Like a child tired of their ailing parent’s antics, Wolverine is seen caring for Professor X in a very gruff manner. The paranoia of aging parents can be maddening and you can see how it infuriates Logan that Charles is so unwilling to trust him with his well-being. But you can tell how much Wolverine loves Professor X as he forces him to take his medication (which Professor X believes is stunting his ability to contact other mutants); he carries him to the bathroom with lots of comical banter; he goes out to make money and hustle more meds for Charles. Deep down you feel the tenderness of a rogue son returned to take care of the only father he’s known, a man who represents peace and tranquility in his life. You can see that Professor X enjoys his independence and it maddens him a bit that it’s Wolverine who’s care he’s left in. But most importantly, you can see (by the great acting of Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart) that this beautiful tension leaves both characters understanding that they truly need each other to survive.
As I begin to think about my own mortality, and even my mother’s and my mother in law’s, I think about my children and our relationship. Every now and then I’ll say “Hey, one day I’ll be giving you the same lip service about taking my old people meds”, we laugh, but really it may be true. How will my own aging affect my relationship with my children? Will they be strong enough to help me? Am I strong enough to help my own mother and support my husband with my mother-in-law?
My biggest epiphany while watching the Logan movie was that aging- no matter how powerful of a superhero you are- happens to all of us. That leaving this place with grace and dignity is all about our attitude toward those who care for us while we are most vulnerable. It is best that as we fade into dust, we do the best we can to impact our children’s lives as positively as we can, being thankful for the love they are giving us. As my mother-in-law says, “once a man, twice a child”.
Pew Research Center: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/05/21/4-caring-for-aging-parents/