(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.