It's easy for others to make what seem to be common sense suggestions to someone else. It looks so easy on the outside of the thing, after all. I've been guilty of this myself.
The truth, though, is that "one size" does not and will not fit all. Not in terms of clothing, medicine, housing, reading material, religion, politics, or a pair of shoes. All of us are different. We're large, small, medium, and light, dark, or even pied. We're short, tall, thin, fat, or a little of each, sometimes. Most of all, we're different inside.
For myself, I've had enough of death and suffering to do me for the rest of any reasonable lifetime. I need to stay away from strong infusions of these things for a while. I don't fear death as some do, however, seeing it more as a resting interlude between realities.
I'm primarily sick of the living who perch atop their imaginary fence posts and play buzzard over the belongings of the dead. Of course, it all needs cleaning up. Of course, it can't be ignored. Yet a little civility would be appreciated... and a sure measure of compassion and grace for those who don't see death as an opportunity to prosper or gain possession and power from inheritance. It's just plain not worth it to throw away one's humanity in the name of pure greed. Which, I might add, happens in most cases.
Not everyone is cut out to be an elder-care giver, or a parent, for that matter. I spent decades of my life shunting away suggestions that we "needed" to have children. I generally explained, "You have that backward. Children need parents." (Wasted breath, yes, I know.)
I was in a parking lot the other day and heard some woman screeching at her children inside a battered and worn old mini van. "If you don't sit your dumb ass down, I'll fucking beat it off!" She wasn't actually making any attempt to injure the child, and the child didn't look very much afraid, so I sat tight and kept my mouth shut. It was a case of incomplete information on my part. Still... the language and pitch and tone grated on my nerves, and felt like needless abuse.
In past months, I've had people ask questions of me that I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing about. In each case, the inquiry was well-meant.
Going back a few years, I could name a case in which a certain relative blasted me over some things I was alleged to have stolen... from children. If you know me, you know that isn't a likelihood. The fact was that I didn't even know those things existed. After I shut down the deluded fool, the person called my elderly mother in her hospital room (where Mom had landed after an ER visit) and again began to blast me for a thief and a liar to Mom. It was an ugly time, and an uglier-minded person.
The reason I mention these things? Well, if one is no longer young and trying to restart a life that has gone badly awry in the midst of a great deal of pseudo-"help", these sorts of occasions must be counted into the equation. When the time has come to move on to newer days, there's no room left for well-meant and horribly wrong suggestions. There is, in truth, no room for evil-minded accusations without solid grounding.
Springtime is almost past and already summer's coming into its prime in Appalachia. The gardens are growing, young animals are stretching their legs under bright sunlight or in soupy, splashy mud. The blessings of a year's cycle of life are coming into being.
In the years I've lived, I've tried a lot of lives on. And shoes or riding boots. In each case, the ones that fit me best were the ones I kept. This life of mine is comfortable, and it's tough. It's well-worn and scarred with the living. Best of all, it's mine.
A dance of perseverance, the tune titled Stubborn unto Death and Back, or Bred in the Bone. I'm up for it. It's no waltz for weaklings. Join me?