Whenever I would tease Mommy about getting older, she would smile and say she was happier to be getting older. At twenty years her junior, I could not understand. Older meant things were falling apart and wrinkles. Older meant menopause and drooping everything. Old age meant walkers and medicines. Why be happy about that? Seventy-four days away from the big four-oh, I think I get it.
As you age, you settle more into yourself. The tightly wound ball of confusion that once was you at twenty is now settled and relaxed at fifty. She was excited about the relaxing part. The settling. I get it.
Now that it is my turn for ribbing from youngins, I find myself thinking about Mommy. She hasn’t quite embraced the housecoat (with the snap buttons, ‘member those?) but she has settled in. She isn’t wearing weaves and lashes, but upon suggestion (from The Boy) she will listen to a little Chief Keef. She often proclaims her ‘too old for [insert foolishness here]’ motto and leaves it where they land, but she can entertain an in house Nerf gun fight foolishness, too. She is where she is and that is okay. As I slide into another year, another grey I find myself working toward okay as well.
I’m is what I’m is, all greys and droopy whatever. It takes a minute to remember things and I can’t handle too much nonsense (my patience is -5). I own a housecoat with snap buttons and side pockets. I listen to Young Thug religiously and I live to binge watch Riverdale. Yes, I know what Bitcoin is but I also remember when pay phones were a thing and they took actual coins. I groan when walking up/down stairs, and I swear when it rains my bones hurt. But as I come ’round the mountain, I am quite all right with all of it. With every year I am blessed enough to see, more wisdom and more comfort are settling in. Thank God.
When visiting home, Mommy said something that sorta jarred me. She mentioned her age. “Blah blah…when you’re almost 60…blah blah.” That phrase snapped my brain like a rubber band. My mom is indeed almost 60. *shock n awe* Where did the time go? Better question: What happens now?
My mom is never afraid of aging. She’s always been ready–maybe not for the Change or the grays, but she has always maintained liking a few more years. That is awesome for her and it has taught me a very valuable lesson: do not fear the clock. However, with those few more years comes pressure on me–being that I am an only child.
I think about death often. Not enough to be creepy but enough to be semi-prepped for it at any given moment. My parents’ death is no exception. Hearing Mommy say that she was almost 60 jolted that sleeping realization that she won’t stop almost being 60 or 70 or 80. She (nor my dad) will get any younger. They will continuously get older, they will steadily fill their bathroom cabinets with medicines instead of younger smelly things like expensive lotions and soaps. They will constantly add to the vitamins already lined up on the table. Their yearly doctor visits will now happen more frequently and caution to moving things or picking up things will be had.
So, as the only kid, what happens now? Let’s face it, my parents will eventually fall apart. Hell, I’M falling apart (slowly)! How do you plan for an aging parent? Do you plan for them the way you would plan for yourself or your children? Do you just file it away for later?
It sorta scares me, the thought of my parents getting older…Mommy especially. Dads are suppose to be old and grandpa like. Moms? They are suppose to be invincible and never aging. It is inevitable, I suppose, to look up one day and see your Mom as 85 or stop by daily just to ‘check in’ (when really what you are doing is making sure she’s not dead). I guess for now I won’t worry too much about the future part of it all–I won’t keep asking where do we go from here. I will just keep praying for health and making plans to be closer. I just hope they don’t get too much older (and grayer) before I get there 😛