This past week I visited my mother.
She is 88, has fallen several times in the last six months and is now learning to walk with a cane (which she thinks she really doesn’t need, but she does.) I am glad for the time we had together, but it is hard to watch her when she looks and is so frail. Just behind the person who now struggles to get out of her chair is a woman who was the Valedictorian of her high school class and who, having never been on a plane before, flew to Alaska to marry my Father who was stationed in Anchorage during the Korean War. She raised three sons who are just four years apart in age, and because I am one of them I know that was not always an easy task. She went to college after my Dad got his degree and then taught school for more than 20 years and, with my Father, danced her way through retirement. All of that and more is still there, but hidden now.
Being with her also reminds me of my own aging and mortality.
I don’t yet need a cane, but some of those things which once came so easily are harder now. I look at my Mom and see myself in 20 years which today feels like only a moment away. What will it be like for me and for those whom I love? I hope for more than what will probably be possible, but one thing I do know. I know I will be as stubborn as my Mom is now. I have already apologized to my sons.