Aging

Have you ever had a person in your life whom you loved, yet wished not to see again? A person with whom you have great memories already, yet with whom you are afraid of having bad memories develop as they progress forward in life, as they age and grow ever nearer to death?

I remember this feeling from when my opa was dying. I had my whole life so far with him, and it was filled with wonderful memories with and of him. And I was scared to be around him in the last few months of his life, because his body was deteriorating so much, and his mind was clearly growing very tired. I was afraid of building those memories, of a man falling apart, a life coming to a struggling close.

To this day, those memories are still difficult for me to experience, to remember, to accept. Opa was so much more than those last few months, and for over 90 years. And yet they still, somehow, sadden me to the point of tears and snot and everything… even right now, as I write this, I am balling at the memories of those last months. What is so hard about remembering all the rest of the time, and letting go of those few-by-comparison memories that just so happened to be the most recent ones? Why is that so difficult?

My mom was talking once about how Opa was adamant that no one outside his family was going to wipe his butt. It’s a comical thought, really, imagining him saying any version of that. But it was also true and, in a way, serious for him. He only wanted his family to be in such an intimate situation with him, to see him and be with him when he was so incapable, returned to the state in which we all arrive in this world and life. It is no concern when a baby needs to be changed and cleaned, as he has not yet learned or become capable of doing it himself. But it is somehow different when one has lost an ability one once had, and needs another to handle something that had previously been an easy task for him to handle himself. I think that is because we tend to see it as a massive loss, versus a mere progression of life and an early step in returning to life fully with God.

I am so sad at times that my man never got to meet Opa. This man was, in a way, many of my own goals in life, my aspirations, my inspirations – so much about him has developed who I am and strive to be in this life. I miss him dearly still, and I wish my man had had the blessing of being able to miss him, too. Because it really is a blessing to be able to miss someone. We only truly are able to miss those that we first get to know and love, and what a gift it is to know and to love the amazing ones in this world.

Thank you, God, for such amazing blessings as those whom we all miss. Thank you for such love in our lives. Help us to show such love to others, that they may be blessed as we have been. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

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