Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Peaceful Time in the Storm

Time to reflect friends, I sense a renewal of Democracy, and again life`s turns remind me of the dwindling hourglass.

No matter what happens we must remember the important things in life, my Dad is feeling better, my mom is worse, I find for me growing older is very difficult, everyone you idolized on screen or film are dying, elders, cousins, relatives and parents become worry, yet time and tomorrow won`t wait for anyone, all before and beyond will have to deal with this, sadness, every trip outing or occassion must be treated as a one-off, one of my friends in Maple Ridge his Mom has met me a dozen times, yet she can`t remember me, I know more than one elder with severe mental issues, my friend loves his mom but admits it`s very difficult, he has literally put his own life on hold while doing his best to improve his mom`s lost world.

There are times when I wish I was alone, unattached to anyone, a life of not caring or committing, but that can`t be removed, god damn it my dad still has unfinished business on earth, as does mom, sharp as a tack, he still whips my butt on Jeopardy, is there nothing he doesn`t know, he`s gonna have to slow down but I have my doubts, a few fishing trips are in order.

I wanted to give you all a thank you for caring, I have been touched by many of your stories, I understand that most of our readers are middle aged or better, sorry folks the Hannah Montana crowd isn`t tuning in, yet everyone of you have either lost family,friends relatives, you all have wept or will weep, and no one person`s sadness is greater than another`s, my forgiveness if I overlooked anyone`s personal tragedy, everyday one of us is dealing with grief, mine will have to wait.

The other life, is another issue I have struggled with, my friend Neil in Maple Ridge, his mom tries to head to work every morning, she hasn`t worked in 20 years, she forgets her pills, she can`t remember 2 minutes earlier, even as charming as I am she doesn`t remember me, yet I have talked to her about the past, the war years, post war, she remembers 60 years ago the type of shoes, the lunch menu but can`t remember my name, yet other elders, my parents, their minds are laser sharp, so is the will to live, I remember watching a show on W5 a decade or more ago, the story was called {The Grey Lady}.....

This woman was known as death, how you contacted her or she you was some what of a mystery, the Grey Lady would visit your home and leave with elderly parents or relatives dead, she wasn`t a killer she was there to relieve pain, sometimes the pain is too much, that show about the grey lady haunts me today, my dad is not in pain and he`s damned and determined to see Gordon Campbell dragged from office, my mom, she is in a lot of pain, she needs her leg removed, it won`t get better, the pills and pain take a terrible toll on health, unbearable pain will sap the life from you, but how do you make that choice, remove a leg to relieve the pain, maybe shadow pains would remain, could you make a choice, and who could ever avail themself of the Grey Lady and it is time`s like these when I ponder the future, take away my mind and thought and live in a circus of confusion or keep clarity of consciousness and watch the battle against time be lost, no one wins that war.

I have locked in memories for future use, like many of you I have been in various nursing homes over 4 1/2 decades of life, residents with drool on their face, vacant stares, not knowing who, what , where, or why they exist, yet there is a story for everyone, mothers, fathers, heroes and clowns, passionate jokesters, everyone of the varied souls contributed to the flavour of our family quilt.

Each and everyone of you have your own personal quilt, I have no answers only questions, why does such sorrow have to tailgate the happiness highway, why do some lose minds, some lose body and do we ever lose our spirit, I recall asking my mom about death over 40 years ago, I still recall what she said to a pouty toddler way back when,

"oh don`t worry, I won`t be dying for a long long time from now, so dry your eyes and give your mom a hug"

So I ponder her answer, her answer wasn`t good enough then and it`s not good enough today, yet that`s the only answer any of us get, there are no special rules for any of us, your brothers, children, your parents your idols, a tapestry of life has been knitted by your ancestors, no one`s loss is greater than another, whether you fished together, worked together, or enjoyed mom`s apple pie together, so to all who have lost, to everyone that still has time left, do it today, write it down, make the effort, each of you has a story to tell and I apologize for temporarily having my ears closed, I was being selfish, my folks could leave tomorrow and that`s OK, I will always have those old salty tears to remember them by, as will you and your loved ones.

In the meantime, we have a Government to remove, Gordon Campbell and cabinet need to be jailed, we have Salmon to rear, a pipeline to stop, we need to start quilting a tapestry to pass on, a salty teared stained tapestry, without the tears we didn`t live, I again apologize to all for putting my tears first. you are all as brave as your tears are wet. may you find a calm in the storm, may your memories never fade, peace be upon your house.

The Straight Goods

Cheers-Eyes Wide Open


Gary L. said...

Thank you Grant for the Posting. I have reread it, and in all the years that I have been online, this is one of the most poignant.
Be gentle on yourself.......


Concerned citizen said...

Well written Grant. Never stop believing. Enjoy your family while they're here, cause life is too short.

Now, I read your blog all the time. Excellent and to the point. You don't beat around the bush and I like that. Call it like it is.

Yes, there is lots to do to get our great province back from the corruption that appears to be running deep.

I've signed up as a canvasser to fight the HST. That was a start for me. Everyone should be canvassing, it's a start. And then recall in the fall.

Keep up the good work.
(And take time for yourself and your family too!)

Leah said...

Grant, this man's work is where I turn when I need a lift...or to find reason, and wisdom. This particular work is one of my favorites ever written...let it soak in, it's very comforting. At least I find it so. All my best to you.

On Joy and Sorrow by Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Kim said...

Beautiful post Grant, so true.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain
When you awake in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die.

Kim said...

Sorry, not sure who wrote that, but my great friend just lost her great friend, and this poem was comforting. Leah, that's a beautiful verse.

jaydee said...

Grant, Years ago when my mother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given 6 months (she only lived 2) she was more concerned about my sister and I than herself and she had to get the Dr. to call us and tell us the bad news. I cared for her and I said to my best friend, "I just don't know what to do" and she gave me the best advice I have ever been given - "Just spend all the time you can with her". It made me stronger and able to focus on the here and now.
Selfish you are not, you have spent thousands of hours keeping us well informed accurately and with some humor...Thank you and all the best to you and your family at this sad time. Stay strong and your parents will benefit by not feeling like they are a burden and knowing that you will be OK.

Leah said...

Excellent advice Jean!

Like you, I am the caregiver of a terminally ill parent. I used to fear "losing" her and spent time lamenting that until I realized that I win every day when I see her smile, and know that her concern for me is greater than her personal fears of what is to come.

I win, and will keep on winning because the one thing no one can ever do is take my memories of our time together away from me.

That would be my "advice" to you Grant...take the time to make good memories every day - those are what takes you through the bad days, and they keep you fighting for what is good.