(Warning, this is not happy, light reading.  My apologies beforehand… And it’s not a movie review…)

I’ve recently had my future show up at my door. Unexpectedly and knocking loudly. I kind of knew that it was lurking about out there and that sooner or later I would have to open the door and invite it in.  But somehow I had convinced myself that it would patiently wait until I was good and ready to entertain it.

For most of my life I could look out the peep hole and just enjoy the view. There were lots of beautiful sights to see.  Pretty and happy sights.  Then a few years ago, one day I looked out and the picture I was accustomed to seeing seemed a bit dimmer.  Less sharp and clear and somewhat tinged.  Let’s say the colors began to look a little washed out and a sepia effect was starting to bleed in.  If you’re not familiar with a sepia tone, think old photographs.  Not exactly black and white but sort of brownish yellow.  Now picture a sepia rainbow.  There are no brilliant vivid colors, just some lighter tans fading to darker tan.  Hard to distinquish and not nearly so interesting or festive.

I don’t mean to sound all Doom’s Day-ish.  I’m speaking reality. My reality.  And using my normal look the other way tactic just won’t hold water anymore.  There’s no avoiding the inevitable.

It’s called the Circle of Life.  We’re born, we live, and if we’re lucky we have the opportunity to age and then finally die.  We move through the Seasons of our lives from Spring to Winter.  It’s gradual and barely imperceptible.  Mostly.

There comes a point, though when we’re forced to face our immortality.  This point comes in many forms.  For me, a mirror is the vehicle.  I’m not only speaking of the moment each day when I wake up and actually see my face in the bathroom mirror; when I take stock of new sags and wrinkles and skin variations that were or were not there the previous day.  Yeah, that’s not exactly a picnic. But what I’m referring to is the mirror that is my Mom.  She’s where I will be in twenty years or less.

I’ve had to open my door and look reality full in the face.  I was only slightly prepared and accepting it or not is no longer and option but a necessity.

I’ve had to realize that at some point, bounding out of bed in the morning will not be an option.  That one day I may be dependent on someone else to make sure my daily needs are attended to.  That everything about my independence that I took for granted will poof like a soap bubble in the wind.  That my dignity may be compromised.  That seeing, hearing, walking, talking, dancing, typing, and even thinking will no longer be effortless.

It will help, I know, to have a good attitude.  To have loving family and friends around to help me get by.  Good eating habits and exercise may prolong the process and maybe make it less painful or more manageable.  But only that.  There’s no escaping the end result.

I’m not sure how you deal with this, or if you’ve even had to.  But we’re all in this together and even though it’s a very personal thing, it’s something we all have to face at some point.  I have my own thoughts and feelings about what comes after and those will be my comfort and my salvation, if you will.  But you have to move from Point A to Point B and it’s not exactly a downhill slide in the sense that it’s going to be easy.  Reality isn’t exactly a smooth paved path.

Forgive me if  I’m seeming all dire and morbid.  It’s simply where I am right now.  I didn’t want to open that door.  I was content enough to just take things day by day, putting one foot in front of the other and reminding myself to exhale every so often.

I will come to terms with it all at some point.  I won’t like it and I’ll fight it with every cell in my body and every neuron in my little brain.  But right now, it’s too fresh.  Too frightening and too claustrophobic.  I just had to get this out, carrying it around was wearing me out.  I have too much else to do.  And a time frame that’s shrinking a little every day.

11 responses to “BIG SPOILER ALERT

  1. everything your saying may be a truth or reality. but it is the fear that will create and run your life. in action, in doing, there is no fear. fear lives in the anticipation,.. the moments before action. it is what stops us from living,… it is our own creation. while that may be your future,…don’t let the fear stop you from living an amazing life,…while you can. be unstoppable, and may you have no regrets when you get there.

  2. Remember I said we needed to talk? This is how I get. It’s not so much fear, I fear the unknown. This is more like dread. I see it like my hand in front of my face. It feels like mourning a loss that hasn’t actually happened.
    I’m working on it, at some point I’ll be functional again.
    Thanks though. This seems to be one of my harder trials. I feel like though, when (not if) I conquer it, I’ll be ready for anything.

  3. With my dads recent illness I have been pondering along similar lines. Not only about their mortality but mine as well. Unfortunately with my health the way it is, my life expectancy will probably not exceed that of my parents.

  4. Chin up, Linda, Eastern philosophy would insist that only from the point where you see your own vulnerability can you become truly happy. Really.

    So now you (and me, and Jeff!) know we’ve just got limited time, we can focus on the really important things. Forget that new coat of paint on the outside of the house, get that special bottle of vodka 🙂

    Don’t just bound out of bed, ENJOY the bounding. The end will come, but isn’t it amazing how we can accumulate millions of minutes to do fulfilling things before our batteries wear out.

    The ones whom I pity are those who don’t realize their vulnerability and so they live in peaceful but ignorant stupor.

    When my dad died, we had a week’s prayers at home. We made it into a kind of festival, every single meal a special favourite dish, a few days into it and a brother’s 56th birthday so we had a party and birthday cake and all, the first birthday party he ever had….took my Dad’s death to get us to give him a party! Visitors thought we were nuts, but I think we realized we can’t control our dying but we sure as can control our living 🙂

    as usual, just rambling, but



  5. I have thought about this, too, but not since my last grandparent passed away. Now I’m in that zone where my parents aren’t old enough to seem old, yet they are the only generation remaining ahead of me. I’m sure I’ll feel exactly as you do as soon as they seem old. And then I will blame you, of course.

  6. Jeff: sorry to hear about your dad. I’ll keep him in my prayers along with you. If joking makes you live long, you’ll out-live all of us.

    Ragman: Thank you for your wise words. I’m finding it hard to enjoy life around all my responsibilities so I’m trying to concentrate on making my responsibilities more fun. I’ll let you know how that works ; ) I’m not so sure that being in an ignorant stupor is such a bad place to be sometimes, but yeah, point taken. Love the story about your party and dinners. Very inspirational. I don’t feel like I have any more control over my living than I do my dying but I’ll work on that. Hugs.

    Mark: Funny that you brought up that your parents don’t seem old. My mom was “young” – very much so, for a long, long time. And when she started to age, it seemed to steamroll. In fact, the past year or so it has been alarmingly fast. So I’ve had to rethink. For a long time I entertained the fantasy that I would be lucky like my mom and be physically young until a late age. Now, I see/feel differently. You may blame me all you want but I’ll probly be crotchety and swat you with my cane ; P

  7. I think I’ll keep that door closed for a while longer.

  8. Very moving. I too see myself in my dad. His dreams of being a professional musician, died in Vietnam. I have no Vietnam, but I have dreams that are gathering dust. I need a Swiffer. Very touching Linda. You are an incredibly honest person…a rare find.

  9. Hi Linda. I’ve been going with my girlfriend Barb to visit her mother in a rehab/assisted living facility all week – she was just transferred down here from Pennsylvania. The close location is a Godsend. Visiting someone who is very different from who she used to be is a struggle. We’re trying to make her days comfortable and to not take those things we can do for granted. Yoga is tops on our list to start again – just hope we can stick with it. 🙂 Hang in there!

  10. oy, not a fun realization that is. i love how you describe your positive outlook. i’ve certainly found you to always be uplifting and knowing just the right thing to say at just the right time.

    being who you are, i’m sure you’ll lift yourself from the negative side of this and continue to live one day at a time, b/c that’s all we have to work with really.

    much love and hugs to you.

    and you’re really pretty 🙂

  11. This is something I ponder from time to time, but find best to put out of my mind. Better to just live in the here and now. Thank you for your kind word on my blog. I am so glad to here you saved your childhood memories. Thank you for stopping by and sharing in my publishing joy!


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