Saturday, July 13, 2013
People make comments like" Isn't great to be retired". Aren't you glad you don't have to work? Isn't it great that you have had this down time?"
NO, NO and NO. Because the reason I am no longer a lawyer and no longer have a place to return to and have gone back to school in order to update and tweak my skill set is because: MARY-ELIZABETH HAD A RELAPSE AND SHE HAD TO HAVE A TRANSPLANT AND SHE IS NOT BETTER YET.
She is better than she was but she is not there yet. Granted, we have turned a big corner. She is planning to go back to school. She is planning to continue her course of study. She is planning to drink a little, play a little, she is planning, I am planning and I am planning and I am expecting.
I also know, in my heart of hearts, plans change. They change suddenly, completely and send you spinning into another universe with the drop of a hat. A moment of certainty can slip away like a bit of fog on a sunny morning.
So, I am not focusing on that possibility but I know it is there. It does not stop me from looking forward. I don't just charge into things the way I used to and don't just assume everything will work out. I have to be much more careful. I have to really figure things out.
I don't recognize this new and more subdued person. But I am getting used to her. She has learned how close death can be and is. She has had way too many moments in the last two years when a child slipped away. A child she has known. A family she has met and helped and encouraged and held in her heart while the worst events of their life pass. A brush with death makes you take notice of life. Watching the process with many many children you have known and loved makes you wonder. Wonder what life is about and whether you are doing the important things in life.
Are you doing something every day and touching a life in a positive way? If you were to leave the world would it make a hole in someone's life? Would you be missed? in a good way? Have you done something to make someone smile? Did you take a moment and talk with a person who looked down and out? Did you buy a Real Change newspaper? (Paper the homeless sell in Seattle that we never read but liberals buy to do a bit for someone in need.) Will your dog's last memory be of a really great walk? Will your flowers be watered? Will people know how much you loved and valued them? Will those you leave behind have great stories to tell? Remember when..... stories?. Will your pictures have names on the back of them so your children will know who you were standing by?
Today I was a Starbucks in the U Village. An older gent was grabbing the empty half and half at the same time. We struck up a conversation and I later joined him at his table. I asked a bunch of questions and discovered he was English, born in Peru, educated at St. Andrews and had been a researcher at the Pacific Cancer Center for most of his career. As a baby he napped in the lap of Eleanor Roosevelt while sharing a trip from Peru to England. Evidently Eleanor told Donald's mom her husband was going to be President one day. His mom thought she was a bit off.