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As we grow and mature, life changes by Tina Y. Gerber-McCurley

One of the inevitable parts of life is, we all age. With aging, our relationships will change. Lifestyle, interests, and responsibilities shift as we enter adulthood, and we all begin a new life after college, marriage, children, and even into retirement.

The parent-child dynamic you had with your parents is changing. We saw our parents in one particular role. If you're like me, you didn't see your parents as "Peter and Mae Troski," just as Mom and Dad. Things change as you grow and mature. You have an opportunity to learn about your parents and the rest of the family. Both parents had lives and plans of their own before you knew them, and you can find out some interesting facts and perhaps even a shocking story or two.

None of us have all the answers to those hard life questions, so neither did our parents. Parents don't have all the answers, yet growing up, they seem to fix most everything. As adults, we now appreciate them differently and understand they had the best intentions. They wanted us to grow and become loving, kind, successful, and capable adults. So we come to realize, parents, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives and friends know much of the “true you." Even after life has knocked you down, chewed you up, and spit you out, they love you no matter what.

As we age, our relationship with our adult children is very important and potentially a great source of happiness. It is important to make sure these relationships develop healthily. Close relationships are critical for a long, happy life. Relationships change as our needs change as well. Perhaps, our loved ones may need extra help with the demands of everyday life, due to chronic illness or during a personal crisis. Perhaps, a loving son or daughter may need to make special arrangements for you because you need some important self-care.

Often, seniors require help with: housework; transportation; shopping; and the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and grooming. Having a positive relationship with a spouse, family members and friends is a significant factor in overall health and well-being.

Let your family know they are important to you, even if they live far away. Many adult children can provide loving care and give time, despite distance or competing responsibilities. At this stage of life, let go of old grievances and be willing to take the first step to let go of an argument or misunderstanding from the past. It's important to tell them they are special, and share what you admire about them.

As much as we want to stay young forever, time changes things. We all go through life changes. The best we can do is keep our relationships loving and strong enough so they will survive and thrive into the next challenge or stage of our life.

1 John 4:12 "No one has ever seen God; if we love another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us."

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