I don’t have anything new I choose about which to write this week. Last weekend was my wedding anniversary, and while there were tears, they were perhaps less intense and frequent than in 2016.
So I have reached back to a poem I wrote in February 2001 — long before I had any inkling my mother, mother-in-law, father and Rick would pass within just fifteen years.
We stand at the edge and we don’t understand.
We don’t seem to grasp the situation.
My mother’s dying; his mother’s failing;
Decisions, closure, but time’s sailing
too fast for those in our generation
who have aging parents and new demands.
To lose the generation ahead causes pain.
We’ve taken for granted they’d be there always,
and valued their roles in our lives.
To lose them hurts our hearts like knives.
But now our lives move to a new phase
where our parents don’t wax but wane.
We now become the elders of our world.
Whether we’re ready or not, it’s our turn
to face the inevitable future,
wondering who’ll provide our nurture.
Do you think we’ll ever learn
to age with grace in acceptance of the world?
So we gird up for the effort we now face,
to love and support our parents, you see.
I don’t want to be old; I don’t want to die!
Is there a way that this process I can defy?
Are those the words of my mother or me?
On to death; all are in the same race.