him young and I say he sets the example of staying young at heart 11 years ahead of me.

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    • Being thankful, that’s indeed the key. Many of the ones we love have passed away and many more will.

      Staying young inside is important. It is hard sometimes, especially when it comes to music and technology. I have to admit that some of it just flies over my head these days.

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  12. Do men discuss aging? Yeah I think they do. My brother, who is 16 months younger than I (a fact he rarely lets me forget) was saying how tired he gets these days, a lot more easily than when he was 20. He is thinking of retirement in a few years because he has discovered that his age is going to limit him on what he can continue to do and at what level, and he wants to have a little fun before he kicks off (we die early in my family..well SOME of us do). I’m rather glad to see my brother adopting this attitude because even two years ago he could not envision a life without working, which to me is sad. It sounds like your hubby and you are enjoying a slower pace without stopping. 🙂 That’s lovely.

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    • My husband hasn’t said much about aging so far. Here and there a comment. I guess it’s up to me to puzzle the bits and pieces together.

      I really had to lean back and think about it to realize that he is getting older too. He is still the most handsome man and I find him very attractive, he is still Superman in my eyes but as you said, there are limitations and I have to make sure that I am aware of it.

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  13. Your post resonates with my heart. Over the years I’ve lost many family and friends. I too take medication for high blood pressure and my cabinet is filled with vitamins. My brother Stephen and I are getting older. It’s hard to believe that we are marching towards our sixties. Aging isn’t for sissies. I have been hospitalized numerous times for various ailments. I must watch my diet. In reality our time on this earth is short so we must make that time count.

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  14. Amen. My wife and I are 50 and 48, respectively. I can’t imagine a life without her in it, but the reality is, one of us will go first. It’s heartbreaking to think about. As for men discussing aging? I doubt it happens often. If we live long enough, we eventually, and ever so gradually, lose those things we so dearly assign to who we are. I see it every day in my work, and it’s tough. I’d think it’d be rare to see guys talking to each other about getting older, by the way. 😃

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