Sunday, September 12, 2010

The man in the moon

There is a huge crescent moon in the night sky.  It tells me that it won't be long before the Harvest Moon will come up, as big as life.  To me, this is another sign of fall.  The sycamore leaves are turning brown, an indication of shortening days.  Although today was hot, I know that cooler weather will get here eventually. It just takes its time getting to this part of the country.

I am grateful for a lot of things tonight.  I am reminded again of how small but precious my family is.  My wife and her parents are my closest family.  My parents are gone. We have no children and were only children ourselves.  Her aging parents are struggling a bit with health problems that come as they approach 90 years of age.  On Friday, C.'s dad was hospitalized again for blood loss due to intestinal bleeding.  He is still in the hospital but is stable and appears to have perked up.

I know that it is going to be very hard on C. when her parents die. It's going to be hard when one goes and the other is left behind.  They have been married 67 years. Her dad was telling the nurses that on Friday evening.  And they were marveling at the longevity of the marriage.  When most relationships are over in just a few years,  it is hard to think in terms of so many years together.  And I know that not all those years were easy ones.

How do you face the loss when a person has been a part of your life for that long?  I guess you just move languidly through your days.  And with each passing day, the pain will get a bit less.  Or maybe you decide that after 67 years together, it isn't worth going on.  I have a feeling that it will be the latter with her parents.  They are truly dependent on each other.

Whatever happens, the moon will still be there, the rivers will still flow,  the leaves on the sycamores will turn brown, and the seasons will change.  I like to think that the man in the moon is looking down and smiling in anticipation of giving us a spectacular show at the end of September.  And I am grateful to have my small but much loved family still here.  One day, one hour, one heartbeat at a time........


  1. Hi Syd, I'm in a similar situation to your wife. My dad is 90 and my mum is 84, and her health is failing. My dad is still an active person for his age but has to stay close to mum because she gets scared if he leaves her for any length of time. As a consequence, his quality of life is poorer..... and she wont let anyone else sit with her. It's so sad for everyone.

    However, as you say, the world still turns and life goes on - we're such a tiny speck in the scheme of things. :)

  2. As a nurse, I have had the pleasure of caring for elderly patients whom have been married 50 to 60 years... it is absolutely hard to fathom that many years with one person. It is just as hard to imagine how much their lives change after that many years together. While a few adjust to the change okay, many become deeply depressed... and I understand why. It's sad, but inevitably a part of life we all face sooner or later. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Syd. May your father in law continue on the road to recovery.

  3. my family always tops my grat list...i hope C's dad gets to feeling better. T lost her mom a few years back it was a really difficult time. dont look forward to going through that again with the rest of our parents...

  4. I tried living my life one day at a time Syd. It didn't work. Now I live my entire life in each new heartbeat. Both of my parents sleep comfortably in the house of their ancestors and for that and the life they gave me I was never saddened by it but rather because of the rivers and seasons movement alive after they were not I found great comfort in their passing to a place of rest.

  5. Syd. This one made me want to cry.

  6. Beautiful post. I watched my grandfather suffer four more years after my grandmother passed away. He suffered on a daily basis, and just wanted to go....and yet my other grandparents lived 17 years after her husband of 63 years passed away. It depends on the person and the situation. I am grateful that you are blessed with C and her family. And yes, the sun will still rise, and the sun will still set....

  7. I've been watching my mother and father in-laws age as well. My wife is a bit older than I, and her parents older than mine. They have been married for 55 years and I too just wander what will happen when life's end comes for them.

  8. My old sponsor's dad died last November and his mom is now in hospice care dying. He's pretty sure she won't last thorough September, but she is full of surprises.

    He believes she felt her work on earth is done now that his dad has passed on, and she told him about 3 months ago that she is ready to go now.

    I hope, in the time I have left, I am gifted with the love and dignity that surrounds that beautiful precious spirit of a woman who was a faithful wife, mom and active member of Alanon for over 40 years. WOW! What an amazing lady she is! I pray daily that Ruth is given peace, and is relieved of the pain as she moves into this new journey. I also pray that her family is given peace in the process, as she has made her decision.

    I watched my Grandpa go through a similar process, I was never so peaceful as to realize that he believed so strongly in God, and had such faith that the day he died he was sitting at the dinner table with the pastor of his church and just fell asleep.

    I could tell you the raw stuff about cancer and stuff, but that's not really his final experience, his final experience was that though his body was weakened and had been worked over by cancer, he had peace.

    Reminds me of friend Dennis.

    That's the spirit I'm looking for in all experiences, the spirit of acceptance and gratitude, and the sure knowledge of a God who is and has it all in hand. The assurance that the light continues to shine and the spirit continues to move well beyond mortal death.

    So far, I keep finding that assurance and that spirit, and it seems to be strongest in those who believe in and have given themselves to God ... to do with as He wishes. :)

    Thanks for this beautiful reminder Syd, and the photo. I saw that moon too, it was gorgeous, especially over the marsh grasses of the Cooper. I was driving to a meeting when I felt the peace of that beautiful view flow over me.


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