How quickly time passes where I assume the role as “parent” to my mother. At the age of 82 and widowed twice in eight years, she has aged at a rapid pace. Physically healthy, she is plagued by depression which steals her feelings of being competent. I watch her struggle to maintain her balance while walking and get easily confused. She asks me questions as a small child would unsure of a simple answer. The other day her confusion was over a can opener. She had forgotten how it worked.
Of course, I am saddened by the sudden changes, but am aware that this is truly a process for both of us. She has always been an excellent teacher, but now she provides me with an opportunity to embrace where we both are and to learn some valuable lessons.