The Company of Old Men

I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time with old men and hospitals these days.

My very good friend Paul should have died years ago. He has a heart condition and now he has terminal prostate cancer. He is receiving palliative care at home. He always says he is doing fantastic, and I believe he is. There is something about facing mortality that really puts you in the present moment. Paul has had a very interesting life. These days he restores antique ceremonial Japanese swords and daggers and has a market all over the world. He has a beautiful organic garden, is a great cook who has taken up: roasting coffee beans, making delicious homemade ice cream and using a dehydrator to preserve his garden’s bounty. He gets tired easily but is always so grateful for the time I spend with him. I have not been working this summer so have had time to take him to his doctor and hospital appointments. He likes to go with me because I am not in a hurry and we can take time to explore other things like the farmer’s market or the flea market.

My husband turned 64 a couple of weeks ago and it seems that he has gotten old before my eyes. It started with a sore knee and he now has a booking with an orthopedic surgeon. He went to the optometrist to have his eyes checked and was immediately booked for laser surgery. He had a condition with his eyes that could cause him to go blind within a couple of hours if it wasn’t corrected. To top it off he lifted a very large pot of chili at the pow wow and got a hernia and had to go toemergency. A few weeks ago we were making plans to redo the garage and now he can’t lift a thing until he has corrective surgery for the hernia.

My oldest dog B for some reason decided he didn’t want to be in the back of the truck with five golden retriever girls and jumped out while the truck was backing up. He got hit in the head with the trailer hitch. He is now blind in his left eye. A very quick trip to the vet. It looked much worse than it was. No brain damage.

Sylvester, our 15-year-old cat is starting to show his age and falls asleep in the funniest places. Sometimes right in front of his food dish.

It’s interesting, all this aging doesn’t make me think of death. It makes me think of living, today.

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