I love her, but we didn't always get along. In fact, until she discovered Zoloft about ten years ago, I couldn't stand to be around her. She was an absolute expert on everything, and had to be acknowledged as such, even when she was dead wrong. This led to so many arguments, and made her very unpleasant to be around.
The change in her personality, once she started taking Zoloft to regulate her moods, was remarkable. She was no longer the judgmental, confrontational shrew, that I fled home from, at the tender age of 17.
Today, mom is not much more enlightened than she ever was, but her obsession with having everyone agree with her is no longer there, and that makes her so much easier to get along with. Age has also humbled her. While living into one's 90's may bring respect, it also brings decrepitude. In mom's case that's chronic arthritis, the beginnings of macular degeneration, a general unsteadiness on her feet, and a whole host of other ailments, that require a bag full of meds. She is very obviously more tired than she was ten years ago, but she still keeps plugging away, preparing supper for us once a week, and on Thanksgiving and Christmas. She still drives her 1996 ruby red Mercury Marquis, but not much. After all these years, it still has under 15,000 miles on it. It's the best looking 15 year old car I have ever seen!
I just sent her a special bouquet of flowers, and tomorrow I will go out and get her a birthday card, and a gift certificate to her favorite book store. On Monday, my sister and my niece and I will be taking her to the restaurant of her choice, for a birthday meal. We decided to postpone it till after the weekend, so we wouldn't be competing for a table with the New Years Day crowd.
As we approach the New Year, let me take this time to wish you all well! For some of you, this coming year will finally mark your physical rebirth. Congratulations! For others it will mark your first anniversary as the person you always knew you should have been. Congratulations to you as well! Still, for so many others, it will mark yet another year of coping in the best way you can with the weird hand that mother nature has dealt you. Wherever you are, please be gentle with each other, and resist the urge to get ideas above your station. We truly are all in this together.
All the best to all of you in the New Year!