Friday, December 2, 2011
Coming to Realizations
Tomorrow morning I am flying out to NJ to visit my ailing father and, I'm not going to lie, I'm scared. He's dying. And there's nothing I or anyone else can do about it. I've never been in this position before and I don't know what to do or say that will be of help or comfort when I get there. I do know that I don't feel old enough for this to be happening. I watch my mom (from a distance) dealing with all of the details that go along with a terminal illness and I realize how ill-equipped I am to do the same if it fell upon me. I mean, come on, your parents deal with that stuff, right? And then I also realize that I am an only child and that that responsibility could very possibly become mine. The thought is positively overwhelming. How do people know which arrangements to make? How do they learn this stuff? I guess I better find out because I have also realized that more and more people I know are dying. When did I join this group? When did I become THAT age? I honestly still see myself as I was in my early 30s! (Quite a bit of denial is involved here but nevertheless, that's how I feel.) The reality sandwich I've been chewing on isn't going down easily........I'm aging. And it's not going to stop. And the people I love and admire are not going to be here forever. It's a hard sandwich to swallow. And it's hard not to dwell on it when you realize that your time is coming......relatively soon. In my teens and 20s I didn't give this shit a thought. But now it's keeping me up at night. And I realize that I truly need to do more to ensure that the remainder of my life is full of joy. I need to learn from my father's awful experience and start to treat myself and my body with respect. And realize that I've been perpetuating the unhealthy habits that we originate from. I see my father's suffering and I wish I could take it away. As I watch what my mom is going through, suffering alongside my dad, it breaks my heart. And I see that if I keep up the way I've been going, my fate could be similar. I don't want that. I want to be able to go out and hear music and dance when I'm 80, if it suits me. I want to be able to participate in life in my old age and not give in to stereotypes of aging. I want that opportunity. I realize that now.