Almost 90

Mom went for her bi-annual checkup. I’d spoken to her doctor on the phone the day before the visit and told her my concerns about Mom’s memory and other mental issues she was having, so the doctor agreed to evaluate her for possible further referrals to specialists.

After the doctor’s assistant got Mom weighed in, took her blood pressure, pulse and oxygen level, we settled in to wait. A few minutes later, her doctor arrived with a friendly wave and a big smile.

“Hi there Miss Elaine,” she exclaimed cheerfully. “You’re looking pretty good today. How are you feeling?”

“Okay, I guess,” Mom responded. “Especially considering I’m almost 90.”

“Are you really?” the doctor asked. “And when’s your birthday?”

“December 10th,” she replied. “I’ll be 90.”

That’s a few months away isn’t it?” the doctor prompted. “Since this is only…”

“Summer,” Mom hedged. “But when you’re 90 a few months can be a long time or a short time, depending.”

“Oh? Depending on what,” the doctor asked.

“Depending on whether you’re looking forward to something or dreading something. Like turning 90.”

“Are you looking forward to that or dreading it,” the doctor probed, pen poised over her clipboard.

“I guess I’m looking forward to it,” she shrugged. “Just waking up in the morning is a plus when you’re almost 90.”

“Do you think you’ll do anything special for your birthday?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t get out much anymore. I suppose making it to 90 will be special enough.”

“What about your family. Do you have any more children besides your daughter?”

“Just two sons, but they live in Michigan,” she said with a shrug.

“What about grandchildren? Doesn’t your daughter have kids?”

“Yes,” she responded somewhat tentatively. “I’m pretty sure she does,” she said, turning to me for a hint.

“Yes Mom, I have two kids and they each have two kids.”

“Wow,” exclaimed the doctor. “So, Miss Elaine, how many does that make?”

“Quite a few,” Mom replied deftly. “Probably more than someone who’s almost 90 can keep up with.”

“Well maybe they’ll all take you out for your birthday in December,” the doctor ventured. “Maybe to a nice restaurant.”

“Maybe,” Mom replied, “but it’s really hard for me to get around since I can’t walk anymore. My legs are almost 90 too, you know.”

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