They were all over 70. They were all there alone. 13 women, including my granny, at a senior Christmas luncheon put on by her church.

My first thought when I walked in the “Family Life Center” was that Mom would never see a senior luncheon like this. My second thought was, “She would hate this.” Sometimes, remembering the reality of who Mom was really helps stave off those waves of grief.

As I sat and ate with these women, I listened to them discuss their health and the health of the people they knew – “Where’s Nikki Adams? Bayview?” “They had to put me in the hospital to check my bladder. They could go right up the urethra, but when they tried to go the other way, my sphincter just closed right up.” “I have to go in for my cancer screening.” I wondered if this is what old age is – a discussion of medical problems.

Again, I was reminded of how much Mom would have loathed that discussion. Even dying of cancer, she did not want to discuss her illness with anyone; her feelings about this were so strong that she asked to not have any guests. She simply could not bear focusing on her failing body this much. The mind, the emotions, the spirit were so much more important to her.

Perhaps there is a smidgen of grace, then, in an early death. She will not feel obligated to attend any senior luncheons, and we’ll never have to know how well her sphincter worked. I think she’d be happy about that.

Old Age Cartoon