Watching your parents age is a bit like watching a car wreck. I don’t mean that it is an actual wreck, but you get moments in time where the world seems to slow down into a slow-motion time warp. Life is happening, you are in the moment, and it is moving slowly as you watch the mix of preschool colliding with the experience of life lessons leading one to the point of not really caring about the stuff that doesn’t matter. What matters is the world inside their own minds. I am not sure if it is isolation? or when you don’t constantly
For example this morning, my father has walked back and forth in the space, told me the same story 4 times, and has announced he would be going to the post office 8, “to get stamps” and if we needed anything. There is nothing abnormal with dad, it is just the ramifications of age and what transpires when you don’t force yourself to change or grow outside of your known habits or worlds each day.
Part of me is beginning to wonder that if you don’t change each day, what transpires is your weaknesses get amplified with age. What I am getting is a lesson in watching people age and at the same time learning about patience. The latter is something that was simply unacceptable in most of my athletic or work life. it was “how fast, and perfect, can you get anything done.”
It is a very different world than watching your parents age. Yesterday I marveled at listening to him chat as we took a road trip. Listening to him describe the beauty of nature through his 80 plus-year-old mind was similar to what a 5 years old would describe the same scene.
But this morning. I am not going to lie. Prayer and brainstorm have me bring the laptop to come up and make my egged white breakfast while staring at the forrest. it is peaceful and beautiful, inspiring...then dad just comes and plops down and starts verbalizing his thoughts and i have to wonder, "is it better to just brainstorm alone, here, or shall i go to the coffee shop and bring a camp grill?"
Ws we enter holy week for the eastern church. I am supposed to be vegan, but I need the protein with the exercise I am doing, and I have to say, ingesting all the beans has me thinking of making biogas from my human exhaust.
I digress…this morning, my dad drove me crazy, he is worried about my mom, who smacked her head into the trunk of a car. Thankfully she didn’t knock herself out, but she got a tremendous ole knot on her head. (see why I am a bit worried about my aging parents)
So dad paced back and forth, and I would love to run an EEG or an fMRI on what is going on, or not going on in his mine. He just wants to be with people, but he is in his own thought world.
He asked me if I wanted anything from the store, secretly I was hoping he would leave, as he just was exhausting to be around this morning. “sure pop. Can you get me the 30 pack eggs in the market….it is $3. Don’t go buying the fancy eggs with the little logo on them. I throw half of the egg away!”
So he is about to leave, after making 12 trips to the refrigerator to make a list with three items on it. My mom woke up and passed the test of “how many fingers am I holding up” that athletic trainers used as concussion protocol when I played.
I know my dad is just fine because mom asked if he had “ice cream” on this list.
“oh yeah, that is #1 on the list of three things!”
Dad is fine, his brain is excellent, he is doing great for his age. Mom appears to be ok, she isn’t wobbling of falling down like the elderly priest I picked up in church yesterday after he tripped.
Life is indeed an adventure. The idea of aging is indeed interesting to watch. My bother doesn’t have a clue about the stuff that really goes on, and truthfully, it is better he doesn’t, as perhaps the best strategy is to just forget about it and eat ice cream and trust god while not worrying.
mom didn’t like my joke when I complimented her not taking up boxing and cage fighting for her new hobby. I got the infamous “not amused” tone of eye while I tried not to chuckle with her knot making her look like she had some body modification done with half a tennis ball in her forehead.