J: I was at the Rec Center today on the treadmill next to a mom and daughter team who were talking while they walked. They were talking of mundane things: what they had done over the weekend, plans for the coming week. It was clear to me that they talk often and are in tune with what is going on in each other's life. And I started thinking: when was the last time I was able to talk with my mom about anything?
I know in the world of terminal cancer people often talk of the "last best day". The day that stands out as the one where things in the patient's life were normal and then were never normal after that. So I started scrolling back in my memory, trying to recall when the last time was that I had a mundane conversation with either of my parents. I grew sadder as I had to continue to turn back year after year. And I realized that our conversations over the years changed from the mundane talks between daughter and parents to the concerned calls that I would place trying to determine if they were still ok on their own. These calls were quickly followed by calls to my siblings to report my findings. It became a very labor intensive job - the management of declining parents.
I wish I could remember exactly what I said on that last best day. But I can't. But what I can do, going forward, is be sure to have the conversations that I need to have with people. To make sure that I don't leave things unsaid. So watch out- I'm probably going to be calling soon!