On 7-21-1970, I was walking to work (one hour walk there, one hour walk home…to work two hours…) and thinking, oh man, I have to work until I’m 65? I was flipping burgers, cleaning tables, working with the public.
Folks, I am 65 years old today. To say I am stunned would be true, for how did this happen so quickly?
Wait, there were many long days and nights–but so much went so quickly!
I had a business career and then a teaching career. I am still teaching after retirement and loving it. I am tutoring, writing poetry, and living as well as I can.
***As to grief, picking up a bottle of Aleve yesterday had me crying over my sister. I miss having a sister so much. I would send her or bring her Aleve for she was in pain for so many years. I looked at the long list of things I brought to her and ordered for her and could almost chart her decline that way. At first they would just be gifts or nice things for her apartment. And little by little they became necessities to keep her from excruciating pain. How horrible to live for 40 years in excruciating pain. I’m very sorry that happened to her and I miss her a lot.Looking back now I can see she knew that her end near and that she had made peace with this.
Towards the last half year of her life, my sister wasn’t able to read, drive, walk sleep. She had a series of agonizing painful days. Towards the very end, she forgot how to use the telephone. She kept losing things such as her phone and would be on the floor for days. She wanted to stay living alone on her own and refused living with anyone else. That was her right. That’s how she wanted it. Adamantly. Still, it was very sad seeing her not able to use the phone, remember her phone number, or even remember that if she touched the number on her phone screen she could dial her number. She got very afraid at the end because she knew she couldn’t remember things. We think it was brain cancer or loss of oxygen to the brain.
My sister was not very compliant with hospice wishes. She wanted to live on her terms and then die. And that’s what she did.
Still, she did manage to go out for coffee one last time and flirt with the wait staff. She wanted one more Christmas holiday but that was not to be, so I will make sure to celebrate for the both of us.And life goes on on my end. I’m retired but still teaching. Tutoring. Writing poetry.
I am now the age she was when she passed away last year and I will soon be older than my older sister ever was.I know it was horrible pain for her at the end especially, but I miss my sister very much.(Photo taken by me at the Chicago Windows, the Art Institute of Chicago, artist Marc Chagall.)