My email inbox overfloweth. There is a lot of cool stuff in there: new post alerts for blogs I subscribe to, snappy back and forths from my friend, Kelly, important updates about stuff going on at school and with the family. I also get a staggering number of “deals of the day,” from the school, from amazon, and from Groupon, among others. In the interest of taking some sort of control in the areas of my life where I should reasonably expect to be able to do so, I decided to do some unsubscribing. This is what popped up after I ditched Groupon:
And yes, I did click “Punish Derrick.” Brilliant. I have to admit, I loved Groupon the most. Their deals have not saved me that much, and I actually lost money on one that expired (aarrrghhh!) but if you take the time to read their copy, they are very funny and that stuff is free, delivered just about daily on your email or smartphone. Almost makes me want to resubscribe…
Growing up is hard. It is hard when you are a little kid and that stupid shoelace doesn’t make any sense at all. It is hard when you get a little older and simple childhood friendships become complicated by hormones and competition. It is hard as you step into your own life as an adult and possibilities are supplanted by realities. Later on, as the invitations to weddings and baby showers decrease and the Caring Bridge notifications increase, the high price of aging really hits home.
This week I have had the pleasure and horror of being with my mom and her husband, Rae, at their home in Colorado. It has been pleasurable because I don’t see them near as often as we’d all like, and it is nice to be here and be a part of their lives. It is horrible because my mom is in her second week of recovering from a mastectomy, and despite the fact she is doing fabulously the whole cancer ordeal is ugly. In fact, because she is doing so fabulously I am in the position of having to follow her around and insist she sit down once in awhile and stop hauling out heavy pans to cook in. I am prepared to tell her that if she starts to mow the lawn, I am leaving. Rae has been experiencing a variety of vision problems and while he isn’t totally blind, that wouldn’t be a far leap. So far this week we have had to talk about emergency contacts and financial issues and the kinds of things that raise the specter of (please, Lord) far distant conversations about assisted living and ultimately, funeral arrangements. These thoughts turn back onto me; I am not sure we have an updated will.
There is a lot of living left to be done, but we really no longer have the luxury of ignoring the business of dying. This is hard. This particular growth spurt has brought growing pains just as real as the ones of childhood and adolescence. But like learning to tie shoes, to cultivate lifetime friendships and to make the most of life’s realities, learning to prepare for the inevitable brings rewards. There is comfort in having addressed the kinds of things you have control over, and acknowledging the things you can’t control takes a little of their power away. This time of frank discussion brings the opportunity both for tears and for an increased appreciation of the time and gifts we have right now. Love is constant, but we keep changing, and will do so until that final day our own growing is done.
(P.S. I had to use this lame title so I could post and get up to stop my mother from folding laundry. Otherwise, I am sure I could have come up with something much cooler.)