The cartoon is drawn and inked but I want to put some more attention into some crucial details. It will post Wednesday, as Tuesday is my day in the suburbs with the elders. The elders, for those of you just joining us, are my mom, 81, her sister, (my aunt) 83, their brother, 87 and his wife, 85. All are fairly ambulatory, but only mom still drives. They live in three somewhat neighboring Western suburbs of Chicago. I visit on Tuesdays to get everyone squared away with their grocery and prescription needs. First Alvina goes to her chiropractor appointment, which does wonders for her. She used to be housebound and now she’s at the stores with me. Oh the stores… Aldi has the frozen foods and produce best prices, Walgreens for the milk, the market with weird meat for everything else. And the bank. And a few prescription stops here and there. That’s the usual routine. But the married couple contingent of the elders has been in a bit of medical crisis mode – one had emergency back surgery for a compressed disc impinging on her caudal nerve and the other took a nasty spill, dislocating a shoulder. It’s been very challenging for them, but as they always have, the elders are bouncing back splendidly. Well, it’s going okay. Mom’s been living at their house for the past few weeks, which has got to be getting tiresome for everyone. She’s so entrenched in their household that she’s lost touch with her own. Not to mention her kids and grandkids. She completely missed the kids’ Halloween costumes. I’ve picked out a dress for the upcoming family wedding and had a minor medical procedure and she knows nothing of any of it. The whole thing has made me realize that for the first time in my life, I really want my mom involved in it. I spent quite a few years trying to keep her far from the day to day details of my life. But here we are, she’s 81 and I’m almost 40, and I actually want her advice on what shoes to get for my dress. We’ll talk about it, if not tomorrow then soon, and it will be especially bittersweet for me, as so many encounters with the elders are these days, because as much as I love the opportunity I have now to be close to them, joke with them, hear stories I hadn’t heard before, ones I might have otherwise missed, I also have to face the fact that they are at the end of their journeys. And I will so miss all of them.