It's already a week into another month. I don't know if it's because I'm on the cusp of a big change in my life, or if I'm feeling old, or it's because time is passing so quickly.... I feel a certain bittersweet pang that I have trouble remembering some yesterdays because I'm so forward-focused these days. Those in my daily life, I hope you'll smile at me if I'm wearing the same thing every time you see me. I sometimes can't remember what I wore before (sometimes I have to check the laundry basket in my bedroom because I'll search for a favorite shirt or shorts for an hour, not remembering that I wore it already). I'm really hoping that I can get it together a bit more this summer. Especially hoping that simplifying my life in numerous ways in the upcoming weeks will assist with this. I'd cross my fingers at this thought, but I'll be needing them to purge various rooms in my current house to get ready to move to a down-sized version of "home". It's all just stuff and none of it can be taken with us. Right? The memories live within us. An item doesn't make the memory any more poignant. Sometimes it's just a reminder of those things that are better off in the past (you know, closure).
I have an aging parent in my immediate life. My dad and I have formed a much deeper and definitely more meaningful relationship since my mom passed away three years ago. I've found out things about him that I never knew before - stuff about his childhood, his time in the Navy, his own journey in college, his relationship with mom.... Things as a child you aren't aware of or didn't know. Losing a parent is never easy. But I feel like I gained an ally in my own collegiate endeavors. I worry though. He's not in good health. He rages against losing his independence and his body breaking down. He's afraid of being an old man having to have someone take care of him. I'm afraid of that too. Not for the thought that he might burden me. It's not a burden to care for someone who has done so much for me. There is a certain desolation of dignity when you are no longer in control of your body and no longer capable of being independent to live your life. While living longer is a wonderful thing - sometimes the cost to live to 80 or 90 or 100 isn't worth it if you cannot live within your own parameters of life.
Perhaps this is why I still continue the fight for this dream of mine. To hear this man say "I wish I had done this or that, but now I can't because it's too much for me"... Well, it's a reality check. I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks thinking about him and how he never got to see Monument Valley or visit Barbados again. And I wish I could give that to him. Or when he calls me because he's having another heart episode and I race to get to him... I wish I didn't feel so helpless to see him in pain and at the mercy of genetics and his body. I would do anything for my dad. I didn't always feel like that. But as I said, we've evolved into this new relationship and it's very precious to me.
Deep breath. Forgive me my readers. I'm a bit tired this morning. I'm sipping my coffee and thinking many, many positive thoughts for my Dad. I suppose it's only natural that my writing this morning is about him. Your scope narrows a bit when you are faced with something of this magnitude.