We all draw from a savings account funded with one deposit made by our, everyone’s, common enemy. We draw from that account with not a care in the world but eventually we draw from it with fear. From the idyllic wastefulness as a child on summer vacation to the reverence of a veteran. All, every man, woman, and child, withdrawing at EXACTLY the same rate. Some from a seemingly limitless balance, some with the knowledge that the remaining balance will be all too little. I am yet again reminded of this melancholy process.
My dad is dying. Probably already gone except for the low brain functions. His savings account is in hours, not years, soon to be in minutes then seconds. He is unconscious, Hospice likely have him medicated to make the pain bearable.
Bearable. Life for him has dwindled to bearable.
As a child of the depression and the Second World War, his life wasn’t easy. But he managed, with an eighth grade education. He seemed to always be self conscious of that, he was a voracious reader. Perhaps his way of finishing his education. We had TWO daily newspapers delivered, back in the glory days of newspapers, and he read both, from the first to the last page. He was always up on current events, and those events became history, so he was up on that too. Motorcycles, planes, boats, fixin, tearing, fixin. We shared much.
The sixties were a tumultuous time in the USA and a tumultuous time between he and I. I was very different from most of my peers. Although of normal height, I was never physically large, never aggressive in behavior. I was a gentle person hiding in an aggressive society. My dad and I butted heads because of my “idols” like the Beatles, my hair length, and my zest for life. At times this discord turned almost, I can’t really use abusive, can’t really use violent, but it wasn’t compassionate, not understanding, more force than guidance. Much damage was done to our relationship over the years. Being his child was not easy for me or my sister. Perhaps much harder for her. Culture and circumstance allowed me to escape via miles. Maybe she could have, but most of the girls, young women, of her time stayed close to their birth cities. It took decades but, facilitated by his wife, not my mother (divorced) but an angel I love, my dad and I forged a workable relationship. Not exactly on his terms alone, but with very little control by me. I could control the frequency and duration of the visits, he controlled everything else. I always respected him as a child should a parent. After all, he was the one who got up and went to work, at times to a job he didn’t like, so we could eat and have a place to live. He provided the discipline (and at times abuse) that laid my foundation. We forged a renewed relationship, far from perfect, but built on mutual respect. And it worked. For us.
I just received a call from his wife with news that hospice says today will be his last. So I have to drive the hundred miles each way, the same miles I have been driving every day for a while, to be with her. To help her because she has done so much for he and therefore I. She is an angel and I love her very much. I tell her how thankful I am for her and that I love her every time I talk to her, which is at least weekly.
While writing this my dad went from days to hours to maybe seconds.
I probably won’t shed a tear for him even though I did for other people in my life who died. Our relationship was difficult for me. It saddens me to see him at the end. So much life. So much energy. Now helpless. Like the passengers on a rollercoaster as it passes over the top, the clinking of the ratchets end, and the feeling of gravity taking over. The INEVATIBILITY of it. So sad. Maybe I will cry. I feel like crying now. But my life has hardened me. The shared history has hardened me. It isn’t that I don’t care, it isn’t that I can’t. It is held up by too much debris. Some from him. Some from others. Some just life. While I watch my account dwindle to a balance I don’t know.
Oh how I miss my mother. If I could have two things, the second would be to tell her how much I appreciate her. She had a very very hard life. Beyond description.
All of us are drawing from our personal savings accounts at exactly the same rate. We don’t know how much our common enemy has put in via the single deposit made at the time of our birth, but we all draw out at the EXACT same rate. The account receives NO interest. You have what you got minus what you draw out. You CAN NOT control the withdrawals. You HAVE NO control over the one deposit.
But you CAN spend wisely.
People, our enemies are not each other.
Our common enemy is TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
USE IT WISELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For those struggling with what wise is, wise equals:
Enjoying our differences
9/1/2016 @ 1:17AM
I am back home now. He died peacefully just twelve hours after I posted. I was by his side when he drew his last breath. Someone who was with me from my beginning is no longer. That portion of the tumultuous part of my life is over.