Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Time after Time"

As some of you know I've been caregiving for an elderly close relative for the past 2'n 1/2 years. Her name was Tempy. She passed away a few days ago. She waited till I came home from that insane radio station that insists on employing me.

Loved one's do that. Wait, they wait for you. They wait for those they care about before they leave.

Tempy is gone. The last adult from my childhood is gone. I loved her so. She had such a rich, and interesting life. When very young she,like many in my family, was in show business. She was once a chorus girl at the Apollo Theatre. She was also a singer, and an actress.

I come from a large extended family, and Tempy was one of the many bright stars in that universe. We are born, we live, we die. We come to this strange place. Act on it's stage before a wonderous, and frightful audience making our lines up as we go.

Then the curtain comes down, and...

So, an empty bed, and quiet rooms. Well not quiet. There's the clock. The parlor clock patiently counting it's way through eternity. It was like this when grandma passed, then dad, ma, aunts, friends, cousins. That calm ticking downstairs.

You ever notice. All that's left, all that still moves are the hands of those old family clocks. Softly ticking just as it did when I asked my mommy for 10 cents. "Just 10 cents for a comic book ma!"

Okay this is bullshit, but it's all I have right now. I really don't understand death. I don't get it at all. That, and suffering. She suffered more than she deserved. We all do,..or will.

Alright that's enough.


Bodmin said...

My deepest condolances. It was a blessing you were there for her.

a11ende said...

Querido Tio:

Sometimes it's just good enough to shed the tear, take a deep breath, reflect a bit and get on with one's reality.


To him who in the love of nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy that steals away
Their sharpness ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;--
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around--
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air--
Comes a still voice. Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world -- with kings,
The powerful of the earth -- the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun, -- the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods -- rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,--
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. -- Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings -- yet the dead are there:
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep -- the dead reign there alone.

So shalt thou rest -- and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glides away, the sons of men--
The youth in life's fresh spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man--
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn, shall follow them.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

William Cullen Bryant

Sidney, I had planned on being at the station tonight to volunteer, but I am ill and on a cycle of antibiotics having gone from Dracula like hours to Rip Van Winkle... I will drink coffee to excess to stay up to listen to you.

Remember that you are loved by so many no matter what your mood, you are uncle Sidney, family to all that care.


Cannibal said...

Bless you, Sidney Smith. She lives on in yuo.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sidney, Your Auntie Tempe got to die with dignity and grace, surrounded by those who loved her. I hope I get just as much. Why? Why do good people have to go out so rough and hard? I don't have any answers. But now it's time for you to caretake, advocate and give yourself all that love and attention. Maybe you needed this timeout for yourself. Who the fuck knows? But Aunt Tempe got to be cared for by a half boy/half angel, here on earth. Susan

Kit said...

i'm sorry for your loss syd. losing a loved one is not easy. please take care of yourself now.

sidneylann995 said...

Thank you all for your kindness. Sorry I haven't been by. All the usual hell is breaking loose. Death does that. Some go numb, some cry'n scream, some hide.

I'd do all of the above if I had the option. Unfortunately everybody thinks I'm responsible, and rational so I'm stuck acting out that role for now.

I'll freak out in private dignity after everyone goes home.