Here I sit, this splendid view before me. Mt. Sopris, about 25 miles away, with its elevation of nearly 13,000 feet. Seriously, could there be anything more beautiful? You’d think the air here on this open deck, at 7500 feet above sea level would be thin enough to give me a sense of euphoria. But I’m not feeling it. Instead, I’m looking back at my 86 years and wondering if it was worth it all.
Did you ever hear, “You can never be too thin or too rich?” Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, I don’t know. That thin statement I know isn’t true. Cancer has eaten away almost everything. I couldn’t be thinner, and it’s not a pleasing look. The rich half of the statement doesn’t make sense, either. It all depends on how you got there and what you do with you riches when you have them.
Ha! I remember Jack Benny and a schtick he had about being rich. In one sketch he was being a tightwad about something and someone said, “Jack, you have plenty of money.” To which he replied, “Yes, but I don’t have it ALL.”
Here I sit, watching the shadows as the sun moves from east to west. My life. Am I nearing sundown or the morning of a new day? Did my life, like the Aspen, grow more glorious in the autumn of my life?
Oh how I hate feeling this way. The pain? I guess I’m used to it, or the drugs dampen it enough so I just feel bad, with no real reason? I know I can’t do this. I can’t sit here feeling worse by the minute.
It’s not just me, not just the pain and sickness. I’m sick of this world. I’ll be happy to go to heaven, and yes, I am sure I’m going there. As I sit here on my pity pot I hear you whisper, “You need some Word.” Yes, I know I do, but I can’t read anymore. My eyes are bad. I do know I need to change my perspective.
My kids tell me not to dwell in the past. What they don’t know is it blesses me considerably to think about the past, to reminisce.
Like when we came here in the summers when the kids were young. I don’t know why I was so nervous. When their bikes went flying down the road I was terrified they were going to get hurt. Now that I think about it, if they hadn’t taken the risk of letting gravity and fast pedaling hurtle them at ever increasing speeds, they would never have known the wind in their faces, here, in a safe place. I can almost hear their delighted screams. What I should have done is grabbed a bike and raced them.
I wish I had.
What do you mean, that’s part of it, the pain, the suffering…?
OH, the regrets. Times when I had no opportunity to do it over. And you were teaching me all the time, weren’t you? That one strange verse about how this “light affliction is nothing compared to the glory to come.” It’s hard to believe there can be anyplace more beautiful than what is before me.
And you were always there. I feel your hand, and now, more than ever, your hand warms me.
You are laughing. At me? Yes I do remember your name for me is laughter. It is astonishing to hear you say I bless YOU! You get a kick out of me…You sing a lover’s song to me.
Where are you pointing…OH! It is stunning! The wheels flash like lightening as they roll down the road. And how like you to have the chariot pulled by a magnificent Friesian horse. Oh! Look how his mane and feathers flow like silky black liquid!
Yes, Master, I am ready. Let’s ride!
Elaine Soerens Photo by Carl W. Soerens
August 24, 2017