Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dying, Death, Decay: Natural Yet Unwanted

It's Spring...supposedly....with temperatures mimicking early Fall. Unnatural? Signs of changes to our planet? Doom and gloom? Death watch?

The flowering trees in our area this year were extraordinary. Remembering the bitter sub zero weather for longer than almost anyone can actually remember; Mom could have because she was 99 when she passed, it's amazing we had such a vibrant and amazingly beautiful Spring.

As each floral awakening of buds and bushes occurs, I wonder at the beauty, of the survival of the plants through such difficult times. Plants and people. Both amaze me.

Mom lived during times when there weren't shots for measles, mumps and other childhood diseases. Survival of children beyond the age of five or six was often extraordinary.

Mom's nine siblings all survived into adulthood and her brothers, six of them, each lived many years beyond their service in World War II. One brother did go to Canada, the "baby boy", where he served in their Mounted Police; I've no one to ask about this choice now as his wife and daughter are both gone and the son who survives served in Vietnam and has become quite the recluse.

What are the odds I'll live as long as my Mom and Grandmother? Ages 99 and almost 91, respectively? They weathered life's challenges; the stress and the losses. Each worked hard and each worked at living daily lives challenged by late in life Dementias. Will that also be my fate?

My beautiful bouquet of roses sent by my youngest son have almost all drooped and shown through falling apart their time has come and they are no longer "living". Six are left; three white, two pink and one mauve. Our family numbered six: my husband and I, our three children and Mom.

These too shall pass, I tell myself. Time will take its toll. Before we realize each of their time has come it will be here and those remaining will join them in their own time.

Unwelcome and unwanted, dying and death visit families. It brings a bittersweet time for those remaining. We want to be positive; to "know" we'll meet again if we have those beliefs, but for many it becomes surviving in the here and now that presents as much challenge as dealing with the then and when their loved one(s) departed this life.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Not a great thought, really, when you consider the process. Who wants to think about those passages? Few I know do.

Yet we see new sprouting from old; life extending through what appears to have ended.

Life continues to surprise us in its ability to go on and to return.

Hope. Faith. Love.  Basic elements of life. Basic concepts of death.

Life is truly a circle. As I move around this shape I wonder when and how I will complete its path. And as I go, I can only live each day reminding myself I make this circle in the here and now and each day I complete a part of it.

I pass along to my children and their children and perhaps someday, if I follow in my mother and my grandmother's footsteps, I'll be able to pass along to my great grandchildren, what has been given to me: a love of and respect for life and a desire to create a life that has meaning each day that I am given.

Dying, death, decay, are natural yet unwanted but a little easier if we are fortunate to live a life of sharing and caring for and about one another during all the days of our lives.

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