I have no business writing when I need to be packing, preparing, paying bills, picking up prescriptions, cleaning house, and washing laundry, readying myself and the family for me to leave town. These are very drafty thoughts on aging parents, ailing friends, launching teenagers, and being human.
Love and Mortality in the Middle Years
Our middle years—carry
the work of tending to ailing parents
and sometimes losing,
nursing them respectfully and without impatience.
That is love of a child.
Our middle years—rambling side by side with good friends,
you and I, fighting illness and the frailty of being human.
Growing into who we were going to become.
That is the love of a partner and friend.
The human toll of ageing all the while launching
children to fly! The human ache of
watching lives unfold.
Let them fly, let them flail. Breathing hope into their
youthful lungs. Speaking truth all the while
shaking your head as they roll their eyes in disgust. Wobbly legs
running out and away. Knowing this
is what they are meant to do.
That is the love of a parent.
We all need wisdom, grace upon grace and more joy (oh, for more joy!).
In the midst of relentless sorrow and loss,
your doorway remains open.
In this middle space of anticipation, of letting go
in more ways than is reasonable or comfortable,
all of which is profoundly difficult
and is the principle achievement of being human.
Middle years: Caring and holding,
loving and letting go.
All this is the Life and Death of the middle years.
This is love and mortality
in the middle years.