Tuesday, January 19, 2016

On appropriate attire

What is it about this month?


A childhood friend's mother. David Bowie. Alan Rickman. And now Glenn Frey.

Recently my parents and I had a conversation about death and how people my age are handling the deaths of their parents and how social media seems to be creating a place for grief that didn't exist before.

That conversation was in the abstract. I've watched my friends and cousins losing their parents from the safe distance of knowing that I can scoot down the road and visit my parents who are comfortably and relatively healthily watching TV at home or out on the town.

But I also know my time is coming. Their time is coming. They're pretty clear about expectations.

We're old.
We're going to die.
We're not happy about it, but there it is.
You're going to have to deal with our deaths.

Less abstract, my mother has instructed my father that if she dies in her sleep, he is to change her out of the ratty old t shirt she sleeps in and put her into something decent before calling the EMTs.



  1. Huh.

    I thought you were about to talk about job-hunting c/o/s/t/u/m/e/ u/n/i/f/o/r/m/ garb. As one does when working and in advising mode.

    (Also, I'd better stop wearing ratty t-shirts to bed.)

  2. Make it easy for all involved - sleep naked. Having a very hard time handling all the death(s). It's like all that was good about my early life is vanishing right before my eyes.

  3. my mom was the same way...I'll never know how many precious minutes were wasted bacause my dad had to change her pajamas before calling the paramedics. Maybe it would have made a difference. I know this past week has been hard on our generation, seeing so many of our idols being mere mortals.

  4. Years ago, my family was convinced that my mother had had a stroke. It had been a couple of days (?!) before my dad called us to tell us. I was furious because if it was a stroke, she'd never recover after that long a lapse.

    When I got there, she was a little loopy, and very tired, but essentially as pleasant as always, but slightly slurring, and not her usual buzzing around self. I didn't think she had a stroke, I thought she was stoned.

    I tossed her her tube of lipstick and told her we were going out. (A tomboy to the end, she shagged it with her left hand!) She put it on like a pro, used one hand to hold the pocket mirror, the other to apply and smacked her lips to smooth it out; clearly no stroke. My siblings and my dad stood around slack jawed, and mom and I laughed.

    A day or so later the meds she had accidentally doubled wore off and she was back to her old self.

    Lisa, sometimes a little vanity can be a life saver. Treasure these moments, because when they are gone, it is forever.




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