No matter our age, there are many things concerning our parents we wish we didn’t have to see. I would now include on that list an elderly uterus, a face contorted in agony, a rage born of loss, the fine details of a heart with a disintegrating aorta, and fluttery edged valves. I know it sounds childish, and believe me, normally I approach medical procedures and the variances of life with a huge dose of both wonderment and curiosity – as in: “WOW. I am looking at a beating human heart. Or oh, she is unhappy because xyz.” Yet even without the benefit of years of medical training, there are times that you know what you are seeing should look healthier, and others when the song ‘If I had a Hammer’ takes on twisted dark dimensions.
The lingering presence of her military training and forbearance is still clearly present in her decision to encourage me to share this deeply personal journey with our friends, family, and subscribers. Since mom is not a candidate for a hysterectomy for a variety of reasons, or radiation due to her past breast cancer treatment we have decided not to pursue the matter. At 90, it is a pretty safe bet to say that death is going to come calling at some point, BUT, do we really need to see its nametag?
On the upside. I got the lobster that she wanted, we are warm as toast, and the VA has just fitted her for a candy blue custom wheel chair which should arrive shortly. We are both excited, because her de-conditioning, and the uncomfortable rented wheelchair we currently use have conspired to create a severe increase in the amount of time we both spend housebound. Molly also continues her decline. Life goes on.
It is January, and as many of you know, that means the Concept 2 World virtual rowing challenge is upon us. This year it seems I barely have the energy to get through the household chores, let alone make it to my erg with any real conviction of megawatt mileage. It is a huge learning to consider less than what I was capable of last year is in some ways all the greater success for the challenge. Pilates classes continue to bring immense joy and I have some new thoughts on re-creating a work life for myself while maintaining my commitment to mom.
We have had numerous discussions since the day we made the decision to take life as it comes, about what we see as both our collective and individual needs in the immediate future. Mom hopes in the coming months that you will all consider a short visit or stay so that she can continue to be surrounded by people she loves. For me, anyone who can see their way clear to share a hike, or walk to help keep my energy uplifted would be greatly appreciated. My mom is a remarkable woman, and continues to be one of my greatest teachers about what is truly important and how I choose to live my life day-to-day. Blessings and peace to you all.