Well I’m sitting in the lounge once again waiting for my flight but this time with really mixed feelings.
On the one hand I’m anticipating great adventures: Hamburg for a few days to visit a good friend and do more exploring of that lovely city; Oxford and London to see other friends – new and old and do some photo recce for Beverley and Mel’s wedding; Istanbul just because, tho’ I feel a tad trepidatious after the bombings, coup attempt and subsequent crack down (really put that way, it does sound like a poor idea) and then Iran with a group to explore ancient Persian culture, architecture and modern day life ( the hijab requirement will be interesting…). finally back to Oxford for that wedding where I will have both the privilege and the terror of doing the photography!
Along the way I’ll turn 60 – isn’t that f’ing amazing? I am astonished that I’ve actually made it this far, humbled at how fortunate I have been and completely gobsmacked that I’m ACTUALLY GOING TO BE 60! I certainly don’t feel that age; I don’t feel old or older or even that much of an adult most days. Sure my body does remind me – strongly sometimes, but if I ignore the incipient neck wattles and the increasingly crepey skin (yuck) it serves me well and doesn’t protest too much when I abuse it in various ways – LOL!
More importantly I think, I’ve maintained- perhaps even encreased my enthusiasm for life, my wonder at all it’s varied joys and my keen interest in exploring as many corners of the world as I can. So – all to the good.
On the other hand (and there always is the other hand isn’t there) I’ve been watching the slow, inexorable decline and disintegration of my father. Thursday my sister and I moved him into long term care, continuing this reduction of his life. It seemed an inevitable move; his previous doctor misdiagnosed him with Parkinson’s where in fact it is a more rapidly advancing condition closer to ALS in affect. There is little or nothing to be done but watch and it’s bloody hard! I will write more about this another day but not today I think. Right now I’m just feeling guilty – for some few good reasons and for many more that might only make sense to me. He is surprisingly gracious and accepting of it all but I feel I should be there for him, with him and also I can’t wait to get on the road (get far, far away if I’m honest).
I think most of us are or will go through something similar; we are the “sandwich generation” after all but it is always personal, we each deal differently, find wells of wisdom, strength and compassion we didn’t know we had or perhaps we learn these things as we go along. While I’d wish any other ending for Dad, this process however hard has given me a greater understanding of life and of death – which does come to us all inevitably!
Enough maundering- I’m going to have another glass of wine, covertly watch my fellow travellers – always vastly entertaining and call my son to chat.
More much later…