|Twenty-five minutes ago I was a relatively fit 37-year-old.|
Every visit from her progeny always had the same element: They huddled and whispered among themselves. Their whispers might have been shouts, since Nancy already knew what bothered them so much.
Mom is so frail!...I didn't know she looked so old...What happened?...Is she okay?...
Well, Nancy knew that answer also: I am older. Every time you fly from across the world, when you walk in the door, when I rise to hug you, your face tells me everything. When did you change, when did you become an old woman?
Hobbling over to the desk, where an old computer awaited, Nancy groaned in pain. Pushing away stacks of her volumes of writing, Nancy sighed and began typing.
To all my children,
I love you. I have always and will always love you.
You have to do something for me. You must let me grow old.
Do not be surprised that I am no longer 37 years old. That was the age when I was in charge of you and put up with all your angst.
Then, I drove you to school, to piano lessons, wherever you needed. I drove to teach and love someone else's children. Afterwards, I turned on my old Honda Civic, picked you up and we headed home in silence. You were mad at me, mad at a friend, or just plain mad.
Those were the years I held you in prayer and helped you work through life. You either loved me or hated me, or both. But I was strong, I was 37 years old. In your mind, I was almost immortal.
You packed up boxes of your stuff, tossed them in my old Honda Civic and headed out to your own life. There were still boxes left behind which would stay in our garage until your dad died.
I moved. Into an old people community. You moved, as well. I sent your boxes to GoodWill. You gave me grandchildren, from across the world.
They grew up as I grew old. Their years which passed were the also my years that passed.
And now, I am old.
So, ask your questions. Ask about those years when I was 37 or 27 or 17. I have stories to tell, and unless you ask, I can't tell them. If you don't want them, stories stay silent. You are 37, too busy to listen or maybe to care.
Let me grow old. Do not be surprised that I am old. Please, just love me as I head into this last stage of life.
Nancy pushed save again, and then print, and then send.
Well. Nancy rose to her feet with a groan. Every joint hurt. She grabbed a bag of towels and took off in her new golf cart. Water aerobics always helped and after a swim, she would sit down with her friends to play bunco. Good friends.
They were old, too.