Posts Tagged ‘getting old’

Whose that knocking at the door?

This blog is about death. About stepping through the door which lies between the energy layers.

Why?

death holding the door

Because death is a frequent door holder-opener here in our over-55 MHP and after counting the number who have died since we moved here nineteen months ago, it’s been on our minds to the point we’ve had to adjust our thinking.

It’s sad, it’s uncomfortable but it’s a fact of life. You live you die. And here, where the cluster of humanity is aged, there’s little getting away from it.

Usually, when someone becomes ill you assume they will get better. Here, you hold your breath because the human vehicles living here don’t have reverse.

We’ve come to see that the best time to live is right now, in each moment as it unfolds. To stop living in a past that no longer exists except within the endless chattering loops of brain matter. To stop projecting into a future that doesn’t exist yet—except in another coil of endless mental chattering. To let go of so many things.

In How To Wake Up author Toni Bernhard says, I become mindful of what I’m grasping at, no matter how petty it seems. I reflect on how everything I preoccupy myself with will dissolve at the moment of death—all my opinions that I consider to be so important, all my worries about the future, all the material stuff around me that I think of as mine. All that grasping. Gone. Gone. Gone.’

And, like Toni Bernhard also says, there is nothing nihilistic about those thoughts. They are life-affirming. We need to seriously consider what is important. Possessions? Money? Worries? Fears?

“At the moment of death, all that I’m grasping will be of no use.”

So, living in this MHP, where the departure gate is pretty damn close, is a good reminder to dump the crap and live.

Really . . . this life—is all you have.

I hear the whistle blowing

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I have never been afraid of growing old.

Old age was always the time when I would be able to say “Hell no” to those many things we are guilted into accepting for way too long.

I looked forward to old age. I fully planned to be one of those purple-wearing, red-hatted, candy-eating old women who have no qualms about flashing my wrinkles and liver-spotted skin. And man, I fully planned to let the gray hairs shine!

Now, here’s the funny part (without any teeheeing) —this winter I’ve been hit with teensy-weensy bouts of panic when I think about growing old. I no longer want to get old.

I. Just. Don’t. Want. To.

Which I know is a daft feeling since we have little control over our departure time so I’ve been trying to figure it out and I’m somewhat certain (meaning not 100%) that it may have something to do with caring for Mom.

Like anybody, it’s hard watching our parents grow old. It’s mortality smacking up against your glasses as you listen for the whistle of the death train coming.

I watched her become sad. I saw fear take root in her where there never was. I watched her struggle with a growing lack of mobility. I felt her helpless and wasn’t able to take that burden off her—and I guess it’s made me despise, and despair of, old age.

I want no part of it now. I simply don’ t.

But logic reminds me we aren’t the conductors here so I guess there’s going to be more jack-in-the-box-mini-panic twitches until I figure out how to look forward to old age again. Because, if I keep fretting—old age will be like a train rushing downhill towards me.

Shit. . . I wish I hadn’t thought of the train analogy . . . now all I can hear Johnny Cash singing his old time songs, Blue Train and Folsom Prison Blues.

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Brain in gear. Sort of.

What’s been going through my brain this past week?

  • How utterly special a sunny day is. Even more precious when you can actually get outside and feel the sun on your skin. The only downside, this time of year, is realizing that your ginormous goosebumps have blocked any rays from being absorbed.
  • Man-wonder and I have been drooling over our latest purchase (we’re calling it our winter vacation). It’s Danny Gregory’s latest book, An Illustrated Journey.61vTWfvqXGL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU15_OMG! This book is as delicious as

Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal 51zX8T7IrDL__SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU15_AA160_only Danny’s uses art supplies instead of food. Danny has also been releasing video interviews with artists from the book. What a double treat!

  • Manage to get keep it sane on a day where Mom was so lost in space she asked the same three or four questions all day long (and I do mean allllllll day long). Then the next morning the dementia did a flip. She woke up with her mind in place and it pretty much stayed where it belonged. A day like that feels as good as a sunny day.
  • And speaking of brain cells—look at this gem I found; ‘Brain cells come and brain cells go but fat cells last forever.’  Man, things like that make me want to crawl back into bed and never get up no more, no more, no more.                     No wonder diets don’t work!
  • Earlier this week Mom banged the corner of her forehead on a kitchen cupboard door and because she takes blood thinners the spot ripened up like an eggplant. Not huge, just noticeable. Here’s the dilemma; Do I chance taking her out for a ride where others might see her bruise and think elder abuse.. . .Or do I lock her in a closet till the bruise is gone ?                                             Relax—anyone who’s ever heard Mom yell knows I’m wallowing in  black humor. She’s got a set of lungs that would put a hog-caller to shame. Trust me on that one!
  • And finally, what am I doing to keep my brain cells in their own place? Each morning I wake up and tell myself I will choose to accept the day as it unfolds; I will choose contentment with what I have; and I will  choose to be wealthy.          (I think the universal energy is taking a different path with that last one.)

One last thought on brain cells:  If the left side of the brain controls the right hand—does that mean only left-handed people are in control of their right minds?

New habits for the old

Mom has a new habit—swearing. And trust me any impatient person reaching the grand old age of 92 has a lot to swear about.

At this point there’s still enough of Mom’s normally nice nature that most of her cursing is aimed at either herself or the over-long commercials on television. But, the odd time when I’ve annoyed her just a bit toooo much, I see those dirty little words dancing in her darkening eyes.

It won’t be long.

My saving grace may well be that I know way more variations of dirty words. (At least I think I do). I’m even made up the odd one. One in particular I really liked and it lived inside my head like a whirling dervish till the day I made the mistake of sharing it with my husband. Well, man-wonder grabbed it and ran with it. Took the joy right out of it for me. . .and I so like my ‘special’ secret words.

Maybe I should go look up the meaning of the word secret again. . .

But I digress.

Most often Mom’s choice of curse is either ‘dammit’ or ‘shit’. Which isn’t so bad unless she isn’t wearing her hearing aid. For a little old lady, she can really squawk out the sounds.  And, let’s just say, I’m looking forward to the cooler weather and being able to close windows.

Okay, that’s maybe a slight exaggeration—unless it happens during the middle of the night (when the hearing aid is on the nightstand).

Nothing like a foghorn level ‘dammit’ blaring the sleep right out of your eyeballs at 3 am. Like last night. But we have learned to stay in bed, hands soothing pounding hearts, and wait. If another curse follows it’s a signal something is amiss but if silence follows—she is dreaming, and all is well.

Last night silence was the tailgater, and happily, sleep slipped back into the sheets with us.

And now, please excuse me for I feel a nap drifting in.