Saturday, June 30, 2018

Rumination of Life and Death in the Sweltering Heat

Good morning folks!  

It's going to be a hot one today!

The current heat wave descended upon us two days ago.

Here on the Delmarva peninsula where we live, when the summer heat arrives it is almost always accompanied by heavy humidity. That oppressive, you can't break Florida humidity.  Of course Florida is a peninsula too, surrounded on both sides by a body of water. In our case on the one side we have the Chesapeak Bay and the other, is of course the Atlantic Ocean. No dry heat here.

This past week was rather pleasant though because neither Bill nor I had doctor's appointments. What a relief not to see the doctor to try and keep our aging bodies going for a few more days, weeks, months and hopefully, years.  I'm reading a book now called "How We Die."  Very interesting book but depressing. To sum it up, we don't get out of this life alive. Hopefully we leave painlessly and with some of our dignity intact but this books doesn't present a pretty picture of our final days when our bodies finally say "Enough!"

My neighbor Joe loaned me this book (and I loaned him by book "Being Mortal").  Joe has health issues as do several of my nearby neighbors. One of my neighbors has pancreatic cancer. I've seen him and he looks like a ghost. I feel so bad for him. And he's not that old.

Another neighbor is in end stage of COPD.  She's on oxygen all the time. 

Yet another neighbor, who I rarely see these days, both he and his wife have serious medical issues that I do not know the nature of. He used to have a vegetable garden in his back yard which he often loaded the neighborhood down with his bounty.  

And there is my neighbor who has melanoma cancer. He is my ride to Philly and back (for my trips).  A really, really nice guy. And again, not that old, not even sixty yet.  

And then there is my lifetime friend Larry who is entering his second year of ALS.  He's doing well by the way. 

So when I start to feel sorry for myself with my arthritis, phlegm that I can't get rid of and sometimes makes me feel like I'm suffocating, my left leg that numbs up every time I sit at my computer like I'm doing now, and of course my prostate cancer which I hope doesn't make a return visit and my general lack of energy.  I remember something my Mother told me years ago when she could no longer weed that eight rows of corn after she came home from a full shift of working the conveyer belt line at Pepperridge Farms frozen layer cake. She asked the doctor "What's wrong with me? I used to be able to work all day, come home and make supper for the family and weed rows of corn before calling it a day?"  He asked her "How old are you?"  She said "Sixty-four" years old."  He said "Well, you're not as young as you used to be and eventually your body wears out".  That came as a revelation to my Mother, she thought her body could go on forever.  

Looks like I've reached that time my life folks that the old bod is starting to slow down. 

I've taken good care of my body over the years but eventually everything comes to an end. 

This summer I've tried to do as much as I can outside working in my backyard and front yard. But I need help now.  My two Mexican landscapers will be over this Sunday to trim my twenty-one holly trees. There is no way I can go out in that heat and trim those trees. Last week I almost fainted from the heat after I over extended myself transplanting some red salvia plants on our driveway.  

Bill will be ninety years old this September. I'll be seventy-seven years old. No spring chickens here. 

We're still enjoying a good life, in between all the doctors' appointments.  I have my four times a year (quarterly) trips with my excellent friend Pat of Hamilton, Canada.  

I can still type this blog and I can still go to my job at the hotel twice a week and more when needed.

I'm getting uglier by the day but hey, now I understand why old people aren't that hung up on their looks.  What it is, it is.  

My main concern now is that I leave enough of a visual history and written history behind for that person at some future date who would be interested what this weird gay guy was all about.   And of course I hope I don't go out ugly, but with tranquility and some measure of dignity. 

That's my wish.

Have a great day folks and stay cool!


Mike, Studio City said...

It is 78 here in the Chatsworth area. It is cooler on the other side of the hill in Hollywood. Glenn is under a tree in the back yard listening to music and taking in the nice day. It will get hot here in a couple of weeks, but no humidity.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I just turned 64 and don't like admitting that my body isn't the same as it was 40 years ago. I would smack the doctor that told me what that doctor told your mother -- although I finally do appreciate it's true. When my mother was 89, she told me, as she had been telling me for a year, "This just isn't me." I said, "Well, maybe it's the 89-year-old you." She said, "Well I don't like her!" She died a week later, suddenly and quickly, while still living on her own and enjoying an independent and social life. I hope I'm as lucky as that.

Ron said...

I too hope I am as lucky as your mother. After I wrote this blog I received a call from one of my brothers. He told me our other brother is seriously ill. We're all a year apart. I called him. He told me "It's my turn." Ironically, he is a care pastor at a large church. Now he needs someone to care for him. I hope to visit him before it's too late.

Ron said...

I don't mind the heat. In fact I rather like the heat, it's the humidity that's the killer. It suffocates me. I can't go out in it. Never used to bother me when I was younger.

Ur-spo said...

'How we die' book has two profound take-home messages: we die - often slowly and with lack of dignity, and because of this we should live life to the fullest so when this starts there is no regret.