I remember when my parents started telling me about their friends
And what conditions they were diagnosed with
And what operations they were having.
I mourned that our conversations revolved around illness.
Then the talk of deaths started. A former neighbor.
A distant cousin. A business partner. A priest.
My own parents battled disease. Dad’s heart attacked him,
Then a stroke ended his career.
Mom debilitated by rheumatoid arthritis, then further by a Parkinson-like syndrome.
Mom left this world first from a massive stroke of her own.
Dad followed much later, slowly spiraling into dementia.
Now, when we go to class reunions, we remember our former classmates who have passed on.
We watch our friends age, no longer able to participate in the activities we once shared.
Insult upon insult, we find ourselves needing help to complete chores we used to do alone.
My hips are not the ones I was born with.
Getting old sucks.