What is it about life’s timing system that seems so off? Just how aware or productive or “happy” is a USA human before 20 years of age? Then sometime between 60 and 85 most begin a downhill journey. Discount a little on either end and my math says we have 50 good years. At best. If we’re lucky.
That’s 2,600 Sundays. 600 months. 50 of each season. 50 New Year’s, Valentine’s Days, Easters, Thanksgivings, and Christmases. Maybe 50 family vacations survived as well. That sounds like a lot but I bet the folks silently sitting idle in their chairs or pacing the halls of the memory loss center today would do anything for one more of any of the above.
I hoped that yesterday’s experience was the result of the gloomy weather or something secret in the mid-morning juice break. This morning was sunny and I arrived before anyone drank the Kool-Aid. Things were no better and maybe even worse.
I didn’t see the Big Planet lady today but the woman with the bruised face wants to go home. There’s no place like home and to her this home away from home wasn’t it. She’s had enough of waiting and waiting.
Mostly we all sat in silence. I don’t know what they were thinking but my mind was racing. I wondered what each would likely give for one more year of normality. Whether any of them saw this coming. What decisions would they make differently. What different decisions I should make in the future.
And how did aging in the USA get so expensive? I’ll never be able to afford to wait in a facility like this. Most years I’ve never grossed much less netted what it cost to wait inside those walls. For my mom the huge per-year expense still doesn’t help her remember who I am.
I also stressed over how to say goodbye to my mom when leaving. I told her I had enjoyed seeing her several times but there was no response. I couldn’t truthfully tell her I’d see her soon because I don’t know when that will be. In the end I just stood up and slowly drifted away. I guess that’s sort of what Alzheimer’s has done to her as well. Slowly drifted away.
Without knowing about my activities over the last three days I got some advice from a friend tonight. He reminded me how fleeting our time here is and how small a speck each of us is compared to all eternity. “Be the person now that you see yourself being”. Wise words Craig Tanner.
Right NOW. Before it’s time for the Kool-Aid.