When I Am Old

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.


About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
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2 Responses to When I Am Old

  1. Rosemary says:

    Been meaning to give you my sympathy Tina. You know I have been there, so I feel your pain. I am truly sorry for your loss of your step-Dad (and your gain? of your Mom.)

    Re: all the aging stuff; AMEN. Yup. Shoot me first. I am working on Lauren to take me in when I get old. Being in a nursing home makes my Top 5 Fears in Life list. I often pray to live for as long as I am healthy and have a relatively good quality of life (and do not drive me kids TOO nuts!!)

    • Cerwydwyn says:

      Thanks Rosemary. It’s weird that we are becoming the front line, the buffer zone between our kids and the Beyond. It’s a sudden awakening (for me anyway) to enjoy things here, now and also to make plans and set them in place (not that we have done anything more than think about it) to make things easier on our kids someday.

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