|Emerson's Study. Photo by Benjamin F. Mills, Boston. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
She was thinking of her mother, now in her 70s, who's frozen in a state of not exactly misery, but of futility. Stuck with the idea that there's nothing much left for her to do or be. Limited. Let's call it limited. And this woman, the daughter, feels there's so much possibility for her mother, only her mother doesn't see it.
I can think of people I know like that.