Inside Wrinkles

Living as an adult with a parent is a strange experience. Grateful moments mixed with moments floundering in itty drifts of panic. Not only do the usual questions of, ‘will I be strong enough to be there for her till the end?’ hang over your head like a neon sign but there’s another button constantly being pushed. This one makes it flash on and off like one of those old ‘Eat at Joe’s ’signs. It’s the OMG sense that as I watch her putz about I’m seeing a future me. Enlightening yet freaky. Sometimes I see Man-wonder watching us and I wonder what he is mentally digesting. And, even though I’d like to ask I don’t. I’m not that daft.

I watch Mom struggle. I daily hear her curses and mumbles about ‘just being lazy’ and ‘how stupid I am’. It used to annoy me to no end to hear her talk like that because she isn’t. Then one day as we sat on our back deck, our wrinkled skins smoothing out in the last of the summer warmth we had another of those sweet talks about life and living. Mom explained she doesn’t really think poorly of herself, it’s more a case of her not having the patience to accept what she no longer can do.

Well, did my mental dinger go off? You bet! I’ve always suffered from impatience. It’s caused me untold problems. Suddenly, my life, past and future, was laid out before me. Choices. Put more effort into the practice of patience or end up pushing a walker around cursing and grumbling.

Will I learn to accept life as it is offered up before I reach old age? I hope so.

Another thing I’ve learned is that my desire to take the easy road through this life is another inherited trait. I figured it was my own dirty little creation. No solid sense of passion, or at least one strong enough to push through life’s obstacles. Never being sure of what I’ve wanted other than to wander about, mentally weaving daisy-chains, and swinging in my mañana hammock.

Turns out, Mom has always lived with those same emotions. Huh!

They say that ‘getting old’ ain’t for sissies. I’d like to add—neither is ‘being there for those getting old’ . . .

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