The Colonel

Hello everyone:

Let me tell you a story. This sad tale was told to me by one of my students. He knew a man, who we will call “the Colonial,” who was a patient at a home for veterans.

My student realized that the man never had any visitors, in spite of having been a man of considerable influence during the span of his military career. He shared his story in small parts, over a period of a few months.

He had been married three times, ditching each of his first two wives after they hit the ripe old age of 40, saying “they just kind of lose something around that age, you know?”

He had children with his first two wives, and now has a boatload of grandchildren, who he no longer sees. His third wife (who is now in her mid-40s) was “the best darn divorce lawyer in town.” (Slight paraphrase over the word he actually used there!)

She now lives comfortably in the house the Colonial paid for, using money from his investments to support her lifestyle. She does not come to see him, preferring the company of younger men to that of her bitter, chronically ill, late-80’s husband.

His kids and grandchildren hate him; his current wife ignores him. He did not make very good plans for his own future, placing great importance on having a trophy wife, but not understanding what would happen to him if he became institutionalized or simply got old.

Do you know anyone like the Colonel? Someone who used people, instead of having good relationships with others? Please feel free to share their stories, but do not use real names.

Best,

Dr. Sheri

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