Friday, October 26, 2007

Thoughts for a Friday

I think most of us are, to some extent, afraid of getting older. Not because of some vague notions of "old is bad" but because of very valid concerns about becoming less than we are. We fear losing our hearing, eyesight, taste, fine sense of touch, balance and cognitive abilities. An artist or writer fears losing his creativity, an athlete fears losing her strength or speed or drive, a genius fears losing his insight and knowledge. We fear the moodiness, anger and frustration of not being able to do what we could before. We're scared of chronic illness and lasting pain. We look at our grandparents, our parents, the little old bent woman in the store or the old man driving slowly down the street and dread the day that we become them.

When we're in our teens we feel that anyone over 25 is old and out of touch. We turn 32 and think how awful it is to turn 45. We touch 50 and feel the cold hand of age and when we're 70 we wonder how the hell we got so old when we don't feel any different than that 25 year old. The great hordes of baby boomers are actually old now, hitting the age where past generations have retired. We've pushed borders with every milestone we've passed and think this is just another obstacle to get around. But we see our parents, the hard workers, the strong personalities, and see it's not going to be as easy as we thought. It's happening, or happened to them. How can we hope that our aging will be any easier? And how can we make it easier for our aging loved ones?

Certainly having nothing to do with these thoughts, my mom has come to visit. The smoky air in San Diego got to be too much for her so she came up a day earlier than planned. I picked her up at the Oakland Airport after I got off work. The crowds were pretty bad and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pull over because of the way the security guard was directing traffic. I saw my mom and drove into a little opening. As the guard motioned to me to move the car I pointed and yelled out that I was picking up the little old lady in the wheelchair; amazingly he let me leave my car unattended for a moment while I went to help her. Normally they don't care, you just can't leave your car at all without being harassed. He must have elderly relatives.

We headed home since my bro and I had decided that he and his family would have the night off and I'd have the night alone with my mom. We dropped her little bag at home and headed to a local sushi joint for dinner. The other time I had been to Itto Sushi I had enjoyed the food but the service was pretty bad; I hoped for better this time. Yes, it was much better. When we got there most of the tables were empty although they mostly filled up by the time we left. Service was prompt and efficient. The waitress was very sweet to my mom and quite attentive. We ordered three rolls and I'm not sure why but they were some of the best sushi I've ever had. We were finishing up and enjoying the last of the hot sake when the hostess approached our table with a small bottle of hot sake and fresh cups; she recognized me from my several visits to a sushi restaurant in Danville and wanted to welcome me here. She poured us all fresh hot sake, toasted and drank the small cup with us, then left the rest for our enjoyment. Now that's really service!

I had to cancel my run with Pam and Olivia to get my mom. I'm glad they were running together because I really don't like to cancel. But I enjoyed having the time with my mom. I'll get some miles in tomorrow instead.

My pretty bear is on her way. She's made her way from Williston, VT through Chelmsford, MA and Stratford, CT and was last seen making her way through Philadelphia, PA. She's due to be here on Monday but she may arrive after I leave work so I may not get her until Tuesday. Hopefully this is the last time I'll need to use a stock photo of the store's bear. She doesn't have a name yet -- guys, I need help naming her! Give me some options!

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