Dare I write of mothers and daughters? It's a minefield. As my perky cute 77-year-old mom starts to finally show her age and slow down. As my spunky daughter moves on. July babies both. I think of the lessons in the elder's life. It's been a long slow transition. She refers often to the ignorance and passivity of her younger 19-year-old self. The ah gee, sure whatever you say that allowed her to stay married for 26 years to a guy she never liked. The constant pull between true timidity and real independence. A self-avowed loner, she's eternally curious. Always making new friends and excited about them. Excited about their lives and choices. Engaging enthusiastically in their scenarios, real and imagined as she spins out the possibilities. Yet she really is an introvert who spends much of her time alone.
Last night my friend R. said, I envy you your mother. Mine never talks anymore, she barely exists.
I get that. I get that as I steel myself hearing the repetition, hearing the judgements, hearing the narrow skew. I get that as I hear my kids complain about my own repetition.
Aging is hard. Oh, not the middle-age aging - I'm fine with that. It's the twenty years after. Seventy and beyond. Hard to watch my mother still game while her knees betray her. Hard to applaud her fierce independence as I worry about how alone she is.
I don't fear death. I do fear aging.