I used to say that my mom aged about 1/2 a year for every year she was on the calendar. Then that became 3/4 of a year, then it was a year, and eventually it became 2 years for every actual year.
It was a shock to my system when I realized she was aging a year for every year on the calendar – that she had “caught up” with her actual number of years in age. I couldn’t really accept it. And I fear I pushed her too hard to stay in that mode where she wasn’t aging up to her actual age.
That’s one of the problems with being born late. I was only 39 when my mom died and I didn’t have enough life experience to understand illness and such and I wasn’t as understanding and supportive as I wish I had been now.
On the other side – having watched her go downhill and die – I see where there were so many missed opportunities to be the kind, supportive, understanding daughter and how I failed.
My brothers, with 20+ years of life experience on me, did better than I did – and their wives even more. My sister in law was the best. I always say every family needs a Mary Ann. I don’t know what we’d do without her. She is the rock in our family. We are blessed. I often tease my brother that he married above himself and he just nods and says, “yeah, I know.”
But, these are the things we cannot change. We can only accept. There are no mulligans in such matters. And we can only hope that if we’d known better we would have done better.