Life Advice



Till the Well Runs Dry

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I don't know if you would ever run my attached thoughts, but just writing them down has really helped me. I didn't think anyone could compete with Ann and Abby, but you have surpassed them both. Thank you for your wisdom and great, empathetic sense of humor.


We never knew how much our parents loved us, and put up with us, until we had children of our own.

We never knew how dedicated and wise our teachers actually were until we became teachers ourselves.

We never knew how much special people in our lives did for us until they were gone.

We take for granted our good health.


And we never realized how not just physically debilitating but emotionally debilitating it was for our older loved ones to lose their sight, hearing and the ability to walk; to have to ask people for help, worrying about being a burden; and to deal with the fear and reality of being alone.

My 84 years have caught up with me, and I am now realizing how traumatic this stage was for my mom and dad. I regret not really realizing this until now. I regret not giving them more empathy and "more of me" because I was "busy."

My dad used to say, "You never miss the water until the well runs dry."

I would like to urge everyone to not take each other for granted and only realize their value when they are gone. Resolve to pay more attention to one another now. And be especially aware of not just the physical trauma but the emotional trauma the elderly must face. Hopefully, then we won't have to say with regret that we never knew! -- I Know Now


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