Thus, there are many things I will not be doing today - not high-tech orienteering, not hieing to Tacoma for Kirsti's baby shower. Ah, the wages of being a local...
My mother is 76 years old. This is a fact which I find thrusting itself upon me more and more. This is a venerable age; were she of the spear rather than the distaff in this family she might well have already passed on. The Hoggan women are tenacious clingers to life, however (a fact that worries me sometimes, having witnessed in my childhood my grandmother's decline,) so barring calamity I expect my mother to be around for many further years.
And yet, and yet, and yet... she has reached the point where her frailty preys upon her mind, I think - like that stage during recovery from a cold where you feel just better enough to realize you're miserable. She has certainly reached the point where her frailty preys upon my mind now and again. At what point does my responsibility as an "adult child" require me to begin interfering in her life in a para-parental fashion? Coupled with this is loathing to reverse our roles, and my growing knowledge that even when we are not interacting I rely on her as a pillar of my universe, in the sense of stability, and the idea of her not being there at some point carries with it a freight of terror I am not yet prepared to examine. A bridge to burn when I reach it, so to speak.
Inertia is another great hallmark of my lineage, however. So I manage to be content with things-as-they-are, for the most part. I've increased the frequency of my visits and contacts, and I make an effort to let her know I love her whenever we speak, simply because each small goodbye now rests under the shadow of the greater final one. So as tantalizing as other activities scheduled for today may be, and despite the fact that she lives in the area and we visit often, I'm going to spend the afternoon with her.