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A Meditation on Aging...

Image
I saw him stumble and reach out for my hand
one so sure-footed that others had always reached out for his.
I heard him panting and gasping for breath
one so strong that it had appeared he never rested.
I felt him grasp tightly, my arm for balance
one so independent that he had seemed to need no help
I saw him tear up as he reflected on of his life
one so driven that he’d seldom looked back
I heard him talk about the feelings and hurt
one so formidable that we’d never considered his pain
I felt him turning spiritual and philosophical
one so practical that he had appeared only to see the material.



He thinks today’s is the last suit he’ll ever buy
a man who seldom acknowledged endings
He recapped simple instructions as we drove
a man who knows how to do everything
He said things that are obvious and apparent
a man who had little patience with chit-chat.
He thanked me today for a suit I bought him
a man who bought me every suit I’ve ever owned
He wondered aloud why people are mean
a man …

the Eulogy

The priest said that she was a wonderful person. One who had kept the family together.
What did he say at my father’s funeral? After divorce and suicide had delivered him there.

Oh!

Our civilization has arrived at this station
we alight and look around
to find
buildings filling with our mothers and fathers
hospitals filling with grandparents and relatives
who are wandering the wilderness of old age
as insecurity’s companions
grey-matter greying
tendons aging
joints decaying
eyes watering
as they shuffle their way through long days of weakness
oft-despairing
always lonely
Minds firm, bodies infirm
bodies firm, minds infirm

Oh Medicine! see what we’ve done…
pushed on the boundaries of our mortality
bought a decade maybe two back from death’s timetable
So around us we find
aging children of super-aged parents
the infirm caring for the infirm
One tired generation at home
another fragile generation in old-homes

Oh Medicine! see what we’ve done…
Sandwich generations are the norm
no longer the exception
The joy of four generations at the Thanksgiving table
tempered by weightier burdens of inter-generational responsibility.

Oh people! see where we’ve come…
to a worl…

Spontaneous words...

Ten years from now I don’t know where
you’ll be
or
I’ll be
Ten years ago you were
a little girl running around the house with short hair!

I do hope to see you doing well in your life, Inshallah (God-Willing)

Remember
when you make tough decisions
you can always tell me
let me know how things are going
I promise I will never say I told you so
because I hope to teach you everything I know by the time you are eighteen
After that its for you to do for yourself
for you to figure out
its between you and God.

..But know
that I will always support you unconditionally
always be ready to help you.

The thing about life my dear is this decision...
when to use your heart and when to use your brain
Sometimes you have to rationalize and
other times you have to see with your heart.
The tough job is to figure out
what to lead with, and
what mix of heart and mind to use.