Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Friday, May 11, 2012

Through My Care Giver Eyes - Reality Check

Today I am attending a Memorial Service for my mom's "neighbor" in Assisted Living.  "Win" was loved by all there.  He was wheel chair bound, but he always was out and about.  He could frequently be found sitting outside enjoying his cigar, reading his newspaper and taking in the warmth of the sun.

This week he passed away.

I frequently visit mom with my grand dogs.  One day when Milo was with me, Win motioned me into his room to show me his dog.  His dog was in a picture displayed prominently on his dresser. The picture included  young Win (maybe a teenager), clothed in styles that were reminiscent of European styles 80 years ago.  Short pants just below the knee, a short jacket, and a cap.  And standing on his hind legs with his front paws on Win's shoulders was this absolutely ENORMOUS dog. Huge in height and breadth. Their heads were nose to nose.  Win's arms rested on the dog's shoulders. The picture was faded with age, but it was obvious there was great love between the boy and his dog.  That love for his buddy was safely tucked away in the heart of this 90+ year old man.  

When I received the announcement of his passing and the planned house memorial service, I was instantly faced with the reality that is easy to forget sitting in my living room.  The passing of folks with great age is normal, expected even.  And just like my own mortality, I seldom face the fact that one day mom will be gone.  

It is a reality check.  It is a reminder that our time together is limited.  As much as I struggled over the last year to hold off the inevitable for my mom, we all reach the same end eventually.

Rest in Peace - dear Win.
I know your buddy is waiting patiently for you on the other side.

10 comments:

  1. I try hard to appreciate each day, living in the present and hold on to the good memories of the past. So easy to get caught up in the busyness of trivial things and miss the important ones. Like time with family and the spectacular morning I have today!

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    1. Amen to the family time. Our day was beautiful today as well.

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  2. I think we tend to push the inevitable to the back of our minds and not dwell on it. Just enjoy every day with your Mom. Are they having a mothers day celebration in the residence?

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    1. They have a Mother's DAy music thingy in the afternoon. I will take her to Mass on Sunday, like normal and then stay at her house for lunch. I can't get her up my stairs to have lunch here, and the restaurants will be packed. So I will stay with her for the main meal. Then my sister will come after that for a visit. She will have a busy day. And be totally exhausted.

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  3. This was such a beautiful post...truly bittersweet. Possessions are of such little importance in life--it's the love we have for beloved pets or beloved people that we forever carry without fear of loss.

    My younger sister was in her 30s, and my parents in their 50s when they died. That, among other life experiences, taught me how short and precious life is and that making the most of each day we have is of utmost importance. I think that's why I love the Mark Twain quote at the top of your blog so much. He was spot on! :)

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    1. Although my dad was a troubled man, he died in 1970 and never had the chance to enjoy or even meet his grandchildren. So yes, life can be short. Enjoy every moment.

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  4. To "Caregiver Eyes" . . . this brought crocodile tears to my eyes nd heart. Yes we each come to our end. . . . How wonderful Win showed you HIS dog . . . you shared yours, memories were made. May he rest in Peace . . .

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    1. I shared the story of Win and the picture of his dog with the memorial visitors - during the remembering section. I could see recognition in the eyes of his wife. You just never know what little tiny bit of experience in your life will be important. This shared experience was important today to the family and to me.

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  5. This was a touching post. Memories are so important, as is appreciating what we have here in the present. Happy Mother's Day!

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  6. What a beautiful and touching post!

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