Thursday I took my godfather to the VA clinic in Painesville. This is always quite a bit of an ordeal for my godparents. Getting ready, getting up the stairs to the car, to the car, out of the car, into the clinic and after the appointments it all done in reverse. It's so hard on them...and in a different way hard on me.
I walked into their apartment to find Uncle Johnny dressed in his jacket, waiting for me. I had a bit of a traffic jam on Colorado Avenue before I got onto the highway, had a 20 minute wait (stupid orange barrels/construction that ought to be completed by now). I called to warn them that I was on my way but a bit hung up. I made it in time and it's a good thing because apparently Johnny announced to Patsy that if I didn't get there in time, HE was going to drive himself. For a man who can barely walk he thinks nothing about driving. I took a look at him and noticed that he's thinner and weaker looking than the last time I was there. So many doctor appointments!
And being that the clinic was VA, I could only look upon the heroes of war, the veterans as they now struggled to get through the door with wheelchairs or walkers. Almost all accompanied by younger generation of family. I looked at their hollow cheeks and sunken eyes and marveled that they, like Johnny, could still be alive. Yes, this day moshe t all of them were WWII veterans. The longer I sat in various waiting areas, the sadder I got. But we managed to get through all the visits, got the labs done and the medicines picked up.
Patsy and Johnny do not want to move away from this current apartment until one of them dies. This is home to them. This is where they are comfortable, despite the fact that living right off E. 185th Street is not the greatest of areas. The apartment is old and altho these two manage to keep it spotless, there are things deteriorating that need to be repaired by the owners but aren't.
And suddenly I realized how old I have become. Robert chuckled when I relayed the days events and my comment that I don't know when I got this old and that now I don't want to face my own death as I face this sweet couple's death sometime (hopefully sooner than my own). Robert asked me what happened to me enjoying getting older with each birthday. I have no clue what happened to that view. For the most part I don't even think about age. As Robert always tells me and as Patsy and I discussed that afternoon we were born to die. It's what will happen to each of us....but hopefully not for awhile.
Last night we celebrated Oskar's 1st birthday here, a few days late because they've been ill in the M2T2 home. And sadly, I now face the possibility that this daughter of mine and her family could very easily be moving elsewhere, sooner than later. Not that I haven't known that...I just don't want to face it. It was what I had told all 5 of my kids....do not come back to Sheffield Lake to live. It's a lovely place to live for me, to have raised our children...but now they need to go where the jobs are, where the schools are. Sheffield Lake is, sadly, becoming a town that is struggling. They can build the new school but unless they get the money on other areas, it's going to be a very sad city. And that makes me sad. I was nearly heartbroken when NHB moved to FL this summer but think I will be for sure when M2T2 move away. It was so comforting to have them this close, close enough for me to get there in a flash and for them to come to me if I needed. But life goes on, doesn't it?
Nope, I do not want to leave here. I am like my godparents. I'm fine here. It's home to me and to Robert. It's beautiful. When I was with Pam shopping for a Christmas craft Thursday night I chatted with her about it. She only has one son who lives in Louisiana. I asked her, are you worried about getting old and perhaps ill and being alone? She said, "No, not at all...I'll just die." Then her phone rang while we were eating at 5 Guys and she learned her last aunt had just passed away. There was a moment of quiet, a stillness in her moist eyes. And again, age reared it's ugly head into an otherwise lovely evening.
How do I get old gracefully? How do I remind myself that I cannot do all I may want to do with the speed I use to have? How do my own children look at me and see the age and slowness? Most of them have offered that we come to live with them...well, OK, by them. And who knows...perhaps one day that will be what's required. It's just that today's young adults do not stay in home place for long. Many move from job to job, city to city. So far my oldest 3 have developed home and community and have stayed put. Who knows what my old-age life will really be like when I get there. So far, I think I'm not in old-age era yet. I am just getting older and slower and it's OK. It sure beats the alternative, doesn't it?