We all have vague hopes about how things will be when we’re old. Best case scenario? We are all as capable and competent and still with it as my dad and step-mom. Not many of us will be.
Over the past several weeks I’ve spent more time with mother than I have since I was a small child. It’s stressful, no doubt, and eye-opening. It’s difficult because I see so much of her in me and some of those things are now manifesting her as (what I suspect is) dementia.
So, when I get old these are some of the things I hope for: if I cannot drive without endangering my life and the lives of others on the road, I will recognize this and relinquish my license without stomping my feet and denying all of it; that if I must stay with one of my children for any period of time, I will not demand their constant and unending attention to the exclusion of everything else in their lives, not only that, that I will be able to sit down and read a book, go for a walk or otherwise self-entertain even if my help is not required to run their household; that I will continue to be somewhat socially appropriate in public; that I will be in good enough physical health that I can move around on my own, in spite of arthritis and other aches and pains; that my weight will not spiral out of control; that when it’s time for me to have some sort of assistance in order to live, that I will be able to admit this and accept it with grace; that I will continue to be as blunt as I am now and not become a passive aggressive nasty; that getting up and making sure my children understand exactly how unattractive they are and how to fix it will be beyond the realm of possible; that the needs of others will continue to be at the forefront of my wants, rather than my own needs and desires.