As most of you know, my dad died about a month ago. Having gone through periods of sadness, even though I know he is better off and no longer suffering the indignities of being frail and dependent on others for even basic care, there is a hole in my life. Since 2007, I have lost both parents and my only sibling, my sister Jean. In that same time period I have also lost a few long-time friends. Many of the ones left are beginning to have serious health issues, myself included.
For quite some time now I have been having what I can only describe as a "life review". You know how people who are faced with near-death situations say that their whole life flashes before them? I was trying to tell a friend what was happening to me, and the only way I could describe it was that I was having a life review in slow motion. Seriously, at some of the weirdest times, incidents or images from my past will interrupt my thoughts. I cannot recognize any triggers such as sounds or smells or music that precede them. These do not consist of anything important or traumatic. Perhaps a scene from a childhood playtime or something I picture from one of my children's early lives. Frequently, they are about something I have never remembered in the past. As I spoke with this friend, I asked her, "You don't suppose I am preparing to die, do you?" - only half joking. She reminded me, "Marilyn, we're all dying from the time we are born."
Watching a review of the Master's tournament this weekend it was impressive when Jack Nicklaus hit a hole-in-one. After all, he's 75 years old! I wondered when I started keeping track of the ages of significant people in the news - or in my circle of acquaintances. I think most of us my age have been guilty of checking the ages in obituaries for quite a few years now. But to actually check on events that occurred in the lives of people I know started with me only recently. I find myself saying to myself, "Mother was this age when she...." and sighing with relief that I haven't done or stopped doing that same thing, and I'm much older than she was then. I really don't wish to live as long as my dad did (96), but I find myself trying to remember how old my relatives were when they died. And what lifestyle helped them to live longer or to die younger. Can any of you relate to this or am I at the beginning stages of senility?
The last time I visited my dad in the nursing facility, he had a few lucid moments when we were able to carry on a conversation. He suffered from dementia, but could sometimes relay in great detail something from his past. I asked him if he held any regrets about his life... was there anything he had done or not done that he regretted? He thought for a few moments and surprised me when he said, "No... no regrets." Unfortunately, I could think of many things he should have held a great deal of regret over! As the title to this blog states, I have "Some regrets, but still time." I hope to be able to repeat what Dad said at the end of my life, "Nope, no regrets." I'd better get busy because who knows how much longer we have on this earth?
I certainly don't mean this to be a gloomy take on growing older, so on a lighter note, I found the quote to the left most apt pertaining to me. I seem to do that more frequently as I age.
And of course there are many examples of seniors taking risks and accomplishing much. After all, Hillary is 67 years old now and look what she is taking on.
Back to politics next time.