Inverted Crescent

One Woman's Journey Over the Moon and Beyond

Saturday, June 17, 2006

What's the dish?

Today's word: Gerontology.

Was listening to the radio today about some of the challenges our senior citizens are facing, and I have to admit it--getting older scares me.

Of course, there is the stuff you would expect me to be frightened of: decline in health, memory, loneliness.

But then there are things that I only recently started thinking about: loss of dreams, abilities, responsibilities--and not just for me, but for my mother as well.

My Mom is in her mid sixties. She is legally blind, and has the usual aches and pains you would expect of a woman who has lived an active life. In many respects she is quite youthful. To look at her beautiful face, you would place her in the late 40s, or early 50s.

But she recently made it through a necessary surgery and it solidified the thought that she may not be here forever, and that the time she has remaining may not be as active or as healthy as it has been in the past.

You read this and think "Well, gee, what did you expect?"

Well, I expected it. And I didn't.

Stages of realization, I suppose.

Sometimes I think mom is quite content just to stay on the farm, keep the house clean, and wait expectantly for someone to come and visit her, or take her to the grocery store. ( Her regular routine.)

But there is so much to life, and I don't want her to feel stuck in her routine--waiting to die.

66 is brilliant! Or certainly can be.
And I want to be a part of her life, and help her find the great adventures that the golden years can be.

She was a child bride. She had never lived alone before my father's death. And there is so little that she has ventured into the world to do beyond raising her children and loving her husband. ( Good things, all---I'm not belittling them.) Now the children are grown, the husband is buried and now it is time to embrace the future.

I want my Mom to find the life of a woman liberated. To travel a bit, maybe. (She is almost completely sessile, but when someone drags her out, she has such a good time.) To come and spend time with me in Jackson--maybe for a couple of weeks, or a month. I'd like to take a cruise with her, or do some gardening, or abduct her for volunteer work---take her to the museums, take her to a movie--hook her up with the kicking 70 year olds I know down here who kayak, canoe, and generally have a great time being mature, knowledgeable women.

I'm just afraid that what she is doing is cleaning that house, all day long, as if it ever were really dirty to begin with.

And I haven't a clue where to begin---

Mom says she's happy--but when we talk, there is always that sadness in her voice, and her expressed disapointment in how the "boys" are or are not living up to her expectations.

So, do I get my Mom to think about a healthy future? A happy place to be?

How do I get the realtionship that I really want with her?