I have no idea if the end of the book I’m currently writing has anything to do with this—maybe—but I’ve been wondering lately what my future will be like at the end. I can’t help but shake I’ll be alone. And I don’t mean abandoned. I mean everyone else will pass before I do. Dying has always seemed very daunting and scary to me. But if you were surviving and everybody else around you was kicking the bucket long before your timer went off? That’s almost more terrifying.

When my husband and I first started dating—he was 19 years old at the time—he told me he always thought he’d be dead by the time he turned 30. I suggested he start paying for dinner when we went out, and that stopped pretty quickly. I used to wonder why he felt he’d be gone then. It may have had to do with him not being out to anybody, and if we hadn’t started dating, he’d have followed the path his family expected him to. There’d have been a wife, kids, and death at age 30 because it wasn’t what he wanted.

It was different time then.

There will come a day when I can no longer spend my mornings, afternoons, or evenings at a computer writing, or publishing, and that time of my life will be over. Then what? Watching daytime television shows while I remember the old days, and stare at a neglected keyboard, wishing I was still able to use it to create a world different from my own?

My mother and mother-in-law will be gone, my grandmother long gone, and even the Grandmonster long gone, our relationship and battles the thing of legends. Unless she’s resurrected by someone, and then another hero will come forward to do battle with her. Where exactly does that leave me? What happens to the survivors of horror films? They’re often dispatched in the next chapter, so I have that to look forward to.

I imagine I’ll still be living here in Michigan, staring out the window and remembering what used to be outside before it was renovated into something I have no use for. Classic reruns will consist of first run shows I used to watch while growing up, or even into my forties. My favorite movies will ones people chuckle about and think are “so old!” But, oh, the best part? The best part is I’ll make the mistake of watching or reading the news, and seeing folks much younger than myself spouting the same bullshit we grew up with! And they’ll be making the same errors, never learning from history because they think they know better.

This will make me wish more than ever that my Little Brother was still with me, that I could still call G.A. Hauser, Patti Logan, Kiernan Kelly, Trish Barnaby, and so, so, so many others to complain and commiserate. But, no. They’d have all moved on. And I’d be a curmudgeon, yelling at the kids to get off my lawn, only to be told I don’t actually own the lawn, and those kids are the workers performing yard maintenance here at Shady Pines.

I at least hope the home will be able to make a decent cup of tea.

Views: 31

Comment by Rosigami on January 19, 2017 at 4:45pm

Ohhhhhh boy. I've had the same kinds of thoughts. I'm hoping that I have some productive and creative years once I retire, and see if I can make that last. Like Georgia O'Keeffe, I want to make art well past when I can actually see what I'm making, and go out in my sleep at 99 years old with a long white braid and a body of work behind me. (What happens to it is of no consequence to me!)

 

Comment by Phyllis on January 19, 2017 at 5:03pm

I want to be like my Dad and be independent all the way through. He's not dead yet, he'll be 80 this year, but he insists on spending 1/3 of his pittance to have his own small apartment. And like Rosi, be creative until the end.

Comment by Kage Alan on January 19, 2017 at 5:24pm

Rosi, one of the things I learned from my father was putting off too much until after retirement. That made did more than his fair share to make sure mom would be taken care of in case anything happened, but it came at a cost. Given the choice, she wishes they'd done more when he was still well. If you have chances to do things and they're reasonable, do them. =)

Phyllis, my grandmother is 86 (turning 87 this year) and she still lives by herself. She is talking about moving to a senior center in a couple of months, but until then, she has stayed beautifully independent. 

Comment by nerd cred on January 19, 2017 at 9:00pm

I sometimes feel callous, so strongly do I see death as a necessary part of life. I'm not afraid, some part of me has always looked forward to it. You  might think that's the chronically depressive part of me but I don't think so because it feels so much like curiosity.

When I was 19 I couldn't even imagine the need to live past 30. Why would you want to? That must be what is meant by callow youth.

My dad died at 73 of brain cancer. Genetically I'm a lot like him and I've been thinking of that as my limit. My mother was turning 90 and we were thinking it was time for assisted living but it turned out her increasing deficiencies were due to tumors in her brain so she pretty much lived mostly on her own until she died at 90. She drove my sister crazy doing it, though and made her sick I believe.

Now I think I could last until 80 or so. (I never smoked unfiltered cigarettes like my dad and I wasn't an alcoholic for 20 years and I lived under my mother's thumb a lot less time.)

I don't want to dodder, is the thing. I don't see the point of getting so old I can't do anything or enjoy much. I want to retain the capacity to enjoy until the end. And I reserve all rights over my own life even if I have to move to Oregon to exercise them.

For now I just want to get this house rehabbed.

Comment by nerd cred on January 19, 2017 at 9:01pm

I'll tell you what, though. If I find I've lived long enough that I could have got a puppy and seen it through it's whole life and didn't because I didn't think there was enough time, I'm going to be mightily pissed.

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