I was visiting my mom when she took a call from her old friend, Ruth.   My mother is 96 and Ruth is 98.

“Hi, Ruthie, I’m so glad to hear you.”

“Sioux City, Iowa.  That’s where your dad was from.  I don’t know where he was buried.”

“Oh, yes, dear.  He had a long life.  You and Charlie took good care of him at the end- you gave him extra time with your good care.”

“No, honey, he’s really gone.”

“Ruth, when you think about it, you’re in your 90’s.  How old would he have to be?”

“I know, I know.  We all need them.  We never don’t need them.”

“ That’s  the trouble with getting old.  Yes, Ruth honey,  I know you’re lonely.  Don’t cry, now.”

“It’s all right to see them in a dream.  I think that’s nice.  Just think of that feeling.”

“Honey, now it’s time to give that up and think of something else.  Did you listen to your radio show?”

“If you don’t know what station to watch on the TV, you can do what I do.  I call it surfing.  Just push different channels to see a bit of what they’re showing, and see if you’re interested.”

“I know you can’t see it, just listen.”

“Yes, the TV has something going on it all night, just about.”

“No, no, honey, it’s OK.  Don’t worry about money.  You aren’t  running out.”

“I know, I know you have no money, but remember that man is taking care of it.  He’ll pay your bills.”

“Oh yes, you do have bills, sweetie- gas, and electric…”

“No, I don’t think you have Alzheimer’s.  Don’t let anybody tell you that.  Only a doctor can tell you that.”

“I know, I know.  You have memory loss.  It’s okay, it’s all right.  Don’t worry.”

“Yes, I have it too.  We just do our best, don’t we?”

I told my mom that she was a good friend and a comfort.  It’s not easy growing old.


5 thoughts on “Comfort

  1. Thank you for sharing this and for letting us into the conversation between these friends. It is very hard growing old but it is easier when we have a good friend to listen. Your post really let us empathize with your mother and her friend and see the problems they face as they grow old.


  2. One learns so much from hearing just one side of a conversation. The line that really got me was “I know you can’t see it. just listen.” So special to be in your 90s, yet I guess at every age it is also hard. I hope I have someone like your mom in my life when I am in my 90s. Thanks for sharing such a sweet phone exchange.


  3. Thank you for sharing this. My mother in law is 91 as is her friend. On spring break I will take her to visit Donna. Maybe out for an early lunch. I’d thought about doing this and it had slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder


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