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The circle of life… a personal look

November 15, 2016

The other night I was watching an episode of NCIS when something caught my attention, it was a flashing red light making its way past the closed window blinds. I went to the window and I saw it was another rescue vehicle paying a visit to my apartment complex. Now one would say nothing special about that, but this was the fifth one I had observed in the past month. I guess I should expect to see them more often since I moved into a ‘senior community’ but the frequency at which they ‘visit’ gave me pause and inspired the following posting……..

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In 1946 at an old hospital on Allegheny avenue in Philadelphia, a baby was borne. In the grand scheme of things it was never noticed, but this infant like millions of others was destined to travel a good portion of its country, serve wlkartin the military and even reach out to foreign nations during its lifetime. However to this infant right now the world it arrived in was a scary place with its bright lights and sounds that made it never want to stop crying….

…except for the comfortable rocking and gentle murmuring of someone holding him. Soon it learned that there were two people that were there seemingly at almost every hour to minister to whatever it needed and as we all know during those first years it was totally dependent on them for life itself. As that infant got older it began to learn to do the things needed for survival on its own. Then seemingly, as if by magic, that child now a teenager foolishly thought it didn’t need its parents and could handle life on our own.

For some that meant going off and living a life apart from those that guaranteed its early survival and for others it was a blending of living within the structure of its parents lives and its own while at the same time seeking independence. That said at some point however almost everyone breaks away from that close living together family structure and moves off to live a totally independent life, and for most of those for decades we remain in our own little world only infrequently reaching out to our parents.

The circle of life becomes glaringly evident when our parents age and become less independent. For some, like myself, we are asked to return to that original family unit and help them in their last months and days on this earth. It is a task most take on without a second thought because we relied for life itself from our parents and now when they are near deaths door it is we who will make the journey a little easier.

Everyone’s travel
on the road of life is different
but everyone’s road of life must end.

We arrived
in this world helpless
and we will leave it the same way.

Hopefully
the helpless infant
who became the aging adult
will complete the circle of life and have
their children by their side.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2016 12:29 pm

    And then there are some, like me, who have no progeny and hence will face their final years largely alone. I, too, answered my folk’s call as best I could but Dad’s dementia (he was almost 92 when he passed) managed to drive a final wedge between us although in hindsight our relationship had never been particularly robust. Then Mom was alone and already well into that most wicked of diseases – Alzheimer’s – and I had to endure her slow decline during which I ceased to recognize her except by physical appearance. I did my best to visit her multiple times each week in the assisted care facility and even started volunteering 40 to 60 hours a month to be an even larger part of her rapidly shrinking life. Without question I am my mother’s son and I miss her every day but I also know I did everything I could in her final two years to try and make her comfortable and at peace. I will not allow myself to go that route; this is a very common sentiment for those who provide care to Alzheimer’s victims. If I ever get to the point of displaying those oh so frightening symptoms of early Alzheimer’s I will see I do not suffer its horrible, degrading decline…

    Like

    • Kris permalink
      November 18, 2016 10:34 pm

      I am so thankful mum’s mind is secure. Hoping you can find someone to adopt you as you wander the paths with the pups~

      Like

  2. Lila permalink
    November 15, 2016 12:30 pm

    Well said! Being with you to take care of your parents was comforting and eye opening. It is something I would do again and am doing for my own mother. I may be 1580 miles away from my mom, but I still am doing so much for her. She is back in the hospital and loosing her right a little each day. But It helps having a partner who supports you as well! You are a good man!

    Like

  3. November 15, 2016 12:54 pm

    we come into this world with a primal scream and we travel all the roads and paths before us …even though we think we are in charge we aren’t …..history and life are like a new box of crayons …open the box and the smell of the newness brings back all your childhood just from the smell…but open a box of well used crayons and the thoughts and drawings we finish or did not finish..same box just older .. love the write above Pete..keep up the great work …you continue to make me think … …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. November 15, 2016 11:16 pm

    Life and death, it’s something we ALL will eventually go through, because it is only a normal process of life, and, as we get older, our views of death changes, because our time on earth is slowly, dripping away………

    Like

  5. Kris permalink
    November 18, 2016 10:33 pm

    I have tears. I am sitting in a hospital room in Anchorage Providence ICMU, watching my mother on machines which help her to breathe. Her body is wasting away and she is now 125 pounds-granted, at 24, this is a GREAT weight! At 74, it isn’t so good. Not when her skin covers the skeleton of who she was. Oddly, the staff seems secure in the thoughts of sending her back to Kenai. Sometime. I am going to copy the link to this into my FB page. This is why I am home. She may not be leaving the world yet, but I’ll be here. Thank you for writing these words.

    Like

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