A little fun with death

Today I went to my grandson’s graduation lunch. They showed a lot of pictures from the graduates years in school. Lots of memories. for some reason it started me thinking about how I would like to be remembered. My father loved quotes from tombstones and I wondered what I would put on a tombstone. I found some of my favorite tombstones and thought it would be fun to share.

sick

I know some people that this would suit… do you?

 

athiest

Just a little thought

 

banana

I can imagine myself felled by something as silly as this!

 

nut

I am sure that my children would approve this.

 

inside the box

I guess we need to be more creative

 

died

This one fits our age so perfectly.

Hope you enjoyed these. I needed a good laugh today. With so many cremations today and so little money spent on something like a tombstone (some places don’t allow them any more) we may not find many like these in the future. I did wonder if the deceased wrote them or someone in the family.

How would you like to be remembered?

I will not go gently

My good friend’s husband is still ill. He has been in the hospital for four weeks. He has not been able to be out of bed the whole time. There are many things that have gone on with the hospital stay that I won’t bring up here but the bottom line is that the initial problem has not been able to be fixed and he is not as well as he was going in.

Chronicles-15-7Last night my husband asked the question: “Do you think that because of his age they are not really trying hard to fix this?” I didn’t really have an answer but I do wonder if that plays a part in this scenario.

As we grow older I know that society can be dismissive….ignoring older people and treating them as “less than.” In an earlier blog I touched on this subject and included a poem about old men that highlighted this problem. The poem was written a long time ago and I am not sure that the problem has gotten any better. Why should we be cast aside….thrown away like an old cell phone that’s software is out of date? We have much to offer and I will continue until death comes to lift me away.

Shakespeare-Quotes-1200x776-750x485I refused to be dismissed. I refuse to go gently. Below are the words of Dylan Thomas in this poem for his father.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That
Good Night

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Birth–Death

birth-and-deathBirth – death. Funny how they go together. I loved an episode of “Call the Midwife” where a grandfather to be is dying as his grandson is born. He makes a comment about the two of them passing. I really love that thought…..one generation turning life over to the next.

It is so wonderful for me to read blogs from people of all ages. I love that I can share with those just starting out in life and those who are on the other side like me. There is a wonderful continuity in that. My granddaughter is about to give birth to my first great grandchild. It feels so strange to say that. Sometimes if feels as if my life as a teenager is just a moment away. Sometimes I dream that I am back in college and it feels normal to be there.

Life is connections. My husband went to West Point and they call those who have graduated from there “The Long Grey Line.” There is this sense of a line reaching back through history and froward to the future.

We are all part of that line. Our lineage goes back in time beyond my understanding. It will go forward in time to a future I can’t even begin to imagine. We are connected. We are part of the human family. As connections die others are being born. Life prevails.

life

Fly your freak flag day!

Today I decided to have fun and read things that make me happy. I pulled out “Falling Up” by Shel Silverstein. I just love laughing over the poems and the drawings. I have always loved this poem. noise day pictures

Every one of us deserves one of these days. A day when we can let all frustrations out. A day to fly our freak flag and just let go. How much emotion we have bottled up that we haven’t let loose.

I really think that we should all try it.

A day to yell, scream, break something, play music full blast, blow the horn endlessly in the car, jump on the bed, splash water out of the tub, bark with the dogs, run in the yard in your pj’s, throw the paper you have shredded all over the living room floor, roll down a hill like a log, hit a pillow until the feathers fly, jump in a mud puddle!!!

I am sure you can think of some things you would like to do. I feel freer just thinking about it.

A joyful, crazy, exotic day. Let’s do it!

Each moment matters

life happensI have been out of the loop for several days and have just caught up reading blogs. I’m sure I didn’t get to them all but at least managed to dig into some.

The past week was hectic and somewhat nerve wracking. With doctor’s appointments and other things I missed time with my support friends. None of us got to see each other and we all feel the loss. We make an attempt to keep ourselves sane and when we don’t all bets are off.

On Friday I had to drive three hours to my daughter’s home for a co-ed shower for my grandson and his bride-to-be. The trip is not long but back roads and boring. The kicker is that on Saturday immediately following the shower I had to leave to drive back home for a dinner put on by the West Point Society for the founding of the academy…my husband is a graduate. When I arrived home after the dinner in a zombie like state I went straight to bed. THANK GOD!

I keep forgetting that as active as I am age still plays a part in my physical resources.

Looking back over my life brings memories good and bad. If I really try I can almost look as if from above and see the patterns. I can see the places where things took a turn that altered my ability to find the skills to cope. I can also see where something that I had learned in the past allowed me to keep moving forward. Yes, sometimes I have struggled and fought the demons of anxiety and depression. Sometimes I have felt joy and happiness. Both mattered.

wisdomSocieties view of those of us aging is so judgmental. We have learned so much on our journeys through life that could be shared. It is such a shame to lose all of that wisdom. An informed life is wasted on obsessing about looks and being young. Life is so much more than that…..so much richer. To continue to seek wisdom and strive for wholeness makes each day a miracle. The beauty around me is breathtaking. I can see the blue and gold of the sunset against the dark outline of the trees. I can see the movement of the water in the river in front of the house. Each day and each moment matters. Don’t waste it trying to hang on to youth. Embrace the years and be grateful. Life is worth living.

Choose the need

Last-minute-blog-post-jan-25thWe had friends for lunch today. One is over ninety and fragile. His wife called yesterday saying he wanted to get out of the house and could they come and see us. That was a resounding yes and we invited another couple who are special friends of us all. This lunch was a blessing. Our aging friend is slipping and it was a joy to give him a day of pleasure.

I worked hard yesterday and today to make a good lunch and a welcoming place for he and his wife. Our other friends felt the same. This is the first time that he has been out with friends in a long time and it gave us great pleasure to be able to do this.

Planning and executing a special lunch in 24 hours can be challenging but somehow God was involved in this. I have a friend who like to say the “arangels” were at work.

listenI wonder how many times I have balked at something that seemed difficult at the time but was something God had in mind. It is so easy to back away and not do the thing right in front of us. Do we pay attention or do we let it slip by us? Our own agenda can so easily get in the way. We will decide that we have plans and don’t want to change them. We can choose the easy path and put ourselves first.

We need to listen to hear when these moments appear and choose in favor of the needs of others.

aging gracefully

ageMany people say getting old is not for sissies. They are completely right! As we age we have to learn to accept the fact that we can’t do all the things that were so easy in the past. Even though I am quite active and do heavy gardening and walking there are some things that are not the same. One of the things that is hard to prevent is losing core strength. That’s what puts us at risk of falling. With yoga I do balance exercises but I can tell a difference in how sure I feel. I have learned to make sure that I hold on to something if I am at risk. Things like this make me see how I am aging. Am I sorry? Well I would like to live longer but I don’t think forever. That would be a dubious choice.

young at heartWhen my grandmother was alive she would say that God gave her a hearing loss so that she could opt out of any conversation that she wanted to by turning off her hearing aids. She also said that she could’t see as well so that she didn’t have to see what she looked like. She was good about putting a positive spin on things.

Even though I can have days with mild anxiety I try to keep the same attitude. After all, the alternative to growing old is not being here. Not an acceptable choice.

The thing that is difficult is seeing those you love losing strength and having health issues.  When we love someone we don’t want to watch them fade. There really is not a wonderful way to die. Some people would rather go suddenly and not face pain and sickness. Some people would at least like to have time to put things in order. Most of us are more afraid of dying than of death, With death you are either with God or know nothing. So what is there to fear?

olderWow has this become a depressing blog but I don’t mean it to be. I think living with all of this is part of life. If we are blessed to live long enough we will face these issues. Accepting that we are human and having a limited time here reminds us to make the most of each moment. Enjoy each phase of life and treasure what it offers. If I am lucky I will see a great grandchild. Who knows?