Wednesday, September 21, 2011
It was finally time in his life to retire and move away from working. His wife had a number of health problems and he would feel better perhaps staying around home. This only lasted a few weeks and soon he was moon lighting for a few contractors. It was what he really enjoyed doing most in his life. He moved to be closer to a few of his children into a retirement high rise. It was similar to where they had lived before, except more people his age, which was good and bad. He felt a little trapped, but soon adjusted becoming a king in the building always helping others. His son came by one day and announced he was going to get his grandmother and bring her up to be closer to family also. This was like driving a nail through his head, but he felt it would work out and make his wife happy, having her mother closer. She soon found space in their building and he did his best to keep his distance and not irritate her, but it was never always possible. He ran to the store, took her to appointments, but he never was a gleam in her eyes.
It was a gentle life and years slipped by without much notice. One day driving to the store, his car was broadsided going through an intersection. One neighbor who saw part of the accident said he thought he got out to look over the damage, but the doctors felt he was dead at the scene. They took him to the hospital nearby and worked on him with no effect. Sitting in the waiting room his entire family was waiting for some sort of positive word. A son looked at his tearful grandmother and asked how she was doing. She sobbed silently and said she wasn’t sure what they could do for him. “He will be missed,” remarked one of the children. His mother-in-law looked up and said, ”If you had a wart on your nose and had it removed you would still miss it.” Out of respect everyone looked at her and kept quiet. This was a gem of a man to all present, but that terrible grudge still held on through the years. She never would say what it was exactly, but the glare was always in her eyes. The nurse came out and said they had stopped procedure and to give them a few minutes before the family could come and say their last words. A doctor came out and discussed with his wife what had been done and held her a bit when she broke down. The love of her life had left this earth. Her mother sat straight and upright, as if there would be no sign of emotion and grabbed her daughter’s hand as they went in together to view the body. They came out fairly quickly and she asked to be taken home. Nobody knew what she had said, or if she said anything. Her runner of errands was gone, and a piece of hate perhaps taken with him.
One of the hardships of being the oldest living member of a family is watching all you knew and loved pass on before you. Your world becomes a bit emptier each time with no real chance to replace what you once had. Many take what they have in life for granted so often, that it is not until they lose something or someone that they really realize how important this was to them. It is sad when we can’t get a proper perspective in our lives to understand what makes us happy. There are many things money can never buy and a family is one of those things. When we finally realize it too late it can build certain bitterness, remorse for not understanding the person we lost, or how it will change our lives losing this person until it really happens. We need to sit aside our busy lives and look a little deeper into what we really have against what we always want. Happiness may be staring us in the face and we forget to smile and relish the moment we have ignored. We build too many complexities trying to make our lives better, that the one simple moment of truth and love is so easily overlooked. Close your eyes and sit back and think about this for a moment. Look at what is around and discover the beauty in this world you may be ignoring. Our lives are too fragile to let this beauty slip away before we understand how unique it is to us.