Sunday, January 6, 2008

Passages of Life

Life seems full of lessons, some obvious and others not so.

I participated in my daughter and her partner's move to the country last weekend. Her sister and partner helped, along with my 15 and 8 y.o. grandson and my man. Apart from the obvious pleasure I felt from their camaraderie and enthusiasm, it marked a major step forward for her moving into an entirely new phase of her life.

After years of study and house cleaning to fund her and her son's life, she now metamorphoses into a totally new form..... one of professional teacher, involving setting up her curriculum, managing her students and most of all, inspiring them to learn. I am looking forward to watching her use her personal inspiration, which I have seen during her teaching rounds last year.

She will be a good one, I feel sure of that.

Today I went to visit a friend's mother, who at 93, is in the twilight stages of her life. Her short term memory is totally shot, she forgets whether she ate or drank, has a recently broken shoulder which can't be repaired, and is developing pressure sores on her poor bony little bottom.

She is always gently dignified, and long term memory lights up her face when you see her, because you have been in her life for twenty years, and have loved her always. A truly beautiful lady.

Three years ago ~ 90th birthday treat

She nestles quietly into her beautifully decorated room in the Nursing Home, waiting for her life to be over, and is surrounded by love from family and friends. None of that love will make her trip through this last stage of life any longer than is already apportioned her.

As someone who had a difficult unstable mother, who is gone now, but left an uncomfortable scar on my psyche, I envy this mostly gentle traveling into the next world. 'Part of the rich tapestry of life', as I often reflect.

My man took off on his Harley this morning, for an 'overnighter', up through East Gippsland, then north into the Mountains, over Mt Hotham and down to beautiful Bright to stay, and then home.

He wants to try a trip on his own to see how he feels about his aloneness without me riding close and staggered alongside him.

With my smashed wrist not being able to close the clutch in, and not being able to swivel on my injured knee to get my leg over, leaves me at home and 'grieving' somewhat.

I watched him put his heavy leather jacket and gloves on, and he kissed me twice to say goodbye before the helmet and sunglasses went on. The big Harley motor turned over and rumbled into life and, with a wave, he was gone. I could hear the echoes of the gear changes and revs of the motor through the hills for five minutes or more.

My memories registered how it was to prepare for a big ride - the adrenaline, anticipation and then the roar of the big bikes, as we threaded our way down the windy gravel roads. We would reach the bitumen, then speed up, and whoever was in front would punch the air with absolute joy, and the one behind would reply in kind. If I was ahead when we reached the main road, I would hit the throttle hard, just for a moment, and the bike would leap forward with enough power to take your breath away.

? Yes, heaps. I keep steering my mind away from the realisation that this might be the end of such dual pleasure, of that extra level of mateship between us, but it surfaces like a dark sludge at times like this.

How do I find something to replace it?

"Sometimes the best communication happens when you're on separate bikes."
...Author Unknown

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