Monday, December 05, 2005

More Future Thoughts

I like getting older. Life keeps getting better with each passing year. Yes, I’ve noticed some changes that can’t be classified as better – loss of hearing (which can be a blessing at times), less stamina, less physical strength, a few joint pains, etc.

Julie and I are at the point in life where we are learning from our parents. We’re seeing Alzheimers, nursing homes, inflexibility, and some other situations and behaviors that we would like to avoid. These experiences have caused us to think about and prepare for the years ahead. I don’t see this as bad but as affirming life.

I’m reading and working to maintain my physical health. For me, physical health is secondary as compared to mental, emotional and spiritual health. I’m focusing more attention on these.

I appreciated all responses to yesterday’s post. The final paragraph seemed to get the most attention. (In a future post I’ll address the part about the future that’s on the horizon.) When I wrote the final paragraph, I edited it a few times and removed parts of it and left it vague because I was short of time and was having trouble framing my thoughts. Following is an imperfect clarification of my thoughts.

I do not believe in ”a vengeful God”. Nature and life have led me to affirm a belief in a loving God. I find it sad that so much of many religions focus on the negative.

To say that I will “take a final hike to a beautiful isolated place and meet my time” does not mean that I will take my own life. "Meet my time" is a way of saying that I choose to accept my finiteness and that I’m not afraid of death. I enjoy hiking. It’s my number one recreation. A final hike gives me a sense of peace and acceptance. An isolated place gives me a sense of rightness, purity and wholesomeness.

I like to focus on the natural as opposed to the artificial. Given a choice between treatment that would extend my life for a short period of time and letting nature takes it’s course, I would probably choose the latter if the extension didn't include an acceptable qualifty of life for myself and those caring for me.

I don’t like drugs that mask pain. I’ve taken very few. I appreciate – not enjoy but appreciate -- some pain because it gives me a perspective on how fortunate I am to be healthy and pain free. About a year ago, Julie scheduled a lower endoscopy for me. I asked the doctor to do it without drugs. It was uncomfortable but it was a great adventure to talk with the doctor, watch the monitor and see myself inside-out – much better than watching a medical procedure on TV. The slight pain was a small price to pay.

I want my death to be this way. I want to see it coming and talk with people about it. I don’t want to waste away like my mother who does not remember me and is afraid and has no happiness. Instead, I want to maintain enough health and enough mental ability to have one last opportunity to say “life has been good” and to tell Julie “I’m glad we shared our lives. I love you.”

7 Comments:

Blogger Buffalo said...

"Let her face be the last I see as I depart and mine the first face she sees when she arrives."

That is a truth according to Buffalo.

12/05/2005 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gaye said...

I sooooooooo agree with you. So many people are turned against religion not because of the message, but the way the message is presented--negative, condemning, dictating the way we should think and feel. My God is a loving God too--this is the way I choose to believe. I also understand your desire to meet death with acceptance instead of fear; I'm not afraid. The odd thing about this is that I'm afraid of EVERYTHING--a big chicken--but not afraid of dying...hmmm...

12/05/2005 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Well, that post brought out the comments, and that's generally pretty good. I think a lot of us "got it" -- that you weren't planning a suicidal stroll, but it's often good to clarify because communication is an elusive art.

12/05/2005 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Thanks for the clarification.

12/05/2005 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

"I do not believe in ”a vengeful God”. Nature and life have led me to affirm a belief in a loving God. I find it sad that so much of many religions focus on the negative."

I relate to that, because I was raised believing that if you were a bad person that you would burn in hell..blah..blah, but through my life's experiences and studies I have come to think of God as a father instead of an all powerful judge.
I do believe in God and in his creation of mankind..but I believe he created us much like we decide to have children, that he desired someone to love, and to be there for. But just like in our lives, when children grow into adult-hood they make their own decisions and we cannot always stop them from making bad ones, we can only be there when they choose to come back.

Another great post, I enjoy reading your blog.

12/05/2005 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I have a feeling you will go gently into the night, holding many hands.

12/05/2005 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Natala said...

thank you...
i very much agree as well ...

12/05/2005 10:12:00 PM  

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