The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE EIGHTY FOUR: Mr. Lone Lee Ness Sr.
I was at Goodwill the other day ( I like a bargain and you never know what you might find) and as I was looking at some knick-knacks. I overheard a conversation between two older ladies. I listened as one gave a compliment to the other on the outfit, that I thought was what a grandchild she was carrying had on. I decided I didn’t need any of the knick-knacks and walked out of the aisle. I looked to my right and saw the two ladies as they continued to converse.
That’s when I saw that it wasn’t a grandchild they were talking about but a doll. The conversation lead me to believe that this was a live being, a real live child. The lady holding it had talked about how she had got it for the doll for Christmas and how much she (the doll) loved wearing it.
She pretended it was a real child. The other lady talking to her had been humoring her.
And I walked away with a broken heart.
I had heard of people that did this but this was the first time in my 45 years of living that I had really seen it.
Loneliness becomes more of a reality as we get older. I’ve seen it first hand. My father has not been in the best of health and has been sidelined into a hospital and into rehab a couple of times. Not rehab due to addiction but a rehab to help him walk again from a broken ankle once and a wound from a fall on another. When I enter these rehabs to see how he’s doing and to spend some time with him to let him know he isn’t alone, I see others there. Most of them older people with similar situations. Some have friends and family visiting and to give them a smile and yet, there are others who sit by themselves. Maybe they are waiting for their own loved ones to visit or thinking of their loved ones last visit.
But some have no one. There are ones that sit slack-jawed in their own world. Maybe their family lives out of state and it’s difficult to come see them. Or maybe no one is left.
As I leave the rehab from the visit, I think of these people. I think about what they must be thinking. And one question always comes to mind…
How do they keep going?
I also see it on the way home from work. As I sit at a traffic light, I see people whom are homeless asking for a few bucks. Where is their family? Are they far away or will they have anything to do with them? Is there nobody left in their life?
I give them a few bucks if they ask or if I have it. And I try and give them a smile to let them know I see them, to let them know that I know they exist.
As I go about my day, those thoughts echo in my mind from time to time. Being alone, and I mean really alone, in the winter of your life may the saddest thing I can think of. I mean, being alone any time when you need others to cling to is horrible. But being older, most of your life behind you, and to be alone at the same time, well, it scares me. I see it with others and I get scared that I might have that in my future.
No friends. No family. Not even a pet to keep me company in my twilight years. I worry that those days will become complete routine. Getting up, watching mind numbing TV, eating, napping, watching more mind numbing TV and then back to bed. And the same the next day. And the same the next… And the next.
Until I don’t get out of bed one day. And that’s that.
Yeah. It really scares me. I think about it every morning when I sit my feet on the floor as I awake. I look at the clock and it’s usually the same time. Time to get ready to go to work. Then I think that these types of mornings are running together. One right after another. Same routine. Get ready for work. Go to work. Work. Come home from work. Eat. Spend some time with my wife and pets. Back to bed and start the same routine all over again.
At least now I have my wife. And I have a daughter I get to see every other weekend. I just don’t want to be alone and have that routine. It will be the same minus spending time with my wife and not seeing my daughter as often as I do. She’ll have her life and there will be less time for me. It happens and I know this.
That’s why I really want to go first. There is some selfishness to it. That way I wouldn’t have to live my life alone. My wife is better with friends than I am and I know she’ll be better at it. And I don’t want to live without out her so that’s why it’s important I leave this planet first.
I think when it comes to that fear, you must make sure to discover your great friends, the ones that like you for you and will be there for years to come. You must also treat your children with love and respect but don’t hang onto them with an iron grip. If you hang on too tightly, they may leave and be gone for good. You’ll need them around. And if you’re lucky enough to have somebody you love, somebody you call your best friend, that you share your life with, make sure to enjoy every minute. Learn from each other.
To be honest, I think I’ll be lucky. When the time comes, when my last minutes on this Earth ticks away, I will have people who love me all around me. I’ll get to see faces I love as I wink out and go on to the next world.
I truly hope that we are all so lucky.
September 29th, 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.