So old and so tired

When my oldest brother Doug was around three, he and his parents (Mom and Lee) lived in a garage apartment at his grandparents' house. His great grandfather on his dad's side was living in the house and spent many an afternoon rocking in his chair on the porch reading a book. After his great grandfather died, Doug asked why. My mother explained that Great Grandaddy was just very old and very tired so it was time for him to die.

Probably a year later, Mom and Lee had divorced and she and Doug were on their own. While Lee was never very helpful when we was around, my 25-year-old mother was feeling the stress of keeping things afloat as a single mom in 1963. One day she collapsed into the chair, saying, "Oh, your momma is so old and so tired."

Doug burst into tears and ran to her sobbing, "I DON'T WANT YOU TO DIE!"

Rich doesn't like it when I say that I'm tired. It's not the statement, but more the tone of voice that I use - a small voice as if even making the statement wears me out. He says it worries him. So now I've found I don't actually say I'm tired much anymore, or if I do, I try to be extra cheery about it.

I'm not actually all that tired these days. But every time I'm tempted to collapse in a chair and moan a "woe is me" I think of Doug. And then I realize things aren't so bad.