The topic of caring for your elderly ailing parents has been coming up in various real and fictional stories I've crossed lately. I think about my mom and worry about the day (decades from now, I'm sure) when she might fall to an unfortunate physical ailment that makes her life difficult. It happens.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Happy belated Easter, indeed.
I spent Easter weekend lounging around the beautiful and luckily sun-soaked, quaint country roads and fields of Somerset, England with Jaime, her visiting parents and some old and new friends. We were surrounded by sunshine, very early Christian history, family and friends the entire trip. Away from the hustle and bustle of central London, with a 4-day weekend to slow down, enjoy God's sunlight bathing over the rebirth of spring's green, green grass and wax philosophical, I used it as best I could.
But of course, I also think about my dad. And how he'd be glad he went out in a quick blaze of glory on his motorcycle at 53 years old. This is taboo to say. We all miss him so much, my mom most of all, but there's no denying that his sudden departure also knocked some light into a lot of lives. It made people close to him think about the man he was, and who he'd want and already encouraged us to be. In that hard-to-admit sense, something good came of it, which wouldn't have happened if those same people were 40 years older and he slowly slipped away after years of hospice care, or battling Alzheimer's in one of his sons' family's basement. He didn't want it to happen that way. He even made the effort to bring it up quite clearly a couple times in my teenage years. I certainly know he didn't want to leave as soon as he did. But I do believe he hoped, but certainly didn't plan, to go as suddenly as he did, while still sharp as a tack.
Might I be so lucky: Live long enough to leave an amazing legacy, but not so long as to feel like a burden.
Of course, nobody likes to talk about how they want to die. Not in any serious sense, at least. We'd rather just live forever. So that's what I plan to do. With Jaime and my mom and dad and brothers and progeny. Live forever. I'm dead serious. No pun intended.
And that's the totally practical application this year's "Happy Easter."