As I approach my 30th birthday in the next few months, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what it means to get older. I never felt my age until a few years ago: in adolescence, I always felt older than (read: superior to) everyone else; in my twenties, I often felt very young (I'm the youngest person in my department by a good 15 years). Now I feel 29, whatever that means.
My grandfather is dying.
He has been really sick for about 18 months now. Things took a sharp turn for the worse about two weeks ago. Grandpa had been falling a lot, and one morning he was found on the floor of his bathroom in his nursing home. At the hospital, they determined that he'd been having a series of strokes, and that he'd sustained a number of lumbar compression fractures. After about a week or so, it became apparent that the waiting game had begun. We are now at the point of days, maybe hours.
My mother, grandmother, and the sister-aunts met yesterday to start to put together plans for how we could proceed when he finally passes. My mom has asked me to do a reading at the not-funeral (my grandparents had a very bad falling out with their church in the late 70s, so there won't be a formal church funeral service), and to think of stories to tell afterwards, when we go to my grandparents' farm for drinks.
Nothing has ever made me feel as old as this.