|Rudy the Toy Destroyer|
Both my parents failed retirement and kept working after their real jobs ended, working out of the home until about five or six years ago. My mom volunteered in a hospice for elderly monks. My dad worked at a sunglasses factory.
My dad used to like 3 things: coffee, cigars and books. He can't drink too much coffee any more because of acid reflux. He (thankfully) gave up cigars about 20 years ago, and his macular degeneration has eliminated reading. He's always been an extremely social being and he misses his siblings and his co-workers. My mom was constantly moving---cooking, cleaning, helping whoever in the world needed help, getting ready for the next get together. Both my parents have always been avid readers. My mom's had several small strokes and her vision is now messed up so reading is out. She now struggles with speech and balance. She falls often.
My parents stay basically happy though. Not deliriously happy, not chipmunk chipper, but basically happy, I think. Definitely more upbeat than I would be in their place. Glad to see me when I visit. Sad to see me when I go. Always grateful to my siblings who live nearby and help them day and night. It's hard to leave my parents. I wish we lived closer.