A Time of Reflection

To reflect upon my own life is much more difficult than if I was asked to give thought to another’s worth. While I was in college, I became concerned if I had done anything that would let me be remembered after my death. Even more so had I achieved any lasting legacy for the far future to know me?

I asked that many, many times and now my reaction to that question is that it is unimportant. There are other concerns in my life that I should attend to, or begin to resolve. These are issues that relate directly to my elder years or that will help me feel fulfilled. I cannot guarantee that anything I have done meets some unknown criteria. If it does, fine, but then it runs the risk of history not recording the accomplishment. Often a special deed is lost or distorted and if it is a small achievement, it can be lost. I think I am far better off knowing the things I have done in my life have made me happy and that I have done some good for someone else and not worry if anyone else remembers or agrees.

Even though I may occasionally complain, I know my life has been good to me. I have little wrong with me except many, many extra pounds! Early in my life it became important for me to be employed in distinctive positions, ones not in the regular mill of things. I accomplished doing that, but now wonder if I was doing that so others would acknowledge my success, or was I doing it for me so that I could feel better? Until I went to college I always felt I wasn’t equal to someone who was educated. So often in grade school or high school, I had problems with my grades. I had no idea how to go beyond that stigma. Even when I applied to Arizona State University and was finally accepted it was on the condition that I take limited courses the first year. After the close of the first semester the grades rolled in and I was astounded I had a 4.0 pt average for the semester. As I graduated from grad school, I still had a 40 average and I began to understand what my capabilities and intelligence was. That lack of trust in me marked why it was so important to me to have jobs people recognized as special. I never was able to understand that if I could do the job that it must have taken a little more something than pure brawn.

Throughout my life, withstanding any minor character deficiencies, I have been generous and willing to help someone. Unfortunately, this help and generosity has been limited mostly to my family, but occasionally I have given my time to help others. The last few years I have cared for my mother, as she passed from her Crepusculum and into her darkness. Constantly I hear how special I am that I can do this for her, or that I will do this for her. It is my choice to care for her because when I watched my Aunt and Father deteriorate faster in a nursing home than necessary, I decided I would never allow anyone else close to me to experience the same. Now, a few years later I know I have made the right decision. Caring for her has given me insight, knowledge and patience. Now, even when one of my S/O’s family members called to tell us that they were terminally ill, I offered for her to come here so that I could care for her. This is not an act of goodness on my part; I believe it is more an act of caring and a responsibility of what should do.

Possibly, I should list the flaws I believe I have. Probably I am one of the worst people you can communicate with on a one to one basis. I am one of those who doesn’t listen unless they want to and I am often too quiet, nor will speak my opinion. From early on I was timid and even today carry many of the traits of an introvert. In addition, I live in a continual gray cloud. For years I only knew that everything was fine until suddenly I was moody or uncontrollably down. I continued this way on into my early fifties. During my forties, instead of changing things in my life I began drinking. I went away as so many do, but never could control it. Finally, during another gray period I decided that I couldn’t go on this way. I packe our truck with my cherished items, hooked up the muffler to the window and passed out believing there wouldn’t be another tomorrow. The next morning I awakened, unbelievably groggy and slightly irritated I couldn’t even orchestrate this event flawlessly. By that evening M had arranged to have me started on antidepressants. The world changed in a day. The gray cloud lifted and now only occasionally returns. The new day allowed me to stop drinking immediately, go to college, receive two degrees, make plans for the future and be able to take care of my mother now. Unfortunately in the past fifteen years there have been times I stop taking the antidepressants for a couple weeks and each time I do the gray, overwhelming cloud overtakes me with such intensity that it reminds of taking my pill.

My memory is very selective. I may choose to remember you as a dear friend, but I will never remember your birth date, nor will I always remember to write or call when I should. If I remember to call it may take a very long time because phone calls are a little bit of a problem. I do not like to make phone calls. I hated making business calls and always had a secretary or someone else to make the call and then give the phone to me. My family was even included in the continual hesitancy to make a call. Today I am much the same. M makes most of my calls unless i am calling a family member or a very close friend.

As I grow older and think more about my future, I find I think more of the past and wish to relive them (never change them-just relieve). Once I asked my mother if there was a time in her life that she would like to revisit. Her immediate response was, “Why should I–tomorrow is better!” It was the first time I realized how much I tend to live in the past and the first time I understood how much her attitude has allowed her to continue to live. If she had not been able to enjoy her unknown tomorrows, she may have had less living to today! I see the lesson in her curiosity of tomorrow, but it is a lesson I most likely won’t take.

Now is is time that you may decide if I have even come close to reflecting upon myself. My life is mine and at the present time I am happy with the way that I am. Tomorrow I need to forge on in my journey to Crepusculum. During that time I know there will be many diversions, particularly as changes occur with my Mother. To those of you who read my posts and especially to you who are kind enough to respond then if you have a moment that I have made you smile, gave you a moment of thought, or let helped you resolve a problem, then I am happy and content!

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4 comments on “A Time of Reflection

  1. “Why should I–tomorrow is better!” ….”If she had not been able to enjoy her unknown tomorrows, she may have had less living to today!”

    I needed to hear those words today, Frank…I will take the lesson that your mother is teaching…she loved life and she has yet to say, “Enough”…her tomorrows are better because of your loving care.

    Your reflections paint a picuture of an extraordinary man who has found a good deal of himself and is satisfied.

    Your mother is right in the hope that tomorrow is better, if we look for it to be…

    I need her perspective right now….my “Today’s” really stink, but I must focus on a better tomorrow…that is what I am holding on to at the moment.

    Thanks for your reflections..

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  2. croneandbearit says:

    Hi Frank – I agree w/Shadowlands your mother teaches a valuable lesson. And you, my friend, are a wonderful man, compassionate, witty, artistic, creative, learned, a moving writer, and the list can go on and on. I wish for you a different color of days…no more grey…l see you as a vibrant sea blue. Yes, you have made me smile many times. Thank you. Hugs, Linda

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  3. lyndaspix says:

    Frank,

    Your mother is a very wise woman, indeed. Tomorrow is better, but I also believe that today is the best! Today we can achieve what is in our hearts and minds to accomplish.

    It may be that today I choose to accomplish nothing at all, and to find joy
    in my laziness. Tomorrow I should not regret that decision, but remember, again, with joy, the down time that I experienced and the healing it brought about.

    I talk a good talk, Frank. But walking the walk is not always as easy. I have lived with the regrets of my past mistakes and missteps. I have beaten myself up over things I should and/or shouldn’t have said, done or felt. But what good did these beatings accomplish? They only served to make me feel worse.

    Today I wrote a short post about Success. I’ve given myself a short and doable list. I’m happy with it.

    As you journey toward your September years take with you the knowledge that you loved intensely, cared deeply and lived colorfully.

    I agree with Shadowlands…Your mother’s lessons are immeasureably valuable. And, like Linda, I pray that you will find more beauty and color in your days, with less grey (strive to find the white whites!).

    Fondly, Lynda

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  4. […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by MrsAtomicUs5000 on 2008-08-27 A Time of Reflection http://crepusculum60.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/a-time-of-reflection/ – bookmarked by 2 members […]

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