Octogenarian

5 03 2019

Today is my mother’s 80th birthday.

When I took this job, I knew this was going to be one of the three upcoming days that would be hard.  The other two being this past Christmas and before that Thanksgiving.

Yes, I’ll Skype her, at her birthday party, later on this evening, my time, which will be afternoon back in St. Louis.

I already bought her present;  I might have mentioned here that I picked out and already had shipped to her back in October a genuine Black Forest cuckoo clock;  That was after Oktoberfest and the Bavarian elections.  I visited Hohenzollern Castle in Hechingen, and then the southern Black Forest and the German Clock Route, in transit between Munich and Basel, the latter city I had some personal business to tend to, before going home to Cologne.  I got it done that far ahead of time because I fear with her dementia, and as you know, that kind of thing doesn’t get better on its own, it only goes in one direction naturally, the only open variable is how quickly downhill, I wanted her to be able to appreciate it while she still has some months and years of mental coherence remaining.

Now that she’s an octogenarian, and on top of that suffering from a degenerative brain disease, I’ll now be wondering every March 5 whether she’ll see the next one, and even whether I’ll ever get to see her before that kind of thing inevitably happens.  That’s one thing I starkly considered before taking this job, and I’m sure she realized it, too, that the odds were significant that on the day after Labor Day I left St. Louis “for good,” that we saw each other for the last time on this side of the living-dying divide.  Nevertheless, this job offer was so good that you just don’t turn it down, you don’t.

My father, who died this past August, as you know, was 82.  He had not been compos mentis and had been bedridden for several years, thanks to a stroke.

And, yes, peanut gallery, I do remember that the odometer rolls over for me at the end of the month.  I’m telling you what, this my year of being 41 years old is turning out maybe to be the keynote chronological age year of my life so far.  But, more on that at the end of the month.  Let’s not hurry time.

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