I wake up this morning and feel like I’m in a rush
What a familiar “feel”!
In a rush…
To get somewhere I’m not even sure I want to be?
Poke at the back of my mind
Speaking impending failure, embarrassment and shame
Of doubt, carelessness and disaster
Of looming danger and many reasons to panic
I’m running now!
Getting out of here is surely to my gain
No way to spend my time in fear, disgust and tears
I WILL SUCCEED!
No simpler way to put it
In fact, I’m counting on me
And that’s what’s real
My sister and I grew up surrounded by our paternal and maternal grandparents- quite a privilege. While we were close to them all, Ama (my maternal grandmother) has lived with my parents and me for the past few years. This has allowed me a real close-up look at what it is like to live into the “golden years”. Although Ama may not be feeling too golden at the moment, she has outlived her 3 brothers and 2 of her sisters. Her eldest sister, Aunt Cynthia is 98 and still going pretty strong.
Up until recently- when one of her younger sisters (Aunt Norma) passed and she began to suffer particularly ill-health- Ama enjoyed frequent phone calls with her sisters. They would exchange information about: the latest tennis tournament and the players’ personal lives; TV shows (they all followed) and their respective actors (and their personal lives); family gossip; their latest aches and pains; their grandchildren and much more I’m sure.
I conducted an interview with Ama yesterday in partial-celebration of her 90th birthday which is today: November 27, 2014. Here are the questions and her answers:
What thoughts have pervaded your mind most over the last 3-4 months?
- Thoughts of pain (physical, due to the sore) and disability
What concerns you most about the future? Short-term and Long-term
- Short-term: pain
- Long-term: I am disabled and although while there’s life there’s hope, I can’t see how I will get any better and it’s very distressing
What do you miss most since the partial-paralysis?
- Reading (Ama got a Kindle for her birthday so we have high hopes for her reading again soon) and watching TV
How did you envision your life being at 90?
- Active…as active as I was at 80.
What is your biggest fear?
How do you feel about having lived ‘til 90?
- Blessed by God. Many haven’t made it (including Norma)
What are you looking forward to?
- Seeing Cynthia and others on Saturday (at my birthday party)
What do you want friends and family to know today?
- I appreciate your thoughts and good wishes at this milestone. I am sorry I can’t hear well enough to talk with you on the phone. Thank you for taking the time to write to me; I love you and wish you all the very best.
I was 18 years old, privileged, popular and promising. Early one morning, returning from a party, my friend was involved in a motor vehicle accident and lost his life and I somehow lost my mind. Images of our friends crying at the hospital, his funeral and later attempts of mine to make sense of it all are etched on my mind forever.
I have come to learn that I was most affected by shock shortly after witnessing the accident and then due to a preexisting chemical imbalance began to manifest symptoms synonymous with those of of Bipolar Disorder (BD). The diagnosis came a few years later.
I choose this space to “come out” about my life with BD. I have a story to tell which reveals how God (the Giver of life) is being glorified even in the midst of mania and depression.
I am still privileged, less popular and more promising (I insist)…I am currently pursuing a Masters degree, I have no addictions (not counting coffee) and remain sweetly single.
I wouldn’t be entirely truthful if I didn’t mention that on occasion I have regretted being born and dreaded even the sound of my own voice. I have also had periods in which I’ve thought way too much of myself and been unrecognizably euphoric.
In spite of these experiences however, and painful scars which remain…I have resurfaced and do so a little more every day.