I usually try to make my posts positive, even if I am not thinking that way. Sometimes I can talk myself into feeling positive. Today, I am having trouble.
This Sunday I blogged "This week, I plan a week of gratefulness posts. I can be thankful for many things this week, including family and good health.".
My mother in law is getting out of a rehab facility today. She is in her upper 80's. In the United States, a person (especially the elderly) may be put in an inpatient rehabilitation center after a hospitalization if they need intensive therapy and monitoring to return to a normal functioning. In my mother in law's case, she was hospitalized for nearly a week and was in the rehab facility for over a month.
When I would visit her, I had to walk down a long corridor. The doors of each room are open to the view of anyone who walks by. I tried to avert your eyes but it is hard. I saw room after room with a senior sitting in a chair, if they weren't in therapy.
I thought of these people - once young, limber, hard working, vital, perhaps athletic, loving, creative.
Strokes, falls, broken bones, cancer, you name it.
As I write this, someone I know in her 80's is in comfort care. She fell in February and hit her head. It's been a horrible journey - hospitalization, acute care, a nursing home. Now, there is nothing more they can do for her. Watching what has happened to her has been a painful process for her family. I can not imagine the sufferings this woman experienced as her condition deteriorated.
I think of friends and acquaintances who have passed on. Several from cancer. One from a liver disorder. A couple from heart attacks. They ranged in age from 13 to 63. I could say that aging is a privilege, but, today, I don't feel that way.
Why do these things happen? I've never been a questioning person or a spiritual person. This is changing.
I try to appreciate the world around me in this, my 62nd year. I express gratefulness when I wake up every morning. I enjoy the sunrise and the sunset. But then I think of those (mostly women) in the rehab facility. Will I be there one day?
I look at my changing body, the wrinkles, the deterioration of balance, the senior moments. We like to make light of them, because sometimes they aren't funny.
And then I worry about my mother in law.
We will see what happens when my mother in law gets out today. The staff of the rehab has worked hard with her, and she has worked hard in turn. But will the hard work continue once home? Or will she return to her lifting chair and her favorite TV channel?
Is there, in the end, such a thing as aging with grace?
Can I condemn someone for giving up when I have never been through what they have been through? But, as one of her caregivers, it frustrates me because I can see what will happen if she doesn't change her ways. She's been given this chance. Will she take it?
I don't know if she will.
Will this be my fate one day? I am grateful that we aren't given that knowledge, usually, until towards the end of our lives.
How do you feel about your aging?
This is day 24 of NaBloPoMo.