Thursday, September 1, 2011
Eighty Year Old Heros
My mom and dad are 80 and 82. They still drive. They can still think. They are a marvel. My parents are super-heroes.
Daddy is much thinner than he has ever been. But I expected that when you think of over 80 crowd. What I did not expect was to have him pick up a plastic bin filled with cookware and haul it into the house like it was nothing. I barely could get the thing up the porch steps.
Mami is hurting more, more than she has ever been. I expected that, with her asthma, COPD, arthritis, and leg pains. What I did not expect was her running house to house on Halloween with a blond Marilyn Monroe wig on, begging for candy. Okay... maybe I wasn't expecting it, but am I surprised, not at all.
My Little Sister was the closest relative, living only two doors down from my parents. She has since moved away (I'm thinking running away), and it has been left up to me to be their "go-to" gal. At first I was wary. Mami can demand a lot of attention. Papi usually doesn't speak at all (especially when Mami is around.)
But as I spend more time with them, I find that I really enjoy their company. There is a camaraderie. I make sure I take time to engage Papi in conversation, not letting Mami cut him off or take over the topic. Soon we are all conversing about world affairs, local news, their childhood memories, grandchildren and much more.
My parents are sentient, they're smart, they're passionate. Their life has been a hard one. They have lived all of their 80 years living way below the poverty line. They showed me that worrying does you no good. That money and living can be difficult, but manageable even with five kids, a dog, and a parakeet.
They showed us that even without money, one can live a full and rich life, filled with love, without fear, without regret.
I look at them. I feel that there is decades in them yet. But I know that life has a way of hitting you with the unexpected. My sisters and brother and I are so lucky to have them still.