F. Scott Fitzgerald said,

"There are no second acts in American lives."

Most people think he was crazy.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Win!

I don't know who started it...I have a notion it was my mother...but there's been a lot of discussion regarding "who gets what" after her death. It almost makes sense, now that she's in her late seventies, with multiple health concerns, but this talk began when she was, oh, I don't know....fifty.

(Younger than I am now. And to my kids--if you're reading this? You get NOTHING! I'm taking it all with me. j/k.)

There has been some discussion among my siblings. The protracted discussion (by protracted I mean twenty-year long) has been regarding a certain corner cupboard, which my sister and I both covet. Why? Who the heck knows--it's not an antique, nor is it particularly beautiful, but the scale is perfect and the style beautiful in its simplicity. The inside is wide board tongue-in-groove, painted sage green, and the rest is dark-stained knotty pine. And frankly? I love me some knotty pine.

This corner cupboard was the one piece (besides the bed and sofa) that my mother insisted had to come with her to the old lady apartment. I think she has been putting off making the inevitable: to whom should this corner cupboard be bequeathed?

Recently, the winner of this nice (but not old or particularly valuable) corner cupboard is *Tah-dah* me! And yes, it would look great in my living room. But you know what? In the past twenty years, there have been a lot of changes. And for my brother, sister and me, it's not really all that important who gets the corner cupboard. It's that we can all pitch in together--first during my dad's loss and the subsequent sale of my mom's house, then moving her to an apartment, and now through her health issues. We can sit down together and talk and laugh and there isn't any underlying animosity. (Of course, I am speaking for everyone because I am the big sister. I guess I could be wrong, and they both hate my guts and I just don't know it.) But in so many families, where there is so much bitterness, I figure that corner cupboard or not, I still won.

No, Kiki, do not get your hopes up. The corner cupboard is still coming home with me. ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Look into the crystal ball

Spending this week (please bring drugs and/or liquor) with my mother has been like getting a glimpse of the future.

And the future isn't pretty, peeps.

It's not just that your body begins to betray you and you are not young and cute and energetic anymore, as if that's not bad enough.

It's that you become an OLD PERSON.

It was funny...when I told people I was coming back here to care for my mom for a week, they invariably asked her age. And then it was, "Well, that's not old."

I am here to tell you...seventy-seven is old. Your body breaks down, your memory has glitches, and you develop old person habits like accumulating tons of junk "just in case" and that unmistakable "old person smell."

Yesterday, I mentioned that getting old was not for the faint-of-heart. But neither is staring at the person you will most likely become.

I will begin stockpiling liquor as soon as I get home.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Between a Rock and...well...

Todaay, I did something I've done before. And it doesn't get any easier.

I left my mom in the hospital.

Just for the night--she had a procedure today that involved some girl parts. Like she said, it's not as if she's going to use them any more.

And I'll pick her up tomorrow and she'll come home, where I'm supposed to force her to walk around some.

But I could tell that she was scared, and I didn't want to leave.

Taking care of elderly parents wasn't something I ever thought about, when I was in my 20s and 30s--maybe was because I was too busy taking care of my little kids.

But it's something I need to think about now.
Sometimes getting old stinks.