Sitting beside my mother’s bedside, I prattled on with all the extended family news that I could foster. Mum’s sister had a growth removed from her bowel; one of her brother’s has to have his pacemaker reset, another brother has given up a lifetime of farming due to ill health and Dad’s sister, Elizabeth, has died, leaving just one sibling, another sister, from a family of 18 children, now. Not happy news for a woman who may be slipping away as well.
I was able to share one exciting piece of family news, in that the granddaughter of one of Mum’s sisters, is having a novel published later this year. I promised Mum that I would obtain a copy and read it to her once it is published.
As Mum drifted off to sleep, I was left to my own thoughts, and I contemplated how lucky that young cousin was to have the freedom and the courage to write a novel. Now that people marry and have children at a later period in their lives, they are free to unfold the edges of their creativity. Parents are now more able, and willing to support adult children into their late twenties to facilitate that freedom too. More part time jobs to fuel survival and alternatives.
My birthday is is a couple of weeks. I will be 57. I have never worried about “age”, but lately I have wondered where the time has gone. I find myself thinking thoughts and then the realisation that I am facing down 60 comes into my reality. In the truth of things, there is more life behind me than there is in front of me. How did this happen? How did my friends get to be this age too? My siblings are already in their sixties. What were we doing while this was happening to us? Did they realise?
Some would say that we were putting one foot in front of the other, doing the best we could throughout each day, but I don’t know. What is it that we do, only to turn our heads and see the face in the mirror is changed?
All so fast, so very, very fast.