Thinking Around Crepusculum

For the past few weeks, especially since I initiated this blog, I question what will cause me to begin the twilight years of my life and if certain things happen, how I will react and what will I do.

Since I am now sixty I may be at the beginning of dusk for my day. If I am the sun in my day then it is possible I have not as much energy as before. If I am the I grass or the flowers under the sun then definitely I need a little more care to make me look even half as good as I used to and especially if I am the soil that takes time to rejuvenate its richness, then I am more patient in caring about my fellow man, listen more carefully than I ever have, intuitively see beyond now and welcome the wisdom I have been able to be given.

Even though my intuition let’s me understand hidden conditions and I acquired patience as my wisdom developed I am willing to admit my deficiencies, I have yet been able to understand human aging, its causes and more importantly how it effects us. The basis for something to age does not sit well with me. I cannot accept, nor do I understand why humans, especially, need go from stellar existence to something so unacceptable when there is continual suffering or a change that makes mobility impossible. Yes, there are those who are able to live until they are quite old without harsh physical or mental problems, but they are much fewer than the vast majority of people that inhabit the earth.

Just a few years ago, during graduate school, I addressed my concerns on aging in my final art exhibition. I need to expand what I brought to fruition in those pieces and my exploration needs to discover the current issues and facts that concern the elderly. Presently I find myself fantasizing about shadowy recesses and other impediments that are within my twilight. In order to dispel these fantasies I want to collect and share the stories of others that have preceded me into their own twilight.

Not only do I think that the twilight years have shadowy recesses that will affect me, I imagine there are cracks, fissures and sunken holes I can fall into that will take some time to get out, proving that “The Golden Years” are a misnomer. When my eyes may fail from macular degeneration, when I fall and break my hip, or find that I am in the throws of a stroke, should I then be thankful I didn’t get prostate cancer, discover a brain tumor that immobilizes me completely or at this point in life should I be thankful that my journey has led me to my darkest hour so that I shall breathe no longer?

Any or all of those conditions worry me about my later years. I wonder will I be like my parents and need care to get me through each day. If I do, and if this happens at approximately the same age as they began to have problems, then I realize I may have to face the transition from my twilight into my darkness all alone.

How shall I ever get ready to do that, or more appropriately how will I progress through the ups and downs in my twilight. Will I bump along until the ups and downs become so monumental that I will pass from twilight to darkness without an option to return? I need to find a path to follow, one with preset stops that direct me how to become prepared, or is it wrong to sojourn on this path to enrich my consciousness for a realm of greater understanding? Often I have wondered if I should let all my questions and explorations go. I think of my parents and grandparents, as well as many others, who didn’t question or plan. They lived their lives and when something catastrophic happened they knew someone in their family would assume a managerial position for them. Is it because the world has changed so much that I need to be ready to plan out my stages in aging during my twilight and if they include degenerative processes is it really necessary for me to plan for them? Is it because we have blogs and other types of discussion groups at moment’s hand to write or discuss our worries or is simplicity of view the avenue of best choice?

I don’t know for sure, but even though I ignore much of what goes on around me (which is by deliberate choice) I still prefer knowing everything that I am ignoring. Yes, I must continue to question, seek answers and think around a place I call Crepusculum.

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3 comments on “Thinking Around Crepusculum

  1. Frank,
    Great mind must think a like; I was thinking along these lines myself, today. I understand perfectly what is shadowing your thoughts. I am in a simular situation. I have no assurance that I will have anyone to care for me. As you know, my husband has terminal cancer, but few know that my son is a disabled veteran with traumatic brain injury x 2. This first injury was while he was enlisted in the Marines. It was a helicopter accident. The times two is because, after leaving the Marine Corp, he was struck by a car after having a three car pile up. (It was in a snow storm on Christmas Eve) My son and the state trooper were standing in front of the last vehicle involved with their accident. A pick up truck lost control after passing the snow plow and hit that car. My son saw the truck coming toward them and shoved the state policeman out of the way. He then jumped into the air as high as he could. He was thrown 6 feet in the air and hit the snow covered ground very hard. Because of his military training to ignore pain, he didn’t know that he had broken his leg until 2 days later. At the time of the accident, the ER failed to take precautionary treatment of his existing head injury. Just a few days of prednisone woudl have made all the difference. This additional blow to the head exerbated his brain injury and it has left him with intractable migraine-like headaches. He has from 4-6 headaches daily. I live with such guilt because he was on the road to come to see my on Christmas Eve. My nurses’ training tells me that my son is a likely candidate for dementia, stroke etc at an early age. He suffers so much on a daily basis. There is a high percentage that I will out live him.
    Knowing this, I have no assurance that my son, my only child, will be present should I live as long as many in my family. (80’s is the mean age). What am I to do? Cancer may leave me a widow and it has left me destitute, so planning for my “golden years” begs the question, ” With What do I plan”.
    My golden years shall be days of working as long as I possibly can and hopefully, I will be able to have a roof over my head. I most likely will be a burden to my grandsons or to the state/federal government or both.
    Whatever our plans for retirement, it did not include cancer in our early 50’s…so as I contemplate, as you are doing, I have nothing to rely on but “Hope”. Hope that my God will help me find a way when there is no way…and do the best I can with whatever I am able to have after I have to bury the love of my life…
    In the midst of all of this, I still dream of starting over and finding a way out of all of this…How? I don’t know. What with, I don’t know, Who? I don’t know…Where, beats me?…so I dream of my English Garden where ever I find myself and Hope….
    *Hugs* to you Frank ….Even in Twilight, there is a little light, Yes???

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  2. Frank says:

    I am not afraid to die, the physical act, since I believe the body gets ready for that moment in little increments until finally there isn’t thoughts of it…..this is only the case when you grow old and go naturally. But to be alone as we deteriorate or face our last couple of chapters alone is very tenuous alone. My mind may go, my body will have already gone, god knows what will ail me and to be in the hands of a stranger is most unacceptable to me. Especially if for some reason your caretaker takes advantage, ignores you, doesn’t respect you or abuses you.

    You are right to feel as you do……you have been through so much in your life it seems unjust that you should face a twilight and darkness alone. And for you to contemplate being a burden to your grandsons or the state is truly discomforting to carry with you as you journey on into your twilight.

    Never let go of your dreams, sit within your garden, as I do my Crepusculum. You shall tell me of your flowers and believe in your Hope, while I shall look for the paths that lead me to some answers for us. I do believe I will find the answers that allows us to proceed with out overwhelming trepidation.

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  3. Frank
    I just want to say thank you for this post and your response. I have never voiced or written the things that I wrote here. There were always in my mind, but until I wrote them, I just didn’t feel the weight of the thoughts. I understand especially the concern of having cretakers who take advantage and ignore your needs. As a nurse, I have seen this in others and there is nothing so infuriating to me as this…

    Thank you, Frank…I shall tell you of my flower, (right now the primroses aren’t doing too well, I think that I need to repot them because they may be root bound. That is often the case when you buy plants at WalMart.) and you will share with me the twilight….Thanks again, Frank….

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