Monthly Archives: August 2014
The whole cloth of ones life is made up of threads of moments, hours, days and years. Each one becomes its own treasured piece of the tapestry. Without any one of them, even the tiniest, darkest, lightest or boldest the tapestry would be unfinished.
I was struggling to climb into my too-big, too-high van the other day. I looked much older, much more incapable than I wished to as my replacement parts in my hip seemed to be rubbing against the muscles making them screech and whine at me as if to say “what the heck are you trying to do now?!?” I did finally make it inside. Sitting slightly sideways, with the seat pad scrunched up beneath my poor hurting hip. I could not shut the door against the light rain as my other hip along with its accompanying leg was still dangling outside. Grasping the steering wheel like it was a lifesaver, I grunted and wiggled and sighed my whole self into the car and slammed the door.
I looked in the rear vision mirror, then around out the windows; checking to see if someone was watching me and having a good old fashioned belly laugh at the seemngly helpless old lady climbing into the car like it was Mount Everest. In my looking around I realized I was parked right across the small alleyway from the Elder Care Center at Blessed Trinity. I leaned my head against the back of the seat, closing my eyes and sighing, thinking there most assuradly must have been someone who happened at the moment of my ascent into Jaws the Van to observe that less than graceful climb. I imagined them thinking “oh, here is another inmate for us”. Oh,Lord, how totally embarassing!!
The whole thing got me to thinking about those tucked away places for “elder” care in our world here in the U.S. today. It is like daycare for Gramma and Grampa. A place where we can take them, along with their nicely packed back packs or bags that have those things that we think will help the day go nice for them; then when we drive off we sigh and think, “now I can get back to the real business of living this life”. It is the mantra of the “me and only me” society we have been engulfed in.
I saw so much of that in California. Children of the elderly who deemed it too hard, too much, too demanding to truly care for their parents. In the area I lived in there were numerous types of what is euphamously termed 55+ areas. Put them all together, they will like it, they will have others just like them. And the bonus being that the children, grandchildren and the other younger set in the family do not have to be bothered with them. What it truly is a “out of sight, out of mind” means of shuffling off the problem.
When I lived in The Village in SoCal, much too often the elderly were mostly abandoned by their children and families. Abandoned to loneliness, isolation and a life of emptiness. It is a blight on this society we are living in. It is a grave sin for us to abandoned the older set because they are “inconvient”. Hmmm, just like unwanted babies who are inconvient. A societal mind set that says if I don’t like it I can just toss it away from me. Like tossing out the trash.
How selfish. How narrow minded. How totally ridiculous. And ignorant to boot! You all reading this were once tiny, tiny new humans in your mother’s womb. Just like you, God willing, will be old some day. Some of you might be really, really old. You could be one who makes it past the century mark. In this society as it is now, you will be shuffled off to someplace where your children or grandchildren do not have to put up with the evidence that old is part of life.
That tiny new human that is so easy to sweep away nowadays deserves to see just how far they can go. I guess I will never, ever understand how out and out murder is a perfect solution for lack of self control. It seems that the Old Testament adage of an eye for a eye and the sins of the fathers is alive and well in the world right now. It is the ultimate “not my fault” to kill a child that had nothing whatsoever to do with the act that you are so ashamed of that makes that killing acceptable.
Just the same the older person deserves to be honored and loved for the days and years they have lived through in this life. You have no idea what they have lived through and been able to stand up and continue walking forward through. My parents had WWII, my grandparents had WWI, my generation had VietNam, some of my parents generation had Korea attatched on the end of WWII. The horrors and asaults on the pschye that we cannot even fathom. The generation behind me has Iraq and Afganistan. There will always be a world that imposes and dumps and attempts to destroy.
Our calling, our job if you will is to preseve the ability to love through it all. That is our commission, our purpose, our desparate need. To love.
As we travel this life gathering up memories try every once in a while to get a glimpse of that tapestry you are weaving in every moment of that life. When I was sitting in my car that day thinking of what that thread would be like of the day of struggling and climbing into a too-high car. I also thought of the people who spent their day at the Elder Care Center. I hope my riduculus looking getting into my van gave them a thread of very sunny yellow with the gold and silver of laughter.