I’m 55 and blessed to have both of my parents, nobody has to remind me of that. But somewhere along the way, I’ve put them on the same level as my people, what most folks would call my characters. My people come to me fully formed, with a story to tell.
They talk a mile a minute and to be completely honest, they write the book for me, I’m simply the typist. The thing about them is, for the most part, they never get old and SPOILER ALERT, they never die.
To me, my parents are sort of wrapped in the warm cocoon of their own stories, not in a Bill Murray/Groundhog Day sort of way, but they’re 84 and 82, in reasonably good health, and like my characters…I wish.
I know I’ve been talking about things some folks might label fluffy or superficial lately, and I’m not trying to be morbid here. I think I need to write this blog so that I know it’s okay to feel scared. To feel like a child but have to act like a responsible adult. I honestly don’t know what to do with this feeling of inevitability. I’m a reasonably smart woman who’s weathered a lot of tough storms, but this is different.
If my parents were my people, they would live forever, although Mom says she wouldn’t want that with all her aches and pains. My dad wouldn’t have Alzheimer’s and he certainly wouldn’t be having tests today. He’d be fishing on the bank of the pond at their condo complex teaching little kids how to watch the end of the pole and be patient, just like he taught me.
Even if today goes well, I know Alzheimer’s will come for him one day and no matter how smart or clever I am, no matter how good I am in a crisis, I won’t be able to stop it. Maybe that’s why I write fiction. Real life is just too damn scary.