Monday, July 12, 2010

On growing old

Yesterday found Gert and me wandering our way through the Maryland countryside to a gathering at Bobbi's folks house in New Market. As I got Mom dressed to go, it dawned on me how very beautiful she is as she ages. Her eyes still light up when she laughs which is frequently. And, as I help her dress, I rub lotion into her skin which is soft as a baby's. I put on socks and sometimes tie shoes.

As I'm around children these days, such as
Bobbi's most adorable grandson who we shall refer to as Ray Squared (he's a junior...), I'm struck by how similar his aging is, in a way, to my own mothers, only her's is in reverse.

As I watch him eat a soft teething biscuit, I flash back to just this morning when I gave Mom one of her favorite snacks - Holland Rusk toast (aka Zwieback) with butter. I believe this used to be one of the staples of my own youth and is now one of the staples for her snack. As I watch the goo building around his mouth, I remember reminding her to wipe her mouth of crumbs. Dogs do come in handy over here as Killian now has a command of 'clean Gert' which gets him bounding into her lap to scoop up crumbs and other sundries caught there.

And, as I watch Ray Squared's bottom teeth cutting through his gums, I remember my darling father's toothless grin as I woke him every morning at 6 am to give him his Parkinson's drugs so he could get up and move by the time I placed his breakfast in front of him at 8.

And, as I watch baby Ray Squared start to tottle around in his walker, I think of my own Mother tottling around in her own walker. He's learning to walk and she's learning to sit.

And, as I watch baby Ray Squared calm down and smile when he sees my Mom, I'm reminded of the beautiful circle of life. For some reason, there's a peace between the two of them that neither cares to share with others. Perhaps there's a little bit of Joe's soul in this new child and, just perhaps, that's where the connection is. Whatever it is, it's a beautiful thing to watch, and I'm grateful every day that I have such things to still wonder about.

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