Sunday, December 5, 2010


You can feel the sadness and the desperation in each of the stories. Each one unique in its pain, but all merely part of a whole. As friends and relatives watch helplessly, the ravages of old age take a mother or father down physical and mental paths that lead nowhere good. We all suffer alone, and we all suffer together.

The past few days have been filled with tales of troubled children trying to cope with failing parents. Surgeries to slow time, caretakers to tend to the most basic of needs, wrenching decisions to take away independence. Each told with an ' I know you can understand what this means'. Each told in a way that says 'I want there to be dignity and peace for my parent and I wish I knew what I could do to make that happen'.

Life is cruel in its certainty. For some, it is gone in a missed heartbeat. For others, it is an awkward dance, stumbling and falling to the finish line. It brings to mind images of the long distance runner who has become disoriented and unable to control his thoughts or his limbs as he tries to remember how to get from here to there. Like a drunk, he crawls, he falls, he meanders, each step becoming its own battle.

While we all understand the inevitability of it, in our universes we never think that now is destined to be that moment. When a life does start to disintegrate the immediacy of it can be overwhelming.

I have been part of the story involving my mom for several years. What I once found unspeakably unacceptable, is now merely part of what is. Over time, I seem to adjust, because I must. If it was only this bad, and never beyond this, but there is always a 'beyond this'. Then I am forced to recalibrate what is, and what must be.

And so, in a sad way, I become grateful each day for what remains.


Anonymous said...

Robert, your friends are also here to make you laugh. By the way, stop moving the balls on the fairway. Ted

Robert said...

Thanks, I know you are always ready to help in any way you can.

More importantly, you have to memorize Robert's Rules of Order on the golf course. Rule 12 is that there is never such thing as a lie that cannot be improved.