My parents’ mortality is becoming ever clearer. I see them but rarely, these days, and when I do, the age is written all over their faces; in their movements, in every pause in conversation, in the desire (or lack thereof) to engage in certain activities.
They’re getting up there; my dad is nearing 60, and mom isn’t far behind. They look older than that, though, or at least, not as young as many do at this age. Lifestyle accounts for a good portion of this, I’m sure. Both smoked for years and years – in fact, my mom still does to this day. They drink rather heavily and indulge in ‘a wee puff’ now and again in the big garage. They eat fairly well, nowadays, though my dad has a sweet tooth more formidable than my own, and it demonstrates its pride at his waistline. Mom, too, is looking doughy; blonde hair turning ashy grey under the layers of reactionary colouring. Dad’s hair is almost completely greyed out now, along with a significant portion of his beard; climbing from the bottom as though to meet the ruddy orange of his moustache in a final battle in which the pigmentation stands no chance.
They say things like “I love you” a lot more often these days. Dad never used to say it, growing up, but after his mom died he adopted the practice in a big way. I’m glad, too, because one day they will be gone, and it’s nice to hear that kind of thing, y’know?
I don’t know what I’ll do when they pass on. Same thing as ever, I guess – just get along, as it were. They’ve been so supportive my entire life, to this very day, and in a way I miss them already.
They’re coming for a visit on Sunday afternoon, after I get off work. I’m sure I’ll notice some new shred of evidence pointing towards their eventual demise, another little jigsaw puzzle on the march towards death. I love them both and I hope they realize how much they mean to me.