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Saturday, November 23, 2013

As the journey continues.


How much easier would a journey be if we stopped along the way and asked for directions? Or took an inventory of what tools and supplies were needed? Or consult with our companions?

At the beginning of the journey we are confident and cocky. We hardly ever consult a manual when we attempt a new task. Even when we are confused and anxious, we fake it. We want to be perceived as people in charge and accomplished.

At the end of our journey, we are tired and grouchy. We consult everyone and everything daily, what food to eat, what exercises to perform. We say what we think; and we do what we like.

Yesterday, I told a good friend when she asked me to call her after a doctor's visit, that it was not going to happen. The call. No, I said. I'll not disappoint you. I can't promise to call until I feel like calling. Believe me, I added, I'll be so worried and anxious that the last thing I want to worry about is keeping this promise.

She nodded in agreement.

We know what it means to share news that is not good news, that will worry and make anxious the caller and the called. That certain news will just have to go through maceration.
Some things will not be shared.
Some will be shared for the first time.

Other stuff will be shared over and over again. You'll be tired of hearing about it; you'll be telling us you heard this already. And we will continue to share it because what our journey is about at this time in our lives is to make sense of all the stops and crevices, the small and big things we collected, received and gave, all things big and small that our memory can still contain.

Beware, we tell ourselves, this is what really happened when...

Whenever we appear grouchy, it's because we are processing the present in light of our past. Or, we are just anxious that this life is coming to an end.

When we don't call, it's because we hate to waste your time.
We don't resort to gimmicks when we tell you we can't accept your dinner invitation because we can't travel easily after dark.

Somehow, we have this sense of urgency to stay on the road.
Somehow, we see dead people walking among the living.

And we pray we can still be seen and heard.




20 comments:

My Maine Blog said...

Wow...Rosaria...as usual...you really struck a chord with me and aligned so perfectly with what I am experiencing now in life also.

We all have things that, until we are ready, if ever, to talk to someone about. There are so many times that I don't want to talk about what is going on in my life...it's sometimes better left unsaid. I don't want to be confined to never ending phone conversations either...sometimes it really does feel like such a waste of time because at our age...things don't change that much and everything is repeated so much that you just don't want to hear it again. Sometimes I just don't want the phone to ring unless it's my kids calling. I always want to talk to them. Anyway I just wanted to thank you for always sharing such poignant blog posts...I really do relate so very well. Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving. We will be having another very quiet holiday...just the two of us.

joeh said...

Happy Thanksgiving.

Brian Miller said...

heart felt write...all the way down to that last line on wanting to still matter...and there are def things it is harder to talk about..i find that in finally sharing and letting go it is easier...but i have to be ready...smiles.

Rob-bear said...

Strange. I don't feel anxious about the future. It will unfold as it does. I am content to live day by day, reconciling myself to my imperfections, understanding my limits. Today, I was splitting fire wood. Yesterday, I walked with our grandchildren. The day before, I shovelled snow. These are important things now, and keep me from doing nothing. Voltaire was right: Il faut cultiver notre jardin. And when we have cared for ourselves, we can reach out, even in our weakness, and care for others, particularly the hurting, the sorrowful.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

What a powerful post, Rosaria, and so true. We're past the point of making promises we can't keep or talking about things before we're ready and at a stage where we're facing our own mortality with so much more immediacy. Your posts are so thought-provoking and so spot-on with so many of our experiences!

Maggie May said...

This post was filled with much that I can identify with. It was a beautifully written one that provoked much thought and many questions.
I think that it is better to share than to bottle things up. However, I sometimes find myself thinking....."oh no, don't let the phone ring now." Other times I am longing for some one to ring me up and the phone remains silent.
I think sometimes a single phone call can alter your whole life. One minute you are happily getting on with life and the next filled with anxiety over some news that you've heard. I suppose sometimes I do that to someone else because I've worried them inadvertantly. But its better to know whats happening, even if we can't change things and we never know what a difference we might make to another's life...... just by listening.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

the walking man said...

7 siblings and a mother and only my wife, I, and 1 other brother knew he had end stage cancer. The rest after 57 years of not really being a family he didn't tell anyone, but we spent time and just could see it growing. I had to argue with Detroit Police Department for 3 hours to get a car out to help us recover his body. At least 2 brothers got there before the cops did.

My family pfft. They know nothing of medical maladies or everyday realities.

Tom Sightings said...

So true that you shouldn't have to share any more than you want to, when you want to. But ... how nice that you have someone who cares enough to want to know.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Such a thoughtful post. I don't quite know how to respond. Makes me think of my parents - how I could have been so much better near their end had I more knowledge of how it was.

Becky Jerdee said...

You've done it again! Shaped a post into words that resonate with universal life experience...facing up to mortality and making new rules for handling it. Bravo!

ellen abbott said...

he and I are already boring each other with stories we have already heard too many times.

Linda Myers said...

I needed to talk this morning. I picked up a friend for church.

My friend is blind. Somehow, it was easier to talk to her. Isn't that odd?

Diana said...

My mom spoke this way even before she knew she was ill. She stopped having time for the things she didn't want to or couldn't commit to. I think it's a reality that we could all embrace sooner if we chose to, and be more authentic for doing so.

troutbirder said...

Though shy as well about making too many commitments I prefer to nurture hope....:)

LindyLou Mac said...

Oh dear Rosaria, this post has left me feeling concerned about you. You certainly make us think with your posts. Take Care. x

Vagabonde said...

Your posts are always so powerful. It is true that at this stage of life we see things differently than when we started out. I know that if I had the same thoughts then that I have now I certainly would have returned to Paris and not stayed in this country, but that was then and here we are now. All in all life has been good though when one forgets the bad parts, and we might as well. Have a happy Thanksgiving – any morning that we see daylight is a day to give thanks, no?

rosaria williams said...

Happy Thanksgiving!
And as Vagabonde says, "any morning that we see daylight is a day to give thanks, no?"

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I wish I could say something pithy and sage, but I will rely on one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite authors, Karen Maezen Miller. "The search for greater meaning robs our life of meaning." Thanks for stopping by my place and leaving me a note.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria ... reaching out is difficult isn't it ... and I certainly don't ring to chat ... but I'm an independent soul.

Interesting thoughts here as I move along the path towards the last couple or three decades ...

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving - Hilary

rosaria williams said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comments, everyone.