Time is changing and rearranging the body I’ve always known.
Here’s some ways that it is shown—
I’m losing height.
Eyes have bags.
My little chin,
Now has a twin.
Got wrinkles, crinkles
And age spot sprinkles.
Don’t even want to mention
All the problems with digestion.
Hair is thin,
So is skin.
Arms grew flaps.
I take more naps.
I’m still grieving
My eyebrows leaving.
It’s all depressing,
I’m sadly confessing.
A spark of sanity
Cries, “lose the vanity.”
Don’t have bad pain.
I’m up and about,
Not down and out.
I can move and I can see,
Do what is important to me.
I won’t be stressed,
I know I’m blessed
In so many countless ways.
I offer God thanks and praise!
Necessity is a Mother
I listen to my mother’s daily complaints in order to make sure she is safe.
A caregiver deliberately runs a wheelchair into her. Mom wants to deport her. The retirement home chef cooks only California Cuisine, too saucy and not enough salt. Mom wants to fire him. Her wealthy, 104 year-old, tablemate talks about her life experiences fondly. That irritates Mom. I’m not sure if she is jealous of her money or the fact that she is blinder.
These things may come close to reality but I can no longer rely on her usual “right on” evaluation. She sees many events in her shrinking life as part of a larger plot against her. I constantly monitor what to pay attention to and what to leave out.
In addition to Mom’s failing eyesight, she has recently experienced her first heart attack. Her lung capacity has decreased. The pain of a worn out rotator cuff requires cortisone shots. These alone, would make anyone ornery. But for Mom they amplify a lifelong habit of blaming others for her misfortunes.
As she approaches 96, I admire her resilience. Four years ago when she fractured her back she said, “This may be the end of me.” I thought she might be right. But she prevailed.
I read about my close friend’s feeling about her deceased mother.
“Even after nearly three years, I’m not sure how I feel about the death of my mother. I don’t think I ever will be. It’s not that my feelings are conflicted. I loved and respected her without reservation.
There are just too many feelings to catalog and express coherently. My thoughts jump about, from missing her to appreciating the grace with which she aged. “
Her mother accepted the inevitable while trying to do exactly what the medical staff told her to do. My mother spent two hours online trying to dispute her doctor’s diagnosis. Unlike her feistier times, she gives up.
My friend’s mother had “pleasant dementia,” that made her calm and positive, befitting the way she lived her life.
“Toward the end she saw wonderful things out her window, the Eifel Tower, Rome and so much more. She flew among the stars with my father and told me about it.”
My mother is tired and ready to leave this life. I think I may be ready to let her go. I feel guilty about that.
My friend’s mother was in no hurry to leave. She made a particular chocolate cake she used to let her daughter eat for breakfast. “ Today I used her recipe to make that cake; it didn’t taste the same.”
Though my mother shares no recipes, she still shares her insights, often over the internet. I save them like recipes.
Losing a mother or dealing with their dwindling capacity is a necessity of life.