Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Strong Arm To Lift Me ...

TONIGHT: Driving home from visiting my aunt, an almost full moon dipping in and out of the high clouds in the dark, first day of October sky, soulful jazz on the radio.
The Mister and I had delivered my mother's walker to her sister, Dottie, so she might use it now -- maybe -- to get around. But perhaps not too far or too fast. She had hospice visit her today to talk about the care she may need at home very soon. She weighs just under 90 pounds, this once tall, dark-haired aunt of mine with the strong laugh and mischievous eyes.
In the picture (left-right) are my Aunt Terry, Uncle Bud, my mother and my Aunt Dottie, as she is called. Only two of the four are left: Terry and Dottie. Four other children were born after them. Of those, two are still living. (Tomorrow would have been my mother's 87th birthday. And tomorrow is Gil's second birthday.)
My aunt wanted to sit up on the couch as we left so she could say goodbye. The last things I saw before leaving tonight were my uncle's strong arm helping her rise and her thin hand waving us a farewell.
The ride home was quiet as we both thought of aging and what awaits us. Will I have the Mister's strong arm to help me rise from my chair? Will I even make it to 80? What is coming and how will this all end? Hard not to have these thoughts of mortality when you brush close by someone else who's right in the thick of ending this story and going on to the next chapter.
I'll leave you with something more cheerful: a picture of a pedestrian bridge across the Missouri River at Fort Benton, Montana. We stopped here on our vacation and could hear the chatter of earlier generations of folks traveling by riverboat, stage coach and horseback - femminismo


Candace said...

Jeanne, what a moving tribute to the generation before and your auntie, in particular. We all hope to have that strong arm, don't we? Sometimes, you never know -- our own may be the strong arms that others depend upon.
And it's that time of year when we do reflect, isn't it?

Great photos of that bridge. I have terrors walking over that type structure. Am I afraid of heights? Not at all...
I am afraid of FALLING. Big big difference.

Take care!
Your Pal in Athens.

acornmoon said...

Sorry to read about your aunt's failing health, it sounds as if she is being well cared for and loved, I hope that is some comfort to you.

Anonymous said...

pondering those thoughts myself too..