I am beginning to wonder if my mother and her mother weren’t spot-on when they died young. Both of them died in their fifties, and I have always thought they died too early. I’ve always thought that living only 50-some years is a short life.
But now that I am here myselfâ€”54 years oldâ€”I can see some real good reasons for living a short life.
In particular, I can no longer remember much of anything. Long-term, short-term … it all blurs or goes blank. And, this bites. I get a thought in my headâ€”for example, feed the chickensâ€”and by the time I walk out the front door I have no idea why I have left the house. Truly.
I know, I know. This happens with aging; it’s “normal”, but let me tell you, it is not normal. It is not normal, it affects all areas of my lifeâ€”my life is no longer normal. And it is driving me (even more) crazy.
I have always been a “good girl”: getting straight As in school; being helpful to others; concerned about what people think of me. And yes, I have evolved beyond the stringent and self-deprecating ways of my earlier years, but I still have issues.
I still am hurt and frustrated when I fail, when I let someone down. For example, phone messagesâ€”when someone calls for my housemate, if I don’t write down the message that very moment I am likely to completely forget they called. If I don’t immediately put the message someplace my housemate will see it, he might not get it timely, even if I did write it down right away. And then, I feel like I have failed him.
Sure, these are my feelings, and sure, I could adjust my attitude. But after decades of being a high-functioning human it is brutally distressing to be losing one of my primary assetsâ€”my mind.
So now I look at my mom and my grandmotherâ€”both were highly-functioning humansâ€”and I have to wonder if they didn’t do it right by dying before their minds were all gone.