If you weren’t you
and I not I,
I could have been free
to show affection
not tainted with sexual
If the sexual component
was not the central theme
I might have held your hand
or kissed your cheek
relaying far more affection
than I let you show me
For that is how I am
not afraid to show the affection
experienced between friends
But you wanting more
than I could give
put constraints upon
My hand faltered,
no offer of back rub came forth.
My lips stayed on my side
of the equation.
that what you wanted most
could only occur
if we were friends.
I worked for a man this weekend who was a widower for one month. He is 93 and his wife’s Memorial service is this coming weekend.
He told me he needed a companion, someone to fill the void I suppose. But it sounded so clinical and mercenary.
His buddy is looking for him. He had found someone in her twenties who seemed too young and one who was 93 who seemed too old so he was still putting feelers out.
There is another man I know, 85 and widowed. His wife died the year before. He had started going to the Senior Center in his community and met a volunteer there who is twenty five years his junior.
After three weeks he was talking about her moving into his home. She is going to meet the family over Thanksgiving.
I know how lonely aloneness can be. It can be a yawning chasm for someone who has spent a lifetime with a partner. Men seem to experience this more than women.
Most women can handle aloneness better. They have often felt alone in their previous relationships. Even those who had great experiences were comfortable in their own skins, maybe not every woman but most.
If an elderly person does enter a new relationship, it often progresses with speed. There isn’t a lot of hedging because mortality rears its head with no illusions.
It really bothered me how the first man was talking about his need for a companion even as he was arranging his wife’s memorial service. I suppose at 93 he didn’t need to learn the value of aloneness.
The freedom a solitary life brings can be very comforting. But people of a certain age may not be able to adjust. A man that has always felt like part of a unit may not be able to find pleasure as a single person. The former partner provided a cushion of support even if the wife did not feel as supported.
Being elderly can be a fundamentally frightening experience. A learning to ease into a confrontation with a mirror, facing the emptiness within may be more than a person can bear. It may not be enough to visit friends and know the members of one’s family, church or community group. Staring at the other side of the empty bed can be a bitter pill to swallow.
One of the most frustrating times in life is when you are in a holding pattern. Being stymied by circumstances is no fun.
I am in such a place now. Sixty two, facing the repercussions of the steady encroachment of elder years, I know my life will be changing in new and different ways over the next few years.
There is a sense of dissatisfaction with all aspects of my life. My body is struggling to keep up with the demands of my job. CNA work with the elderly is a stretch on physical and emotional resources. I can no longer lift and manipulate as before.
My career path needs changing. I lack the financial resources to go back to school for an MFA. Writing is my fall back plan but we all know it is not the easiest way to make a living.
Perhaps copywriting. But that means selling yourself and I would have to develop more self esteem than I have at present. The internal messages I have been giving myself are brutal.
I know I will be moving to California in 3 years. I need work I can take with me. This needs to be well thought out.
My spiritual life is in upheaval. No matter how hard I try, I can’t reconcile religious work with spirituality. My church is old and seems to be on the slow road to death. We make efforts to encourage new growth but nothing changes. We can’t seem to attract the new people to change the dynamics. Our new pastor doesn’t seem up to the job and we are too old and too few to make meaningful change. We have a rich history but can’t seem to move toward the future.
Even my relationships seem fraught with upheaval and tension.
All this is to say I apologize for not writing more but right now my attentions are internally focused and are having trouble looking outward. Bear with me please. Change is good. I just need to move through it.
Stop, pay attention,
this is your life
we’re talking about here
It’s so easy to loose yourself,
by vague imaginings
and heartfelt murmurings
The road to forgetfulness
is just around the corner
Fine tune your mind
scritch scratch out a life
running on full cylinders
You’ve spent too long
in somnolent bliss
barely a moment offered
to true knowledge
and structured action
Be wary of indolent
breezes fluttering through
Seek a chillness to the air
stirring spent senses alive
waking your mind
to life’s preciousness
say to yourself –
The system is floundering. Caught in the cycle of aggression. Listening to the Kavanaugh hearing and seeing the FBI’s tactic acceptance of very limited investigations is disheartening, to say the least.
Yes, the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and other women were of events many years ago but they are indicative and symptomatic of a larger, possibly ongoing pattern of behavior. Classmates reported loutish, drunken actions. Their words were largely ignored.
This is indicative of a larger, societal issue, one where there is a tactic acceptance of aggression and violence. Verbal abuse is rampant. Men think nothing of raising their voices to others. It matters little to them, what they say is justifiable in their minds.
I am treating aggression globally. I’ve known several men who were gentle souls. They speak with courtesy and mindfulness. My father is as one of them. But, in my experience, many men feel entitled to letting their anger leak out as they choose. While women have rage, they generally temper their words and the expression of their feelings.
Kavanaugh spoke with the arrogance of the entitled. He couldn’t dream of being questioned for behavior that was all too often tolerated. Even in the face of criticism and scrutiny, he responded with anger and intolerance. He exuded entitlement and we were shown, once again, that women will always be fighting for justice, just like Ford and Anita Hill.
Caring for a person with demensia is difficult on the best day. However, I am beginning to see a possible hope for the future.
One of my clients is following the protocol developed by Dr. Bresener. My client went through massive testing. With the results, the medical doctor developed a list of supplements a typed page long. The protocol was supposed to take 4-6 months to work.
It has been about three months now and I can see increased lucidity and a sharpening of emotions. Where before she was placid, could hardly walk, and had strong Parcinsonian symptoms, now there is frustration, more movement, and less evidence of Parkinsonism symptoms.
There are recommendations for a whole food diet with no processed foods but that hasn’t happened. I can’t help but wonder what the progress would be if it were adopted.
That is not to say everything is great. She still hallucinates and walking is still an issue. But there is definitely reason to hope. It is a program worth exploring.
I spent the weekend with four Republicans. What a revelation! I honestly couldn’t understand their perspective. It sounded almost like a foreign language.
We talked about Kavanaugh and Ford. They were pro Kavanaugh while I was pro Ford. Couldn’t they see the palpable pain manifested in her every pore? Why did they not see the belligerent, entitled arrogance. Kavanaugh displayed?
Taxes and the poor were a subject. Once again they celebrated the upper class despite how one couple clearly struggled with their income. I mourned the poor, of which I am one, for the hand to mouth living they are relegated to.
I fully understand that it takes all perspectives to make a balanced society. It is necessary and essential. But the disparity is disconcerting. I fear for our country if their perspective reigns for too long. And I am sure they feel the same about my view.
I guess that’s the reason we have a two party system…thankfully. Now if only the Democrats take over Congress.