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Living on a Cruise Ship
89-year-old widow Beatrice Muller has been living the high life for the last nine years aboard the Queen Elizabeth II. For $7000 a month she's become a long term resident of the cruise ship.

Her husband died on board some years ago, and she decided to stay. It was more pleasant than a retirement home.

Having been on a few cruises I completely understand. The food is great. You have wonderful entertainment. There's a library, and a cinema, and lots to do. There are new people to meet.

And Beatrice has no grandchildren, according to the article in Maclean's magazine I read this morning. Her friends are scattered or dead. So she'd prefer to live at sea.

And now, as the QEII has its final voyage, she has to find a new home.

So I got thinking about this type of life. I've talked to my husband about choosing to retire at sea, joking of course. I can see the appeal.

But I couldn't do it. There's no church to be involved in, or to serve in. There are no long-term friends. And there's no family.

Beatrice, of course, doesn't have family. Maybe she has children; the article didn't say. But she doesn't have grandchildren.

I think that's sad. I have a number of friends who have never had children, and their siblings have never had children. So their parents, who raised all these kids, are not grandparents. That's tough, don't you think?

I really want to be a grandma, and I worry about what life is coming to when our generation decides to forego childbearing so we can concentrate on careers, or have better vacations, or buy better clothes. Childbearing is such a rich part of life. It's a lot of work, yes, but it makes you into a better person.

It makes you see the world in a different way. You're not just out for what you can get; you really want to make it a better place for your kids. And you learn, day by day, hour by hour, to put someone else's needs first. You can't make any decision before first thinking how it will affect the kids. "I" am no longer my primary reference point. "We" is the reference point, if that makes any sense. Your whole perspective is changed.

My friend Tracey at Grace Comes by Hearing is about to become a mom for the first time any day, and she's going to experience this transformation! And it is a beautiful one.

But in the meantime, I feel sort of sorry for Beatrice Muller. It's great to have all that money so you can live on a cruise ship. But I'd take the grandkids any day. I wish her own children had maybe thought of that.

I wonder what it does to our culture when a whole generation chooses self over children. I'm not saying everyone who chooses not to have a child is inherently selfish; but whole cultures can become that way when children are not valued, and when they are thought of as optional, or even worse, a burden.

It reminds me of an interview I once did, "Are Kids Worth It?". It's a good one. Just ignore my socks:

What do you think? How can we get people back to valuing parenthood? I don't know, and I'm worried our culture has turned the corner for good.

To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 2:42 PM , Blogger Tracey said…

Great article! Thanks for mentioning me! Yes, it is sad that she has no close family!

Yes, it's all worth it just to have one. I would pay a million dollars if I had it.

God Bless!


At 3:39 PM , Blogger Jennifer said…

It is amazing to me when you think about all the decisions that we make throughout our lives will possibly have a bigger impact on our "old age"..."retirement years" than we think. What is/was important to us now/then (in your 20's and 30's for some of us, that might have been a long time ago) probably won't mean near as much or anything to us when we get closer to those golden years. Hmmmmm!

Thanks for giving me something to think about. Life is too short to put such high regards to material things.


At 4:41 PM , Blogger TRS said…

I realize you qualified that you're not saying people who choose self over children are inherently selfish....

Just be sure to consider that there are many of us out here who would love to have children but no husband has come along yet. Not to mention those who have to work really hard just to have or adopt a child.

Being without children is not neccessarily a choice. Who chooses not to be 'blessed'?

half of our society takes marriage for granted - as if everyone just gets to have one. bah!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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