I suppose the future is uncertain for everyone, after all tomorrow is not promised. But when you’re 101 the future is even less certain.
I wonder what that feels like.
We grow up looking forward into forever. When we’re five we can’t wait until we’re 10, excited by those double digits. And then we want to be sixteen so that we can drive a car and eighteen so we can vote, and twenty-one so we can legally celebrate with a beer.
And the future stretches out forever into the horizon.
Then suddenly you’re closing in on one hundred, then a hundred and one, and you’ve outlived most of your siblings, many of your friends. Your only child. And you remember the smallest details about the century just past, the events, the places you’ve lived, the places you’ve left. So many people that are now gone.
You don’t see so well now, you’re uncertain who is entering your space, and family and friends announce themselves and you smile and nod, glad of the company, the time to talk, to tell some of the stories, some of the things you have stored in your mind.
You know time is passing, that your body is becoming more frail, that a fall will likely cause you to lose the last bits of independence you enjoy now. You’re careful. Still, it is inevitable.
And when you fall you hesitate to push the button for help. You know it will mean leaving your home behind, perhaps for the last time. You’ll be leaving all that is familiar and under your control.
You know you’ll no longer be able to make all the decisions, that you’ll have to live somewhere else. Somewhere different and less private with less privileges and fewer friends near.
But you push the button.
And now things are being sorted out and you wish you could go home but that’s probably not an option. And the future looks different than you wished it could be but maybe that doesn’t matter so much anymore.
Maybe you’ll be fine for the time you have left no matter where you end up, as long as your friends and family still come to visit and you all get to tell the stories of the old days and remember the good times.
Maybe you’ll be fine. Because no mater the length of time allotted your future still stretches into the horizon.
Note: Many of you have read and care about Aunt V. She’s in a rehab center now and things are being sorted out.
She’s being brave, but change is hard.