Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest. Larry Lorenzoni

Visiting Mom was wonderful and I will look back over the time I spent with her before her ninety-ninth birthday with gratitude forever. One of the things we have to be okay with is aging, our own, and those we love. We have to accept the limitations and adjust our expectations. If we are used to non-stop conversation, we may need to become okay with sitting in silence. Our presence is comforting and if someone no longer wants to be alone being there with them is a gift to them and us.

I found knitting relaxing. Sitting in silence shouldn’t feel awkward, but having something to do with our hands and our minds while we sit might make sitting more comfortable.

I remember one of Mom’s friends had a child that went through endless hospital visits and treatments. Mom said she didn’t know how she would be able to do it, but she could have, we all can if we have to, we might not know it, but we can rise to the circumstances of our lives, and be there for those we love in the capacity they need because it is what needs to be done. Jordan Peterson tells us we should be the strongest person at our parent’s funeral. We should try to be someone others can count on, and what a society we build if we all can be counted on, and we can all count on someone.

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it. Will Rogers

Mom’s niece drove from California to spend a month with Mom; she calls her Aunty-Mom. Mom was there for her, and now she’s there for Mom. The circle of life goes around, for some, it is short, for others it is longer but it does come to a close, and living it with dignity is what we want and strive for. Some people find dignity in a home, some find it staying in their own home, and one choice isn’t necessarily better. Mom’s sister-in-law came to visit while I was out, she chose to go into a home and is happy with her choice. Mom is choosing to stay in her own home and is happy with hers.

What is agonizing is when a person can no longer have what they want and finds it hard to accept their limitations, or someone gets to make choices for them they disagree with. We are fortunate that my sister and her family are looking to relocate near Mom and will live with her, a benefit to both of them. We don’t know how things will work out, or what circumstances will occur that make things we didn’t see how could work out, work out, this is serendipity in our lives and it is working for Mom.

My aunt who moved to a home says the same, she was beginning to think she would look into a home, a room was available, and she liked it when she saw it, the food is good, she is close to family, and she says it fits her perfectly. All the pieces came together in ways she didn’t expect and she is grateful and happy that things worked out how they have.

One of the things we want most in life is choices over how our life will unfold, sometimes the choices will be between two goods, between the best of what can be, but if we have a choice we will feel better about our lives.

At the end of our lives, we will look back over the choices we’ve made and how wonderful it is to spend time with people who are happy with the life they’ve lived, surrounded by children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren. As I write this I am hearing men debate about whether the richness of life is having a family or not, or they should spend their lives only on the pursuit of money and status. In the end, family is the only thing we will leave behind, and I can’t imagine feeling great at ninety-nine with no family because we made the choice not to have one, not because the circumstances didn’t work out and we had to accept the things we couldn’t change, but because we thought money was more important than family.

Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act. Truman Capote

You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake. Bob Hope

The idea is to die young as late as possible. Ashley Montagu

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more, and have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.