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When I am 99

The Beatles song, "When I'm 64" is reality in our family. The first verse goes like this: When I get older losing my hair | Many years from now | Will you still be sending me a Valentine | Birthday greetings bottle of wine. And then it asks poignant questions that ring in my ears.

Now we are losing hair, we are many years on, we've never sent Valentines to each other, but we cheerfully drink a lot of wine. We think we we have come a long way until we look at Mother and see how far the path ahead stretches. At 99, she has set a high bar for me. The most humbling observation about Mother is what she remembers and how much she has forgotten. She has a decent memory of her childhood but the last five decades of her life are a blur with a few bright spots. These are the years I am living now. To think they will disappear in a fog and I will be left only with memories of my childhood makes me hyperventilate.

Is it all worthwhile then? Living to 99 and forgetting a big portion of my life? Ask Mother when she is surrounded by family and friends and she will sassily razz you while forgetting your name. Ask her when she is alone and she will melancholically ask, "Why am I alive?"

That question fast-forwards me to her age. Then, the these modified lyrics take on a wistful shade while thoughts of my kids bring me smiles.

When I get older with sad knees Not too far away Will I still remember you

Like I do today

I know I will need you

When I am ninety nine

When I have no hair on my head

And lots on my chin

When I have no teeth

And am stubborn as hell

I know I will need you

When I am ninety nine

When I don't feel like eating

Or getting in the shower

When I keep forgetting

What you said right now

I know I will need you

When I am ninety nine

I trust you to be around

To be there for me

To nurture me

Please hold me tight

Don't let me go

When I am ninety nine

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