79 Years Young

Life is short. Make it worth your while.

Susie Pinon
The Orange Journal
Published in
3 min readMar 21, 2022

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man sitting with cake + candle at restaurant table

This weekend, my dad turned 79 years old. He had me, his only child, at 54 years old. Not something you hear every day, I know.

My dad was diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia many years back. After a while, my mom and I realized it was in his best interest to live in a nursing home. We couldn’t take care of him. We couldn’t afford a 24/7 nurse.

He’s acclimated over the years and knows why he’s there.

My paternal grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s. So it wasn’t a shock when my dad was diagnosed. It happened because he didn't take his high blood pressure meds. Unfortunately, his condition turned out to be irreversible.

It was always challenging growing up with older parents. I would be confused when people thought my parents were my grandparents. Plus, they are old-fashioned Italians, so they tried to raise me with their (oftentimes outdated) worldviews. Not ideal.

For a long time, I resented my father. I even remember hating him. I must have been around 12 or 13 when he was officially diagnosed. I didn’t understand why he would let dementia happen to him. As a child, I didn’t know how to cope. I was angry. I wanted a normal father. I wanted parents who weren’t so old!

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Susie Pinon
The Orange Journal

If I’m not typing, I’m at the beach, eating chocolate, yoga-ing, or watching my soaps. Here to help you grow into your best self without making it hurt.😉