The Sip!

Have you ever spent an evening with a relative that you haven’t seen for a long time because you happened to be in the neighborhood and were just too tired to drive fifty more miles to get to your own apartment?  Besides, you thought to yourself, “This will be great, it’s been quite a few years since you last seen her and the two of you could catch up on what has been happening in each of your lives. You could drive home in the morning fully rested.

Okie dokie! The evening went well, Aunt Loretta was glad to see you and the two of you caught up with the latest happenings before heading to bed. When you wake in the morning, you notice that Aunt Loretta is still sleeping (being a widow and getting on in years – she is not an early riser). You do your best not to make any noise as you make your way to the kitchen.

Daily habits can be a curse and being in someone else’s house does not make it any easier to follow one’s routine. Now I must admit, while I am not on a diet, I do try my best to be careful about what I eat. Having said that, I would like to continue this story by saying that after locating the loaf of bread kept in her cute “Bread Wrapper” shaped bread box, I ate some dry toast with a cup of black, decaffeinated coffee. Notice I said, I would like to say that ……. but such wasn’t the case.

What happened next made it that I definitely had to find something to eat but I am getting ahead of myself. At home, one of the first things I have upon awakening is a small glass of orange juice and so before I even think about toast and coffee, I must have my orange juice. Now some people do not like to keep their store-bought orange juice in the cardboard box it comes in from the store and so they pour same in a Tupperware pitcher, glass pitcher, or what have you as soon as they get home. Me, I leave it in the box, plastic bottle, or whatever it comes in direct from the store. I am rambling. Back to my story.

Having found a Tupperware pitcher in the refrigerator, I noticed that the amount of liquid showing through the plastic was rather low, which to me was a sign that there was not much in the container. What to do – what to do? Oh well, perhaps, if I just take a sip or two direct from the pitcher, that will accomplish two things (I know – not too sanitary, but go with me for the moment as it adds to the story):  (1) I will get my orange juice fix and (2) Aunt Loretta will be none the wiser, plus I will be sure to only take a sip or two so that she has some when she wakes up. Mission accomplished. Yeah, right – read on!

What is it with senior citizens when they get older? Do they lose their marbles or just become senile? What happened next just about sent me heading for the sink or bathroom. I opened the pitcher and took a small sip, notice I said small sip and thank goodness for that. Never, never in my wildest dreams, did I expect what was to flow over my lips and into my mouth! Cold chicken broth!!!!!  Yuk!

It seems that Aunt Loretta had some chicken soup recently and rather than toss the broth that was left (she apparently had eaten all the chicken and noodles), she decided to save it and warm it up later because as Grandma used to say: “Chicken soup is good for the soul!” Not only is chicken soup good for the soul, but it is good for almost everything, especially when you’ve a nasty winter cold, but it definitely is not good for that person looking to get his orange juice fix first thing in the morning when in surroundings not of his or her own making.  As I said above, YUK!

Until next time!

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When the Time Comes!

The Great Beyond!

Here I sit wondering what wonderful words of wisdom I might share with you folks as I try desperately to get back into a schedule of writing a post a week for this site, (as you can see – that isn’t working!). A short time ago I learned of the fact that a blogger I follow has been told that the disease she has been diagnosed with is terminal.

While most of us, on occasion think about dying and deep down inside know that death is life’s only known certainty, being informed that your time is running out causes one to stop and think about and hopefully come to terms with our own mortality.  It isn’t hard to recognize the fact that being given such news is a truly personal and transformative experience. I mean, let’s face it, we all know that we are going to pass on into the big unknown sooner or later but to know that it is going to happen to you and probably sooner than later, that has got to be the ultimate eye-opener about how short our lives here on Earth truly are.

It is one thing to look upon death as “the great equalizer” but how do you handle knowing that your time is soon near?  The older I become, while not often, the thought of death and dying does slip out of my subconscious mind into my everyday thoughts. Not to the point of dwelling on the subject, mind you. But usually when I happen to be in our community clubhouse and I see the Memorial plaque on the wall which lists those individuals who have since passed on. As a matter of fact, just within our small community of 297 homes, last count there were thirteen of my friends who have passed on in 2018. Add to that fact that several of my close relatives have passed both in 2017 and 2018. As we get older and recognize that friends and relatives are passing on – it does make one realize that many of us in our seventies and eighties are truly in the twilight years of our lives.

They say there are five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The question that haunts me whenever I allow myself to drift off and recognize the fact that we all will inevitably face this fact is: “Will I confront death with both eyes open and grapple with the conundrum of death or will I allow the torment of illness to change my relationship to the world around me. When you get right down to it, I am sure we could all come up with various questions that would pop into our head were we to be given such news. Questions such as: “Now that I know I am facing death, what is there left that makes my life worth living?)” Being told that your future will not be geared to goals you may have set for yourself over the years or plans you have for the future, what do you do?

Receiving such news makes one face his or her own mortality which when you stop and think about it changes nothing in one sense and everything in another sense. It is sort of like wanting to say to yourself: “Okay, I give up, I can’t go on. But then on the other hand, not knowing when the exact moment is going to be, you also ask yourself – what has changed?  You may as well say to yourself: “I can go on.”

Hopefully when my time comes (actually I would like to take the coward’s way out and die peacefully in my sleep but seeing how my sleep habits are anything but peaceful – I am not holding my breath on that being my way to leave this world), I will merely seize every moment granted to me because when one gets right down to it, “time is all we have…. and when we receive that news, the only thing that has changed is that we found out that we don’t have as much time as we thought we had.” 

It gets back to something many of us have been saying for years and that is enjoy life and “live every day as though it may be your last.” If we do that, chances are we may well avoid those five stages of death.

Until next time!