I’m sitting here on my couch watching Dancing with the Stars: the Finale The last dance, danced by a pro and a hunky model, who happens to be deaf, held everyone is his silence. In fact, they danced to “Sounds of Silence.” Often I made you sit through my favorite dance of the night. Often I know you were just being polite after the first half, but I think this one would have held you. It inspired this letter.
Sounds and Silence- that’s what I’m working on now… that’s the balance I’m creating. So different from the balance I held on to with you- our balance was my time for you and my time for everything else. I learned, over time just what you needed and what I needed and it worked for us.
Now I have it all… so my balance consists for the time I spend with others, out it the world of sounds and then the one in silence So today after my guitar lesson with Jon, after my lunch with Jonathan, Lisa and her mom, creating and catching up and returned home and created a reading silence instead of mindlessly just clicking on the TV to catch up on the latest presidential polls that of course are worthless at this point in the process. I do wish Bernie would pack it in.
I changed into comfortable clothes, grabbed up my Kindle, pulled out the porch cushions,carved out my spot on the new couch and stayed out there until it started to rain. I’m still not a fan of rain- that hasn’t changed in 9 months.
The silence was powerful, especially now that I’m reading a tough book- Being Mortal:Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande, an Indian surgeon who champions the geriatric branch of medicine even when the medical profession seems to be moving away from it. Here’s a Frontline that documents his work powerfully.
You left just the way you wanted to leave, spent your last months with your dignity intact. I’m so grateful for that and I want that for me too. I would never have had the courage to pick up a book like this if I hadn’t gone through the end with you and now beyond. I’m not as young as I was when you were here with me, I wonder about what challenges lie ahead in this independent but very single life. We lived in our life, in our present and future but rarely about the end, not the specifics… I think I want to think about the issues ahead. I’m ready to take on this book. I think you would have really enjoyed the conversation I had in New Paltz with Maggie who has so embraced advocacy for those coming to the end. I’m going to learn a lot.
As I move forward in my new digital work, into lives of people sharing their legacies, I’m wondering how these new connections will help me to consider my own aging process. I was with you as you aged graciously, so graciously that I never noticed you changing… well maybe just a bit. I hope I have the courage to take on this chapter of my life.
I’m digesting now… in a very sweet silence and thinking about you…
Miss you Tuv R., always,