During the last years of my mom’s life as she struggled with dementia, mom would ask her daughters how old she was. When we told mom her correct, current age, she would disagree with us. For example, if we said “you are 82 years old”, mom would forcefully reply, “No I am not!” So my sisters and I began lowering the number until mom heard an age that she would accept.
“How about 75”, we would ask. Mom would reply, “No!” “How about 70?” was met with another “No!”. When my sisters and I finally reduced the number to “59”, mom would finally accept that age.
Of course, my mom told people for years that her true age was 39, even when her daughters had long since passed that magic age . It is understandable that 80+ would never do.
Just the other day I thought about my own age – 75 going on 76 in a few months. I have become like my mom, though I don’t have dementia. I cannot believe that I am 75! How or when did that happen? I cannot recall all those years between 25 when I was married and now. I remember specific events along the way, but the day to day events that I traveled to reach this age are not even a dim memory. Now all I have to do is come up with an age that I can accept. Maybe 59 is a good number? I would be walking in mom’s footsteps, so that can’t be all bad.