joy loverde
Joy Loverde

Path Carver.
Keynote Speaker.
Best-selling Author.

Solo Aging ♦ Caregiving ♦ Aging Parents

Birthday coming up? What do you give aging parents who have everything?

I have a gift idea for your parents that will change their lives – and yours.

By now Mom and Dad (and Gramma) probably have everything they ever wanted and needed. And giving them more stuff only adds to the pile of unwanted items. They tell you that they have everything they need in life. There’s nothing more to buy. And you still want to give them a gift to show them how much you care.

Arrange a trip to take your parents and grandparents back to their old neighborhoods — where they spent their childhood or perhaps to the neighborhood where they lived when they were raising you.

Several years ago, I drove Mom to her old neighborhood where she was a young wife and mother, raising me and my four siblings.  We also arranged a lunch for Mom and her former close neighbors, as well as our childhood friends. All of us together again after 40 years!

Where I grew up, we coexisted with neighbors that included ten couples and twenty-two children.  On a typical day, adults and children interacted in full force. We were in and out of each other’s homes all day long (doors were never locked during the day). We children went to school together. Parents partied together. We had birthday parties. We played baseball in the street all summer long. Our parents never worried about us. We never strayed far. The old neighborhood was one big extended family sharing the ups and downs of life.

For the lunch portion of the day, we all met at a popular Italian restaurant in the old neighborhood.  Two adults (Mom and her friend, Sue) and seven children gathered together. Many of us brought photo albums to share of times gone by. We toasted those who are no longer with us. Tears and laughter!

Mom never stopped talking about this day and how the old neighborhood reunion was one of the highlights of her old age. Mission accomplished.

Sadly, by the time we thought of hosting this reunion, many of the other neighbors had already died. I wish I had thought of this idea sooner, which is why I am sharing it with you today.

If going back to the old neighborhood would please your parents, I sincerely hope you take the time to make this happen for them sooner rather than later.