Now

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I look at my mom and can see how much she is aging these past few years. She has always seemed so young to me, because she’s always been fiercely independent and had a silly, young spirit. The past couple of days, she seems to be undergoing a shift. The other day when I picked her up from respite care, she came running out crying how glad she was to see me, because it had been so long (she lives with me and I’d just dropped her off five hours earlier).

She did the same thing this morning when she got up and then cried, because she didn’t remember who I was and thought it would hurt my feelings. And then, she got and we started getting ready and had a really nice day, where she knew I was her daughter and kept telling me she loved me and would never forget me. And I wonder how many more years we’ll have of going on these little road trips together.

This life of walking someone through dementia and toward death is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy (not that I have any enemies), but it has taught me a lot. And one thing is that you never know what will happen. You don’t know that you’ll have time to do that thing you always wanted to do “tomorrow,” because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

So, don’t wait to be thinner, richer, less bald, less anything. Do what matters now. Hug people, tell them you love them, be vulnerable, go on vacation, take time for your kids, play with your dog, follow your dreams, be willing to make a fool out of yourself in service to them, and do all the things, because you do not know that you will be able to do them later.

I look at my mom and can see how much she is aging these past few years. She has always seemed so young to me, because she’s always been fiercely independent and had a silly, young spirit. The past couple of days, she seems to be undergoing a shift. The other day when I picked her up from respite care, she came running out crying how glad she was to see me, because it had been so long (she lives with me and I’d just dropped her off five hours earlier).

She did the same thing this morning when she got up and then cried, because she didn’t remember who I was and thought it would hurt my feelings. And then, she got and we started getting ready and had a really nice day, where she knew I was her daughter and kept telling me she loved me and would never forget me. And I wonder how many more years we’ll have of going on these little road trips together.

This life of walking someone through dementia and toward death is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy (not that I have any enemies), but it has taught me a lot. And one thing is that you never know what will happen. You don’t know that you’ll have time to do that thing you always wanted to do “tomorrow,” because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

So, don’t wait to be thinner, richer, less bald, less anything. Do what matters now. Hug people, tell them you love them, be vulnerable, go on vacation, take time for your kids, play with your dog, follow your dreams, be willing to make a fool out of yourself in service to them, and do all the things, because you do not know that you will be able to do them later.

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