Throughout life one wonders what the future will bring.. the distance to 'the future' changes as we move further down the road. I wondered if I would finish college, would I get a master's degree, work or not work most of my life, would I marry, be a mother, be a grandmother... perhaps even become a great-grandmother. Many of those wonders have, indeed, come to pass. As I look back I realize what a very lucky person I am.
As you know from the last post, 2012 was a year of revelation and loss. Reflection is a big part of moving forward from painful times and that is where I am right now. Reflection is not a bad thing. I have come to believe that real personal growth does come from such a time. Yes, reflection, honest studying of oneself, can bring pain during the process but I believe it is worth the effort.
Thinking of my life till now I become aware of what a really fortunate woman I am - of all the wonderful opportunities have opened for through the years that have been. A greater awareness of how my husband, Ron, had supported me in some of these endeavors over the years. I may be biased but I really don't think all men are as supportive of journeys that include grad school, teaching several nights a week, and attending professional meetings that mean leaving town for several days as he has been. I must admit he did love having more time for woodcarving and welding. I not only had my own three children to love and raise but had three new daughters come into my life to add to the process of raising and loving and today I can be proud of all six of these, no longer quite so young, people. And the appearance of 11 grandchildren who, as my mother used to say, really are the frosting on the cake.
But there is still more future. The future of these coming years are not so bright. They are filled with fears or many kinds. I have written before about the changes I see in our country. Those fears have not changed at all. The extreme difference in opportunity for families with great wealth and those with less than enough to provide for their daily needs has become greater. The civil rights issues still cause great pain and suffering in a variety of ways in this country. The political scene is filled with a dysfunctional environment that becomes scarier each day. Can it be saved from truly falling apart? I am not sure. The idea of corporation as person is allowing the might of the vote to mean less and less and the importance of the almighty dollar to mean more and more. What does all of this portend for the future of my grandchildren and their children? Scary, scary, scary.
And then their are the Golden Years. Wonder who thought that one up? I am sure, whoever it was wasthat coined the phrase, was very young when that idea came to him or her! I call them the rusty years. I think most of us who have reached the late 70s and more do not see them as golden. Normal aging takes its toll and the illnesses that many must endure add to the concerns of these later years. There are fears of many diseases but, for me, the fear of stroke or mental disfunction such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease head the list. The idea of dependency, lack of independence and, the costs incurred by such illnesses are truly scary. If you have not read Never Say Die by Susan Jacobs I encourage you to do so. It is really about the Boomers and their expectations but it does look at some of the medical issues raised as many of us live longer and longer. I recommend it highly.
Enough of this looking at problems that we cannot solve alone. I envision a a time when we can work on solving this problem.... maybe. I promise a brighter tone in future entries.