My mom is not doing well. She has had a series of setbacks in her health, nothing life threatening, but strung together, it has overwhelmed her. I realize part of her decline is possibly psychological and emotional, however having seen her recently, I found myself panicking. My mom has never looked her age. She always was mistaken as my sister for years. She has always exercised and walked. Now, at seventy-six, and after a fall that broke fingers in both hands, I realize that she has aged. She seemed so vulnerable and fragile, that I wondered if she would beat this, like she did the artery blockage at forty-four and the angioplasty at seventy.
When she was in her forties and into her fifties she would leave me breathless on the wide walkway at Mission Bay Park, or the inclines of Scripps Ranch. It was only in the last ten years, I could out-walk her…pathetic. This last weekend, she clung to me as we made out way through Books a Million to the day spa where we had manis and pedis for the first time since I was a teenager. Why, was I thinking, did we wait so long for this? She never went to a manicurist and neither did I until I was in my thirties. I went with my daughters, but not my mom.
As we sat in the spa chairs and chatted, I allowed the twinge of guilt to surface, of allowing time to pass us by. Then I reminded myself of all the other times, the other loves we shared…shopping (mostly window shopping), lunches and coffee dates, watching baseball games, traveling to Savannah for a day trip, St. Augustine to tour the historic areas, a recent road trip to visit my aunt in Mississippi…she was stronger then.
Coming home to Evans Ridge I realize I have entered a new phase as a daughter. My mom is aging, as am I…but until last weekend, she drove her car, she could handle a knife, she could put in her hearing aid, she could saunter around the house teasing my dad and making us shake our heads…I know in my heart, she will get stronger, I realize this is a preview of what is around the corner. It is a part of this magic we call our lifetime…