The Oldest Living Orphan

Uh, okay.

I didn’t say “oldest living orphan in the world,” now did I?

No, but I’m the oldest (and only) living orphan in my household, and I don’t like it.

Hearing a sixty-seven year old man say that might sound a tad strange, but here are the facts. My father died in 1993 and my mother died fourteen months later. That left me parentless, right?

Of course, if you want to get technical, the word orphan normally describes a parentless child. But why shouldn’t it apply to anyone without parents–without regard to age? After all, we’ll always be our parents’ children, even when they’re gone.

And suppose that older man doesn’t have any siblings. And almost no relatives left on his mother’s side; he only hears from them when and if they think to let him know another family member has died. And the relatives on his father’s side are so distant he doesn’t know how the ones he has connections with on Facebook are related to one another. Or to him.

I used to say that if I ever remarried, I could only marry someone who didn’t have any close kin. Having in-laws I felt close to would have seemed too strange.

As things turned out, my wife, Kathleen, still has a full complement of living relatives. Her parents–though quite aged–are still managing on their own, and she has two brothers, sisters-in-law, and a good variety of nephews and nieces.

They’re all fine folks, and I’m glad to know them. I appreciate them. I even like them. A lot.

But by no fault of theirs, I still feel like an orphan at times.

What do you say? Does this make sense? Can you relate to what I’m saying? Please share a comment if you can.


I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I use “As I Come Singing”check it out here–to post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. Check here to see the list.

Best regards,




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