Your Blogmeister’s Desk
As I do most Sundays after Church in the year since my mother has moved into assisted living, I and other close relatives will head to her place where she makes Sunday supper. Some weeks she’s better than others, but she’s had a pretty good streak lately. As you know, two weeks ago Sunday, she didn’t do any cooking, because it was her 78th birthday.
Mom has been seeing the increasing despondency in my face and knows what the problem is.
Today, she reminded me of something: On the day of her 40th birthday, she would have liked to have had a midlife crisis, but she had an almost two-year old son to worry about, and a bunch of other worries. In the 365 days that would follow, her own father died in August, I lost my hearing in November but quickly got it back with ear surgery the next month. But even that temporary hearing lost happened at the worst possible time, and stunted my speech and language development, and it wasn’t until seventh grade that I was fully caught up.
Her point was that I needed to calm down and realize how good I have it.
And when I think of it, at this point in my life, I’m better off in majority of ways than either my mother or my father when they were on the verge of turning forty. The only thing my father on his own 40th birthday could say that he has on me on mine is that his career track was a hell of a lot more stable, even if it was unremarkable (Chrysler assembly line, and a barber shop on the side). Me, less stability, but way more interesting. My mother at 40? Almost as stable, but only a little more interesting than my father’s (chiropractor).
Then I remember that my 80-year old father is in a nursing home and not compos mentis, and could go at any moment. I don’t want to think about the symmetry of me losing my father when I’m 40 just like my mother lost hers when she was 40.