Friday, August 22, 2008

Knowing

She knows. Yet she doesn't know. She can feel it slipping, but she can't grab it tight enough to stop it. Pieces and parts are going, and there is nothing that can be done.

I see it happening. It is not as vivid for me as it is for others seeing it daily, but the picture has been painted well for me and my mind can grasp it. I am not good at feeling helpless. But I am also not good at fighting. And I am not faced with it day to day, so it is easy for me to sit back and armchair quarterback, almost as if it has nothing to do with me. But it does.

As we age, we just don't work like we used to. Our bodies begin to fail us. Our minds begin to quit. Somewhere along the line I think somehow medicine has gone wrong. I know that people are living longer and longer but, really, is it all that good? If you are fortunate to not have arthritis and diabetes and heart problems and dementia, you are rare.

Before now, getting old was abstract. I could tell you what to expect from an elderly person in terms of common medical and mental problems, but it was never a personal thing. Now as I talk about it, I realize that it has become personal.

My mom is old. I can't fix it.

It is personal now.

2 comments:

Dr. Cason said...

I remember recently seeing my father across the room and suddenly he didn't seem so invincible and the sadness was overwhelming.

T. J. Hand said...

My mom always used to scare me with how tough she was. Now I am scared, but for her instead of of her....