It doesn’t seem possible 2011 is coming to an end. Wasn’t it just last year we all were concerned about Y2000 and coming up with Plan B for when all things electronic crashed and burned as the digits flipped from 1999 to 2000?
Now it’s been over a decade since then. Where does time go? This time of the year it’s just natural to consider the passage of time.
As a child, the year from birthday to birthday seems to crawl by. Of course, a year then was a larger chunk of our lives. When you’re 8, it’s only 1/8, (give me a piece of that pie) but when you’re, well, considerably older than 8, it’s a much smaller fraction and not nearly as big a piece of the pie.
And time marches on.
I never considered that my mom would become elderly, and it was a tough pill for me to swallow when I realized she had. Long independent, I assumed she always would be and I willingly put on blinders when it was becoming obvious she needed some assistance. Because, of course, it was about me and not her. I wanted my mom to defy the perils of aging and I was confident given her wisdom, wit and will, she would.
Sometimes I think children (maybe just me?) take undue pride in how well their parents are aging as if somehow the child has anything to do with it. It becomes a competition, sort of like a playground taunt: “My mom is older than yours”, etc.
However, with her wisdom and wit still very much intact, her will gave way and she required much assistance, especially the last year of her life. She died June 12, 2010, at age 88. It seems like a long time ago, yet it seems like yesterday.
While she was content with her situation, it was definitely a season of discontent for me, her baby. My mom was 36 when she had me and was much older than the moms of most of my friends. Many of my friends were firstborns, not late presentations after siblings ages 9, 15 and 17, as I was. Much of my formative years were spent as if I were an “only” child as my siblings were adults on their own. I was an aunt at age 5 and, once I traveled through the turbulent junior high years, my mom and I forged a very comfortable and positive duet that continued throughout her life. My friends’ confrontations with their moms, especially in high school, were foreign to me.
My mom started college after she had a family and finished an education degree going to summer school in Ada for several years after teaching with the cadet licensure that used to be permitted. There were few things she could not do. Her kitchen and humble home and her heart always were open to family and friends and even strangers. She didn’t need to tell you how much she knew or what she could do. Her actions and reactions revealed that.
I’m just saying we never get too old to miss our moms nor does enough time pass that we don’t. It can become less painful and more acceptable as the days fade, but the size of the piece of the pie that represents their influence over us remains constant.
For that I’m grateful. I miss my mom, and especially on numerous occasions over the past year, had experiences when my first reaction was to think I needed to tell her.
I drew strength for personal trials from what I know would have been her advice and her reaction had she been here:
Just keep plodding along and muddling along with your head up and shoulders back and do what you need to do even when you don’t want to until things get better.
And I did and they did.
And time marches on.
Miriam Baier is editor of the Bellefontaine Examiner and strives to live up to the example set by her mom and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 592-3060 ext. *124.