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Posts Tagged ‘twilight’

Each day passes more quickly than I would like.  I wish for the passage of night to be short, but by early morning, before dawn is even awakening, I toss and turn and feel that one more moment or hour in bed will be too much for me.  With each day I worry that I may be returning to old habits and old habits brought me into the depths of sleep deprivation.   So far I still am affected by the accumulation of little sleep, particularly when I get up early……..then I am most aware of how tired I can be.

Yesterday at dusk or during the crepuscular day, while working in my garden,  I wished that the dusk could last longer, but once the greyness sets in, the black surrounds us very quickly in Florida.  I also wished that the dawn of morning could also come earlier so the length of that new day light could last longer.  Within a moment I realized, probably because of  the heat of the day, that I wanted to work within the grey parts of  the day when everything begins to calm and feel more comfortable.    Juxtaposed to my life the real twilights and dawns, the times that signal the most significant changes in my day may be a lesson for me in life.

Rather than wondering and worrying about the days of Crepusculum, maybe I need to just start enjoying this time of my life like I enjoy the twilight and the dawn.  Maybe, being within my Crepusculum  can become as calming to me as the real world’s crepuscular times.

So, instead of worrying about my lack of sleep, my aches and pains, or always hoping for those particular times of the day, and stop always wishing the reality of my life to change, maybe I should take my Mother’s advice and stop evaluating today or yesterday and look toward tomorrow and smile as I anticipate just how wonderful it can be.

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For the past few weeks, especially since I initiated this blog, I question what will cause me to begin the twilight years of my life and if certain things happen, how I will react and what will I do.

Since I am now sixty I may be at the beginning of dusk for my day. If I am the sun in my day then it is possible I have not as much energy as before. If I am the I grass or the flowers under the sun then definitely I need a little more care to make me look even half as good as I used to and especially if I am the soil that takes time to rejuvenate its richness, then I am more patient in caring about my fellow man, listen more carefully than I ever have, intuitively see beyond now and welcome the wisdom I have been able to be given.

Even though my intuition let’s me understand hidden conditions and I acquired patience as my wisdom developed I am willing to admit my deficiencies, I have yet been able to understand human aging, its causes and more importantly how it effects us. The basis for something to age does not sit well with me. I cannot accept, nor do I understand why humans, especially, need go from stellar existence to something so unacceptable when there is continual suffering or a change that makes mobility impossible. Yes, there are those who are able to live until they are quite old without harsh physical or mental problems, but they are much fewer than the vast majority of people that inhabit the earth.

Just a few years ago, during graduate school, I addressed my concerns on aging in my final art exhibition. I need to expand what I brought to fruition in those pieces and my exploration needs to discover the current issues and facts that concern the elderly. Presently I find myself fantasizing about shadowy recesses and other impediments that are within my twilight. In order to dispel these fantasies I want to collect and share the stories of others that have preceded me into their own twilight.

Not only do I think that the twilight years have shadowy recesses that will affect me, I imagine there are cracks, fissures and sunken holes I can fall into that will take some time to get out, proving that “The Golden Years” are a misnomer. When my eyes may fail from macular degeneration, when I fall and break my hip, or find that I am in the throws of a stroke, should I then be thankful I didn’t get prostate cancer, discover a brain tumor that immobilizes me completely or at this point in life should I be thankful that my journey has led me to my darkest hour so that I shall breathe no longer?

Any or all of those conditions worry me about my later years. I wonder will I be like my parents and need care to get me through each day. If I do, and if this happens at approximately the same age as they began to have problems, then I realize I may have to face the transition from my twilight into my darkness all alone.

How shall I ever get ready to do that, or more appropriately how will I progress through the ups and downs in my twilight. Will I bump along until the ups and downs become so monumental that I will pass from twilight to darkness without an option to return? I need to find a path to follow, one with preset stops that direct me how to become prepared, or is it wrong to sojourn on this path to enrich my consciousness for a realm of greater understanding? Often I have wondered if I should let all my questions and explorations go. I think of my parents and grandparents, as well as many others, who didn’t question or plan. They lived their lives and when something catastrophic happened they knew someone in their family would assume a managerial position for them. Is it because the world has changed so much that I need to be ready to plan out my stages in aging during my twilight and if they include degenerative processes is it really necessary for me to plan for them? Is it because we have blogs and other types of discussion groups at moment’s hand to write or discuss our worries or is simplicity of view the avenue of best choice?

I don’t know for sure, but even though I ignore much of what goes on around me (which is by deliberate choice) I still prefer knowing everything that I am ignoring. Yes, I must continue to question, seek answers and think around a place I call Crepusculum.

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Presently, the night isn’t far from tomorrow. I can’t sleep and so I pace back and forth in the darkened room where my Mother sleeps. The only thing you hear, in the quiet of the house, is the swooshing sound of the oxygen concentrator and the cycle of pressured air headed toward the ventilator. In between those sounds, is the poof of blocked expiratory air by a peep valve that helps my Mother’s lungs remain open after she exhales.

The sounds of the machines, the glow of the numbers on the oximeter and the sight of her rising and falling chest calm me as I run from the reality of her death. I can’t imagine not being able to speak to her, be with her, listen to her voice and learn from what she says. So often she worries that no one who is around her will talk to her. She sits waiting or trying to talk to anyone, to whoever is here and then feels they never hear her. Oh yes, anyone can hear her, but I don’t think they realize she has something to say. It is difficult for them to grasp that Momma lives in two worlds. There is the one that is here in my home, the one within the terms of our reality, as we understand it. The second world is from her addled memories that concoct a world filled with her childhood family, still run by her mother, even though my mother is now eighty-six. Everyone tells me it does no good to explain to her that all this has happened because of her big stroke three years ago. Its not her fault at all and now after a month of explaining this to her I see a beginning to remember that it is important to trust me when I help her through these frightening times when there isn’t a way for her to recognize the right world.

Currently, not only is Momma frightened of her tomorrows but, I feel the same. I have been her son for sixty years and I feel I have just begun to find out all she knows, or especially all that is troubling her. We often laugh that we don’t have a problem communicating. I talk for hours and she tells me what is on her mind. No one understands just how much she thinks. I told her yesterday, that I believe they have no idea how alive with thought she is, even though it is inevitable that she slips farther and farther toward her darkest hour.

Occasionally she looks at me with a woeful face. I see her right hand frantically moving her warmer and I ask why is there such sadness and her response is: “I’m going to die.” Regardless of how many times she says this, even though usually it is used as an opener to share a thought, my immediate reaction is for my stomach to flip. I answer her by telling her I don’t have time for death at that particular moment. I ask if she can wait until I no longer am busy! However, she and I know what has just happened. Momma warns me, I hear her statement and I instantly ignore it.

Presently, Momma doesn’t even understand how I feel. Now every word, every utterance, every movement must be recorded in my memory. Often I look at her with eyes that truly are a camera because I need to memorize her face as she is now. I have her faces and voice recorded from the past, although there are times when my eyes are closed that I think my image lens must be broken because I can’t see or hear her. I panic because I need those thoughts and images to be available when I call for them in the future.

Possibly, it isn’t good that she and I are close. Momma was always there as I grew up during my first seventeenn years. She wiped up my childhood spills, encouraged my adolescent dreams and applauded my teen successes. When I moved from home to further my education she beamed with pride, yet during the first months following my draft she successfully hid her fears, only to have them reappear even more poignantly when I left for Vietnam. Each day held her in a paralyzing, embrace; an unrecognized panic by the people closest to her. When I returned I looked into her eyes and knew that she had suffered even more than I had.

Our inescapable bond continued during the intervening years before my father’s death, strengthened while we lived in Arizona and continued into our move to Illinois. Beginning before our last move, I became her consul, then Power of Attorney and now caretaker, confidante and companion. Inevitably, our bond continues and is maintained and allowed to grow.

Now, it is nearly impossible for her to travel beyond her doctor’s office. Some days to move from the bed to the sofa is too strenuous, while on other days her breathing can be sustained easily with the oxygen.

Tonight, the tenebrous room intensifies my mother’s own darkness. Standing by her I yearn for her twilight to return. I know that isn’t possible and I have promised to accompany her along her path of darkness; but continually I ask myself how I will ever face that ineluctable moment when I see two golden wings guiding her spirit to eternity. I know at that moment I shall bid her my heart filled with love, but I shall never say good Bye.

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