My wife calls them “hand-me-ups”… things we inherit from our kids. My ex-fashionable shirt that my son wore in college.Our semi-vegetarian diet my daughter adopted in high school. The dog at my feet that came visiting for the weekend, three years ago.
Our lives are enhanced and modified by the most unexpected of teachers, our children. The mentoring of our progeny keeps those of graying years at least partially youthful. Still, I was astonished to hear this week, the words, “Dad, you need to starting doing drugs.”
The “dad” being addressed is 93 years old and has advancing cancer. He is tired, nauseas, anxious and sleeps poorly. Though he likely has a number of months to live, he has become withdrawn. Despite my usual medical brew, his incapacitating symptoms are without palliation.
Dad is miserable. Enter his daughter with the solution. The “drug” she is talking about is the treatment de jour, marijuana.
How did this happen? We raise our kids to be good, honest, mature citizens; we drive them to soccer, suffer through years of homework (do you remember dioramas?), and do the whole college obsessive-compulsive tour thing. In addition, above all, we beg our offspring to stay away from pot, pills and addictive mind-altering potions.
Now they turn on us, pushing ganja in our time of need. How did we go wrong? Actually, it is we that missed a great opportunity.
50% of Americans have inhaled marijuana at some point in their lives. More than 25 million of our neighbors have used it within the last year. Those that imbibe are of a decidedly younger demographic. The oldest citizens, especially those of the Greatest Generation, are much less likely to have experience with cannabis.
Fortunately, once again, youth presents the solution.