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Archive for December, 2008

I have been reluctant to post this writing.  Later, I decided I would simply because I feel, you my devoted reader, will understand.  This originally was written on Christmas Eve.


Today is Christmas Eve, a day of magic, a day of happiness. As a little boy I always was anxious for night time to arrive to open the presents. The grown up in me, greeted the day joyously and anticipated the family being together, particularly since it made my Mother the happiest. Out of all the holidays in the year, my Mother loved the Christmas season. All the rooms in the farmhouse were decorated when I was a small child. Then after retirement, when my parents lived in town, the house was equally decorated. In Arizona, I knew that I needed to have the Christmas decorations up early for Momma and they needed to be more spectacular each year. On Christmas eve, Momma always came to my house and stayed through the holidays. There, I also knew I should have the house cheerful and twinkling. And for the past six years in our present house I have decorated the house inside and out. Last year was significant in the amount of decorations I put up and their locations. Momma was so happy. She could see them all from where she stayed in our big Family room.  This year, Momma will not be here. This year I am letting Christmas go by.

And then at night, on Christmas Eve, an unforgettable gift arrived:

The Christmas Gift, The Gift I Need to Remember
Today, quietly the eve of Christmas goes by,
it passes from gray at dawn to brilliant blue and white by noon.
And then this evening the night brings its chilly breath
to rustle through its darkened veil, whose stars glimmer upon my head.

On the eve of this Christmas, a voice whispered in my ear
from a luminescent cloud of red and blue drifting over my head.
To my ears came the same voice, the one locked in my heart
and now it comes to me from far above the blanket’s glow.

With heart beating, I question through a tightened throat,
“Momma, is that you?, are you all right?”
In return I’m asked why I am sad, where is my Christmas cheer?
“To soon when grief is with my heart, as it yearns for a yesteryear!

Momma tells me to look to my tomorrow and not for yesteryear,
“I’m fine,” she says, “Now you be fine, no longer should you worry.”
And then I realize no longer are there the colors of red and blue,
softly lighting the darkness of the room, the place that had just held joy.

To find the spell, to hear the voice I sit so quiet,
and I realize why, for that fleeting moment, why a visit came to me.
Where once tonight we opened presents and loved each other,

Momma came on Christmas Eve with a gift for me: Her voice, Her Love and My Tomorrow.

This isn’t a fictional poem, you may feel that it is, yet this is how it happened. I must now try to allow my gift to become more of a reality. It is a gift that is the most important that my Mother has ever given me. Her voice has eluded me now for weeks and now I remember how she spoke. I also need to move forward in life as my Mother would have. I can not stop the continual waves of memories I have, nor can I ignore the loss I feel. Momma was someone who could forge foward with an exuberant anticipation of tomorrow. I must attempt to do the same.

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So many times,  in the past, I have wondered when I will be at the point to enter Within Crepusculum.  I asked myself,  was there a particular age and conjectured that it certainly was no where near the age that I am.  Unfortunately. I kept thinking about it as a year, a birthday, a definite milestone that I could post on the calender and be ready for it when it arrives.

That is very bad logic to conclude that the beginning of one’s twilight can be targeted with an actual date.  When I think about that assumption, its almost as though I believe you should look at a calender and see your prearranged death date!!

Then, just the other day, I stopped what I was doing and realized I may never know beforehand.  Its just going to happen one day.  I think I will be doing something that I have always done so easily (This has to be a significant task, because if it wasn’t I doubt that I would pay much attention to it) and suddenly, I will realize I can’t do it or I can’t do it anywhere near as well as I did the year before.  If this sort of thing happens all too often, maybe three to four times in a row, then I will take it as some kind of a sign.

Regardless, I am very aware that the years that have currently passed are piling up on my age, but I am determined, like my Mother was, not to be effected by their passage and not accept being older when I don’t feel that much older than I did a decade ago.  We have a friend in Toronto who is four or five years older than me, yet he lives his life already within his twilight.  I don’t think he has a spark of youthfulness about him and I realize he has had some health issues, but that certainly is not reason enough to consign yourself to your twilight years.    The other unfortunate thing is that he does not understand what he has done to himself by responding to life negatively, which in turn allowed himself to be completely engulfed.   It is sad to watch and recognize the crepuscular qualities he has.    Lately he calls to tell us his other friends at home have asked to see him less than they used to do.  In comparison to me, his actions significantly show that I haven’t even neared those years.

For a while, during this time of mourning, I found my self even more than just lethargic.  I had days that I couldn’t think straight.  During those days I had attempted to do some work that any other time I could have done quickly and simply.  This time everything fell apart and it took me longer to plan than it has ever taken me.  Immediately, I kept wondering, “Is this it, is this the way one starts to behave before they take that final step into the twilight??  Fortunately, I came to my senses and accepted that my actions were not signs of entering the dusk of life, but rather it was a symptom of grieving.  It was a hard lesson to learn how to evaluate and now I can easily tell one from the other!!

When I finally realized my error, I came to a conclusion.  First I accepted that I will be having many more scattered days, until more time has passed in my mourning.  And that presently, my thoughts and the mourning I am experiencing are an opportunity for me to continue to grow and understand the world around me.  It becomes a very difficult task for me to explore death and mourning and the beliefs that I have.  To be able to accomplish this, I must see myself going though another whole segment of my life, a part that now I feel is integral to prepare me for the entrance into my crepusculum.

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Now I Know

When I wrote my first poem, I didn’t realize how cathartic they could be.  By the time I wrote the third one I became aware  of how easily I could express my emotions.  Most all the poems I have written deal with the grief that I feel within, but as time continues to move forward I realize they also allow me to understand more of life and to look beyond my own back yard.  The poems merge with the expressions of help in your responses and the combination becomes a salve that within time cause new thoughts that become stronger building blocks for my own wisdom.

The emotions I write about opens my heart and as I look out into a new day I feel a little better and if need be I could be more compassionate to someone else who is hurting and understand when it is time to lock the door and get tough.

Life is a precious commodity and we each have our own discoveries.  When we share them we learn from each other, or give the support that I have been shown through the kindness of your heart.  If I had not had to experience the unknown circumstances of my Mothers passing I would be a little less able to help someone else, but Now I Know

Now I know, Now I know what it is
that before I could never understand.

Now I know what that time is like
and understand what has been known forever.

How many times did I wonder, worry and fret over what I didn’t know.
Did I guess at any time the full extent of what it would really be like?

Oh no, never in my wildest imagination could I know,
Could I have known pain as I know now,
could I feel loneliness that wraps my throat and chokes me from the air.

Would I have thought the days and the nights become one,
would I guess how little I  would not understand once it happened.

And could I ever have know what it is like to have panic hitting the heart,
or know that, possibly one tear can turn a person toward uncontrollable agony.

Would I have ever guessed what this time is like,
or would I have thought that there was no need, if I was prepared.
Can you ever guess right about being  prepared correctly?
Ah, yes if you go to a luncheon you will have been given the time and the place.

This day and future days come regardless of any preparation…..
your memories  sting and gouge and make new thoughts to surprise and cause you pain.

They lap at your tears and delight  in making you distraught.
It is a day without caring for you and the days to follow, well there is an unknown plan for them.

Then without expectation there comes a day–

with first light I look out of the window, then into the room and for the first time I understand.

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If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart.
The spirit should never grow old.
–James A. Garfield

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
— Mark Twain

Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.
— Jim Fiebig

When does that time come to you.  Are you one of those that, when you are sixty, you will call yourself old?  If you do, I wonder why, although I have known a number of people who,  at a tad younger age than me,  say they are old at sixty.  I also have a mid-fifty year old, very close friend, who says she is already old and has been that way for a number of years.

I wonder why and how that time of oldness has stepped in for them, but didn’t happen to me.  When the people in my own family were sixty, they may have had medical difficulties, but it was never a gauge for their age.   Even though they had a major ache or two they kept going because they knew if they acted old,  old age would creep in and wrap up in their bedroom slippers and wait for them to slip them on.  Then in a short time you become old.

Sometimes, or maybe most of the time this “old” phenomenon creeps in because there is little life left  in the heart,  not much stamina  in the stride and  little curiosity in the mind.  I can’t imagine not having any of those qualities.   Presently, I may be on a little detour, but even during this hiatus of grief and during the years of my care giving, I still knew the importance of protecting the “feel good” attributes of the human psyche and body.  I always want to know what is current and I always knew the quest for life was still alive in my heart….To this day I sing, smile, laugh and cry each day.  I respond to life as it changes minute by minute and I need to give credit to my Mother for making sure I  always had a positive attitude, nevertheless, during my years to get where I am  now I  lost track of the joy of tomorrow and the need for hope, but thankfully I am beginning to see the joy of anticipating tomorrow and the buds of hope are beginning to return.

Instead of feeling old, I often have the opposite problem.   I forget I am aging because I still have my youthful, even childish thoughts inside.   A few days ago I found out an acquaintance had a passion for roller coasters.  Oh, it brought back memories of my fervent entreaty to ride every roller coaster in the  world and then facing the fact that most of the fun of roller coasting is to go with someone,   I never had anyone who was willing to share in my delightful quest and so whenever I was near one I went on alone.  Even today, if someone was willing to take a ride with me,  at sixty-plus years,  I would act like a child getting into the seat first and scream my head off as we reached each turn and dip.  Oh what a wonderful feeling in your tummy!!

Since I am always curious about everything I posed a question in a group I belong to on Eons, the baby boomer cyber site I have written about.  All the responses were emphatic that “Oldness” is a state of mind; although the response from the manager of the group ,  was the best of all:

“I am not OLD! I am more mature in my thinking and behavior.  I have a lot of knowledge and wisdom. I am at the perfect age not to give a damn what others think of me.  I am beautiful, special, sensual, intelligent, sweet, loving and giving, wise beyond my earlier years, but I am not ‘old’!   And for those who feel they are  old at sixty, then get ready to stand at the orifice of the grave;  please go right ahead.  I give YOU my blessing. Old is when you give up on life and living it without gusto. I am not old. Old is when you forget what it feels like to love and be loved. I am not old. Old is a state of mind. If your mind is old then so is your body and believe me you will bear the ravages of time on your body if you think you are old. I AM NOT OLD!”
photo of ladywrite2



If you are near the age that we speak of, please think about what you are saying, if you consider yourself old.  Probably there are many years left in your life to live.  Read the quote once more from ladywrite2 and if you really feel you are old then have you also have given up the goodness of life that she refers to—-I hope not!!

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morning
If I let go of all the things I know,
if I toss from my heart what tugs at its’ walls,
if I take the chance to step on to the edge of my soul,
then will I be better or worse than I am.

Will the sun shine again as bright as before,
will I never again feel the anxiety within my mind or,
can I take a hold of all the scarred, ragged edges
and bring them back and sew them together again?

If I bend and pick up the pieces of me
If I reach and hold onto the sweetest of the memories,
If I sit and stare at the nothing I see in the vision of my soul,
then will color be able to return to the space I see with my eyes.

Will sorrow that pierces and gouges the heart,
be changed so that the spring returns to the soul
or will tomorrow only bring another spear
laced with grief that only I can feel its’ sting?

As I continue on my journey toward my twilight it is evident that I shall be carrying a few more questions that I can only answer.  Each day I realize that there isn’t any one else in the world that can tell me how I am to do the things I am to do, understand how and when the haze of my world will return to its normal clarity and it is only I who can can know when my tomorrow will feel like it has brought the new spring to my life.

For now I continue to muddle with in the sludge under the white snow that occasionally lets me slip and fall.  It is the grayness of the sky that matches what my eyes see as I sit, sometimes too long, staring off into the corner of my bedroom; or at times I fall asleep on the chaise only to awaken and return to the sight of that same corner of nothing.

I question also, when will the night begin to pass without  numerous times of awakening to see just how much longer I need to stay there.  Eventually I arise before dawn and trip quietly down the stairs so that I don’t awaken M. or the cat, Souse.  It is then, once again in the appalling quietude of our house I sit in that corner of the kitchen that I have always sat in before the bright monitor of the computer to think of what next could lessen the impact of these days on my soul.
And then suddenly,  I realize I have passed from the time of pensive thought into flipping url’s like Blueberry Pancakes on a sizzling hot grill and as the pancakes  are stacked they leave no room between.  As I arise from the computer I know the day lies ahead to be experienced mostly with agitation even more than the Kenmore washer produces to wash my clothes.  And I seem to follow the same cycling.  First there is the agitation, then the rinsing and calming of my mind only to plunge forward into a spinning haze.

I think of all this newness of experiences each day and wonder is it all that bad and  will I be able to make it through it and look backward and know that even in my mature years I can grow and learn all there is that life has to offer.  I know for now I wonder why there needs to be lessons like I am within, but I think  that somewhere in the motion of living there is a plan for me and I must follow this relentless path to find greater peace.

As I turn each new corner I find myself a little closer to my crepuscular years.  With each step I must take now I realize it can only prepare me for the new years ahead of me.  To gain wisdom through thoughts, by the anguish created by death and by recording my  collective new beliefs then it is an acceptable path that I take.

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