We visited my wife’s mom yesterday and today.  She’s aging.  No, more precisely, she’s going.  She’s going on.  She’s well into her 80’s now.  Living on her own is no longer an option.  The residence she calls home is designed specifically for people who find themselves in her state.  Poor memory, declining life skills, high need for care and attention.  She’s been there for over a year now and is starting to settle into an acceptance of her life state.  For a while she fought it but now seems to have found a measure of serenity and stability with her life situation.   She has fond memories of days gone by but precious little of yesterday.  A beautiful woman inwardly and outwardly all her life she has maintained her beauty in her declining state though the outer beauty is really a much richer, deeper beauty of gentleness and wisdom.


It’s hard on my wife.  It’s her mom.  Some of it is compassion. They’ve been a team for over 50 years and seeing your older team mate going on is sad.  But there is also a personal piece.  The two of them were at times mistaken for sisters.  Their beauty is so similar that it’s uncanny.  And I think my wife sees her life being lived out in preview.  Is this too her destiny?   It’s unnerving.

Me?  I find myself less emotionally tied into this but still deeply intrigued by it all.  I like my mother in law.  Of course I love her, but seriously–I really like her.  She’s been a huge piece of my life for close to 35 years.  I am a little puzzled by the rapidity of decline in the last few years but I watch it with wonder.  I wonder why our life finishes this way?  I know mom doesn’t delight in her state.  She mentioned again today that she’s “ready” to go home.  But she doesn’t go home.  She abides. But she also grumbles.

The grass withers, and the flowers fade away….