I've Landed!

Monday, September 3, 2012

"You Do What Life Calls Upon You To Do"


    




     I was 35 and she was 53.
She was just starting her descent into  the twilight zone of aging.  Of course I already considered Bonnie old in spite of my nursing education.  See.....age is relative.
     Everything is relative, including the compass.

When you are 35...... 53 is OLD!

     I was reeling from my recent divorce, from having four small children to raise alone (I'm sorry.  Where I come from we do not rear children, we raise them....and it shows.), and working full time as a critical care nurse in a busy urban (didn't we used to say metropolitan?) hospital.

     I think I was crying real tears to Bonnie about being overwhelmed with the new landscape I was on and the fact that I was too tired to fix supper.
(I'm sorry.  Where I come from we do not dine, we sup.)
Supper for my kids was  cereal and milk...& hey! don't judge me harshly. We had warm toast.  The kids didn't care.  Nobody wanted to wash and dry pots and pans.  With somebody missing from the table, the table lost its charm and it became "ok" to scatter about the house to eat, including in front of the TV.  Cereal and milk travel semi-well across carpet.  

     Still and all, I felt like life was meant to be different
.
     Bonnie was kool, and Experienced.  She said simply, "You do what life calls on you to do."

     I stopped whining and looked at Bonnie.

     She elaborated, "I never thought I'd ever quit cooking, but Glen and I now eat TV dinners or eat out.  That's what life calls on us to do now.  I never thought I'd have to take heart medicine.  But life calls on me to take digitalis, so I do.  You just do whatever life calls on you to do."

     Bonnie's words are still a guiding neon billboard in my life.

     Over the years I have watched Bonnie experience many changes in the landscape around her....so much joy and so many hard things: precious little grandchildren grown and scattered, sadness about outcome in her children's lives as adults, loss of her beautiful large home, a move to Assisted Living, the death of her husband, and now the Alzheimer's Unit.

 No, Bonnie no longer recognizes who I am, but she is still a trouper, feebly doing whatever life calls on her to do.  The human spirit that has allowed our species to survive and flourish is still holding sway for Bonnie.

     Bonnie remains a guidepost for sane living.



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Riverwatch