Freeman, 66

(2/3) What is the best thing that’s happened in your life? “Number one, my wife, and my son. I’ve been married since I was 19, since 1970. Clearly, having such amazing parents who gave me unconditional love, starting with that foundation, has taught me how to love. And that’s why I’ve had such an amazing friendship with my wife since college.”

What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life: “Watching my dad be a vegetable for nine years. At age 59 he had a brain tumor and they said he would live six months. And my mother loved him back to life over and over again for nine years. He couldn’t speak, wasn’t sure who I was, couldn’t move, and was paralyzed. That was the worst and yet one of the richest experiences of my life. I saw, again, unconditional love from my mother for my father. I saw how my wife gave me so much support to go from grad school back to Birmingham to help him. Everything from cleaning his diapers, I mean everything (when the nurses were not there) for nine years. It’s a long time for the person you think of as the strongest person you have ever known. The strongest emotionally, not just physically, became a child again. So it was one of the worst and one of the richest and most enlightening experiences of my life. It put all of life in perspective and taught me the value of both faith and humility.”

1 Comment

  1. “Elightenment. Humility. And unconditional Love”. Only that kind of elegance comes from wisdom like Freeman’s. But I wonder if America is truly ready for not just the “graying wave” from a physical sense, but also from an emotional perspective described here? I dont think there is ample conversation for the coming necessary collective emotional prep. Scenes and emotions expressed by Freeman for unbridled care of aging parents will indeed dominate a large part of our population — Baby Boomers — who will shortly face not just their own changes; yes they will carry the emotional buckets of their aging parents, but also for themselves, and the growing trend of taking their mature children AND grand children into their homes more and more. THIS collective psychological shift will sweep America very soon. How we Boomers handle the emotional wave challenge will be our generation’s greatest challenge, joy, and indeed teachable blessing and can maybe help reverse the “me generation”, and “entitled generation” brands if we accept Grace like Freeman’s.

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