I’m currently waiting to hear from one of the nurses caring for my dad. They called me last night to tell me he was suddenly ill, and I might need to scramble to get down to be with him. They also suggested I begin considering hospice care for him. Things are feeling pretty disconnected right now… I guess that’s natural (?), as I’m about three hundred miles away, and uncertain as to his condition.

So much has been going through my head, and my heart, these past months, deepening over the past weeks as I’ve witnessed his further decline in health (physical and cognitive). It is a path through sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, yearning, and doubt.

Dementia, seeing what it does to him, feels like a theft of his mind, and an assault on his spirit. It is heartbreaking. Beyond the personal, is the political, or the social… that we (seem to) pay very little real attention to the process of dying, focused so much on the superficial. And it strikes me that there is very little our society does these days to truly honor the dying, or to offer answers to the living.

I don’t know what is going to happen over the next few days. I am still hopeful.

Celebration & Gratitude

my favorite gift: sweet new plants
and something I can never have enough of: olives!

The other night my daughter and her boyfriend had my husband and myself over to celebrate my upcoming birthday. It was a great evening, with wonderful food, fantastic music, awesome conversation, very fun tabletop gaming, and much love. In my typical weirdness, I felt then and still feel now that this was not deserved, the big, positive, warm attention.

My daughter knows me well, and her gifts to me (in addition to the above food, music, conversation, and gaming) were a jar of kalamata olives, and a beautiful little plant. I also received a cool-looking new game, Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein, which I’d seen highly recommended in recent reviews. As we didn’t want to dive into an hour long read of the instructions for a new game, we played a long-time favorite, Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Betrayal at House on the Hill,
and Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein

I’ve never spent this much time or energy contemplating any particular birthday or age. I am not sure why fifty is doing it, but I guess that is not so uncommon. But so far, this one has actually been one of the best.

I’ll know soon enough if fifty feels any different from any other age, but regardless, I’m letting go the worry, and just allowing the astounding gratitude I’m feeling for having made it this far, and with this much love in my life.