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Saturday, February 6, 2016

This day and age

It was a rather slow day at work yesterday and I watched the clock more than actually work.  It also gave me a chance to catch up on some blogs I generally like to read and a few of them had accepted Toadmama's Brave Bold Blogger Challenge.

In a nutshell she was challenging bloggers to write about something everyday.  The topics varied from "words you hate" to "places you want to go" to things like today's topic.   I'm still not sure if I want to participate.  While I enjoy writing and know that "writers write" this seems more like a task to me than something truly enjoyable.   I write because writing interests me, because I get some sort of weird perverse joy of my fingers clicking on the keys of my ancient desktop computer.  Writing makes me happy, even if I don't do it every day.

Plus, I know when I write everyday I start to circle back to the same old themes of money issues, girl problems and why I'm so depressed all the time.   Not exactly Nobel Prize worthy material.

But today's topic touched a nerve with me.  "Age."

I'm turning 50 in April.

I'm beginning to realize that my mother and father may not be around much longer, and that I should spend more time with them.

That my days are dwindling down as well.  That this may be as good as it gets.

Some dreams will not come true.

That Susan will not be getting any better than she is right now.

I have to accept these things.

A mulled cider
Yesterday I left work a bit early, they don't want us to work overtime and I had managed to put in a 42 hour work week without realizing it.  So I decided to grab a drink at my favorite watering hole in Ybor City; a wonderful little bar called Cigar City Cider and Mead.  It's a great diverse crowd there and my favorite bartender, Bea, was working and yes; that is actually her real name.  I was into craft brewing well before it became popular and with ciders and meads you can do so much more with flavor than you can beer.  Plus if I see one more crappy ass "craft IPA" I'm going to scream but that's just me.

"Rob," she said, "you are going to love's peach mixed with scorpion peppers!" and without even asking she placed a small glass in front of me.   At first I was not sure about it as the peppers overwhelmed my nose but then as I drank it the cooling peach taste filled my mouth.   A slight tingling sensation on my tongue came next.  The heat from the pepper was muted and soft and left more of a warming sensation than a nasty bite those peppers are famous for..

"Damn it! Bea that's good."  A friend of mine called and offered to join me.   It had the makings of a very good night.  One drink would lead to three and then I be off like some mad dharma bum.  The night always holds such promise for me when I'm in a city.

I went home instead.  I had to be responsible, I had to get up in the morning and do one of my routes I do for extra cash.  Plus I didn't want to leave Susan all alone.

I was going to act my age.

This weekend I plan to go for a ride on Kimmie and spend time with my Mom and Dad.  My father is in his 80's and has outlived one of his two sisters already.  We don't talk much, more to him and I being cut from the same introverted mold.  I see a lot of my father in me as I grow older, both physically and mentally.  My father made decisions that would help his family and as I look back on my life I don't see us wanting anything as children.

My brother and I somewhere in the 70's
My father does not remember some things that I do growing up, perhaps the stories I tell are embellished some.   Perhaps he simply does not remember or feels that he has no need to relive certain moments.  I remember him telling me that he would always pick me up if I was drunk in high school.

I got drunk in High School at a party and he came and picked me up.  No questions, nothing was said.  Just a feeling of disappointment from him because I did something wrong.  I never got drunk in high school again.  Nor have I ever drove my car "a bit toasty."

Mom was always the driving force, the motivator it seemed to me.  She was the one that always seemed to be striving for something better, something more....something other than what we have today.   I see a lot of her in me at times.

My mother was always there and we talk for hours as I was growing up.  She had a rough childhood and lived under abusive parents.  She made the decision to break that cycle with my father and with my brother and I.  I admire that strength it took her to do so.

My parents used to go out a bit when I was young.  I realize now that they were in their 30's.  When I was in college they were in their early 40's. They were young and so very full of life.

I remember my youth and it was not that long ago.  I traveled to places like Chicago, Los Vegas, New York.   I toured with the Grateful Dead for a few weeks one summer, I ended up traveling overseas for a bit and visited exotic lands.  I've been wanting to get back to Asia ever since.

The lovely Sue
As for me....I'm turning 50.  Buying Kimmie may have been a mid life crisis.  I don't have a mortgage on my home.  I have two car payments, growing medical bills and a sense that the system is rigged against me and the knowledge that Susan is not going to get better.

Her medical issues are varied and scary.  The biggest scare, her possible multiple myeloma cancer, has faded into the background but we are faced with multiple issues that may end up taking her from me sooner than later.  Or worse, leaving her a shell of the strong independent woman I fell in love with all those years ago.

I frankly don't know if I have that strength to face what is to come.

Then I think how that woman stuck with me through the worse things that have happened in my life, how I was encased in ice unable to move emotionally and she saw me out of that darkness.  That love she has for me can not be denied.

I've been married twice now.  One I regret, the other I do not.  Terri is a good woman and if things would have been different I would still be living with her.  Still married to her and possibly with a kid or two.  Dogs running about in the yard.

My parents on their 50th.
I have no children and when I was a younger man I didn't think I wanted any.   Now that I'm older I regret that.   I also regret that I don't have more friends, part of being an introvert I suppose.  I've also lost friends to time, fights that were/are over stupid things, and disease and accidents.

Love changes over time.   My parents have been married for over 50 years and they have both told me at times they have not loved each other.   You find a way to fall back into love.  I don't know if Sue and I will make it that far.   One can only hope we do.

  Turning 50 I suppose makes me officially "over the hill."  This one hurts, much more that it probably should.  I suppose it's all just part of growing up and growing older.  You have to accept the limitations that age brings, and acknowledge that time marches on.


Trobairitz said...

Age is merely a number that measures how much of life we've seen. By no means is a predictor of what we'll live to see in the future.

I hope that Susan's health does not deteriorate and that her quality of life maintains a high level through her difficulties.

Conchscooter said...

Dude. Try being strange. It will keep you young. Curiosity helps.