We get alot of free newspapers and magazines in Huntsville. And the latest one is something called “What’s Up Muskoka!” It is not a hard-hitting newspaper, but it does have editorials and serious stories but mostly is a human interest and event communication medium. It is delivered through the mail and I picked up our copy today. This was the picture on the front page (which almost took up the entire sheet):
The story inside the was concerning as it dealt with the problem of poverty amongst seniors in Muskoka. It is challenging to meet all of your expenses if you are wholly dependent upon your government pension. I don’t disagree at all. Both of my grandparents are secure in their retirement and have pensions from their former employers to see them through. Our parents also are planning for retirement – saving, and counting on other income beyond Canada Pension.
Not all are as lucky. And as the article told me, it is estimated that over 1000 senior women live below the poverty line in Muskoka. A serious issue, considering expenses facing seniors and lack of income options. Affordable housing is a major problem across Canada – compounded for seniors. It certainly made me aware of the situation – but this is not what really struck me about this article.
And this has inspired me to write an open letter to my mother and my mother-in-law:
Dear Mom and Toni,
You are loved very much. And Emile and I will make sure both of you are secure and safe in your old age. (no, not now, in your OLD age, keep it together for now). However, if either of you have a full-sized picture published of yourself holding your head in your hands with a quote “I do not depend on my children . . . so as not to strain their resources”, I will leave my brother Todd in charge of your retirement planning. And you know what that means – you’ll be sharing a single room, eating saltines with past date canned oysters every day while collecting his daily returnable can quota. So, please let me know there is a problem with your budget before you contact the local media. We’ll figure out something out no matter what and maybe do the story as a family to highlight the issues.
Your Favorite Daughter and Favorite Daughter-in-Law, Susan
May 23, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Can you imagine opening the newspaper and seeing your despairing mother splashed across the front? (If you want to see the article, click here.)
Maintenance May Day 23:
Sent a note to What’s Up Muskoka asking how I could help this lady. (connection)