Cautionary Tales

December 6, 2014

Jim and I realized this morning that between us, between the two of our families, we will be celebrating the 90th birthday of two patriarchal members– my Uncle Bud, whose celebration takes place on December 21, and Jim’s dad, whose birthday next month will bring all the Jim Frame Sr kids (and families) together in (or around) San Diego. Two family 90-year-old birthday parties in two months.

And… we each have a 90+ member of our family who is struggling–my Uncle Vic (92) and Jim’s Aunt Annita (91).

I visited Uncle Vic today.  I spent most of the time with my cousin Heidi, doing stuff around the house for my aunt, and we had lots of conversations about aging at home and other difficult and heartbreaking end-of-life issues. The day was filled with cautionary tales–among many: knowing how you want to live out your final days (years, weeks, days) and ensuring the pieces are in place so you’re not caught off guard. We ran errands, put things into and took things out of the attic, made a dump run… and supported each other as we recounted the challenging experiences of dealing with our parents. Pretty open and frank conversations as we know each other’s parents so well, as if they were our own.

I only have two uncles and two aunts. All four are still around, but all are definitely in that zone.

My Uncle Vic is definitely slowing way down, but managed lots of smiles, and was enormously gracious. Here he is decked out in a Niners snuggly preparing to watch an action movie, which is something he apparently really enjoys these days. Funny.


Very unrelated but also in the category of cautionary tales:

Here is my first Uber vehicle…


… that is, the first one I’ve seen on the road. You can’t quite make out the Uber name on the license plate, but that’s what it says. UBER.

Other things to notice: people still drive Hummers?! And wow, how ’bout those clouds! You should have seen Mt. Diablo and the Suisun marsh. Holy sh*t what a gorgeous day.

The cautionary tale part?  I have decided that this is my last ever photo taken while driving.

I know.

I did a great job of harshly (very harshly) lecturing myself while I stressed about wanting a photo but thinking it was a bad idea to take one while driving, and proceeded to take it (them) anyway. I said to myself, You want a photo? Pull off the road and take it! Nothing is worth crashing over. The lecture went on and on and had to do with how stupid it was to be speeding along the interstate at 75mph taking a stupid picture that surely wasn’t worth the risk, to myself or anyone else, how arrogant, hypocritical and thoughtless that was to assume I was capable of snapping a picture while driving when I rail against anyone else who would text while driving (and I so do… rail, I mean, I DEFINITELY do not text anymore).  What an insanely pathetic way to die… losing control of a car while trying to take a stupid picture of the nice clouds (which I did) … or a car with an UBER license plate.  Right? Really, really stupid?

So I declared to myself, and now to the world (the tiny world of LOW readers) that I am NEVER going to do that again. Not ever. I totally promise.

(The great thing about this is, I won’t. I’m that kind of person. It truly was my last photo while driving. I am so relieved.)