How have you handled, or how do you plan to handle the aging of your parents?
“My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel.
I want to grow old and be like her.”
Last week, I wrote about coming home. I wrote about my mom, and how to me, she is home. On May 13th, I turned 27, and my mom and I reflected a lot on my life, on our lives, on where she was at 27 (married with a one year old), and what we hoped for the future, for us both. Although I know the realities of poor health, aging, social security, challenges and changes, I fully expect my mom to be playful and loving and tender and kind (and lucid) through my proverbial wedding, childbearing, the raising of the grandchildren, etc.
My dad, on the other hand, faces aging with the truth of a stallion; he is cautiously optimistic, but focused on the details; the things that we must plan for and those that we will have no control over.
The processes will be entirely different with each of them, and while I wish I could tell you I can envision the scenes playing out as they will, I can’t, and won’t be able to, until we arrive there.
In truth, the last few years of my life have changed our realities.
They’ve shown both my parents, my grandparents, my extended family and my friends that life is unpredictable and unfair, and that in truth, we only know that we have today.
In light of chronic illnesses, mass shootings, marathon bombings, etc., it’s become clear that we are only safe in the moments we have, and I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to recognize that. To say “thank you” and “I love you” as often as possible. To be honest about how the people in our lives have affected us, before that chance gets taken away from us.
Today’s society might not give us the chance to determine how we’ll plan for or deal with our aging parents, or our aging selves; their health, or ours.
So we suck in our breaths, focus our wishes, and hold tight.
Amanda Kasper is a writer, reader, quote lover, CASA advocate, and non-profit believer, seeking space as a lifelong learner, passionate lover, and irreplaceable friend. Amanda tweets at @AKasper513 and blogs over at “& this I believe”