IMG_3771 I have an aged parent.  I’ve also been losing aged parents that I love very much for the past several years.

            Worse:  I’m turning into an aged parent, and I don’t know how I feel about that.

My goal is to live my life fully—but, you know, I’m slowing down.  Fortunately my sense of humor is intact so I could enjoy Roz Chast’s funny, moving honest memories about her parents as they transitioned from being able to care for themselves to the last IMG_3773moments of their lives.  You will recognize Chast’s work. She is a cartoonist for the New Yorker and has a definite signature to her illustrations.

And you will laugh.  Something as big, as dramatic, as over the top as finding the cosmic tables turned and you becoming the caretaker of those who once took care of you, those whose idiosyncrasies can drive you wild and yet you love them very much calls for laughter, because how else will you counter the tears?

My kids are all young adults now. They are off living good lives.  They have each offered to put me in the “chicken coop” in the backyard (my suggestion, not theirs. They would let me come inside).  I like to think I am not afraid of preparing for aging.  This book warned of pitfalls I had not anticipated.  Once again a book has helped prepare me for what is ahead and, hopefully, this understanding will keep my sense of humor afloat.

Here is what I want to do: I want to pass this book on to my sisters.  After one reads it, she can send it to the next.  AND THEN, I IMG_3772want it to travel the route between my kids.  Look what is coming down the pike, kiddies!  Prepare, the way of the Mom!

I’ve found the hardest part about life is loss—loss of people and pets I hold in my heart, mobility, the enjoyments of life like reading or listening,  and the loss of smooth skin and a single chin.  However, Roz Chast’s book reminded me that through life isn’t meant to go on forever . . . love does.

By the way, this is actually a good book for the holidays when families gather.  Many of us will be having that “talk.”  Remember, you are not alone.

"The Books You Love To Read. Three time winner of the Historical Love and Laughter award" - Cathy Maxwell