Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Aging and the Strong of Heart
I spent another quiet day with Aunt Yvonne. Listen, Reader. As they say, aging isn't for the faint of heart. I'm 51, and while there are days when I feel as if I've dragged three times as many decades around, there are more where I'm almost blithely unaware of how short our time on earth is -- at least the young part. In the quiet of the room where my aunt's rest is marked by the puff and wheeze of an oxygen machine, I wonder what it's all about, it the operative word. A parade of friends came to visit -- an Indian woman, a Philippino woman, a blonde in a periwinkle sweater, a beautiful Romanian young woman, a Russian Orthodox priest with Alzheimer's in a long, brown robe, a heavy gold chain with a cross dangling, an 84-year old woman who told me she was taking care of her husband with dementia and battling his children in court.
We know what it's all about.
Just outside my aunt's bedroom is an amazing succulent, its waxy eggplant-colored leaves swollen, clusters and clusters of them sprouting from one gnarled branch and in the middle, a cone of yellow flowers so bright and perfect and multitudinous that they made my eyes fill up with tears.