Sunday, November 20, 2005

time age worry death illness Sunday

Yesterday was my mother's birthday. She would've been 81. All my friends are suffering the malady of the adult child. M's father passed away last week. He was 93. When I met with J last night, she talked about her father. Two of his teeth fell out of his gums one day. Which is better: a sudden death that shocks as I experienced or the long illness of J's father? Neither of us knows the answer. She worries about our old friend who moved away and then visited a few weeks ago. "I hadn't seen her in ten years," she said. I'm shocked. "Really?" I ask over and over. She takes me literally. Is perturbed that I question her. "No," I explain, "it just just surprises me." I'd imagined they were in correspondence, had soirees and camp-outs, kayaking adventures together. Our communication sucks. Birthdays float by. Parents weaken. Preferences shift.

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