Yeah, I know there will be some readers who will say that I'm too young to be writing about growing old. But I've been thinking a lot recently about growing old, quite possibly brought on by my recent trip with my mom to her place at a retirement mobile home park in south Texas. (Maybe recently re-reading Ecclesiasties has put me in that frame of mind also.)
I still have a mom, so I can't be that old--I'm still the kid, right? But I'm beginning to notice that my mom is getting old. She seems to have gotten a lot older than just a year ago when we all went to Andrew's wedding. In fact, the reason I went on this trip was to help her because she, in her old age, had fallen and hurt herself too much to drive. Mom is slowing down, forgetting things, and her arms are covered with bruises due to taking coumadin.
Then when I walked around her mobile home park I met more people who were dying of cancer, recently widowed, or could only walk by taking the golf cart.
But I think the thing that is making me feel old the most, is my own children. Here we go back to the point of this blog: my nest is empty and I'm still struggling with how to deal with that.
Sometimes I think of friends I went to high school with who were grandparents by age 40. But then Gary reminds me that people who go to college usually marry later and have kids later and have fewer of them. I left the culture of those who marry young and joined a culture of people who go to college. So, if I'm logical about it, it is to be expected that my nest is empty of both kids and grandkids.
Sometimes I wish that my kids were married and had kids too--after all, don't they know that's what life is all about? No, maybe they don't. I guess they don't have to feel that way just because I do. Indeed, many people in their generation are not getting married and are not having kids. Some of them want to, many of them don't. Some are just waiting until "later." By the time they are my age, they won't be looking for grandkids, they will still be helping with homework and driving kids to little league practice. Or maybe not. They may just forego the having kids part altogether and just get rich instead.
Then there are the undeniable physical issues that prove that I'm getting old, menopause being the biggest. No woman would complain about not having periods, but the cessation of menses also brings with it lots of other changes that aren't so easy to deal with, like a foggy brain and other things I can't mention because this is a G-rated blog. Yes, things like that are making me feel old.
The last thing that makes me realize I'm getting old is that I keep forgetting to turn the stove off.