Keeping Sights On Seniors

Keeping Sights on Seniors canstockphoto14106140

Keeping Sights on Seniors

canstockphoto14106140

It didn’t really matter anymore whether the grave site was kept clean or allowed to grow over. Ed would be joining Emily soon enough and then there would be nobody that would visit the site, let alone clean it. But for the sake of whatever reason he couldn’t think of, Ed cleared the leaves that had tucked themselves against the grass that bordered the stone. What was he supposed to do here? Think of her? That’s all he did all day long anyway. Was being here supposed to give him a sense of comfort? It didn’t.

The day was warm and breezy. Not humid like it had been all week.  He slumped back off his haunches into a full Indian-style stance, folding his legs beneath him as would a child a tenth of his age. For 85 he was still pretty agile. He thought about the times in his life there had been troubles and he had been instructed to pray; how he could never really concentrate on that and get to the task. It was more like, “Lord, you know why I’m here–your will be done but try to see it my way. You know the rest.” When people talked about praying for hours and hours he could never quite believe they really had. But like that–he was here now and he was supposed to concentrate on her, her passing, his loss, their life together.

Their life together? Uh–maybe that wasn’t so good. Maybe he’d rather not think about that. He knew that now that she was gone he tended to forget the bad times and generally concentrate on the good ones but he had to be honest. In their final, days those good times were less common and often hard to remember.

It was the years when they were young and their passle of kids distracted every moment that things seemed better. Something denied is always more desirable and on the occasion they would have some time alone together, they had truly reveled in that moment.  But to be honest those times were so rare they were happier at one of their kids’ concerts or athletic events. Rubbing elbows with other parents and guests who often accompanied them to see their children “perform” (grandparents, siblings, neighbors) was easier on both of them. All they had to do was appear united and solid. They could do that by just sitting next to each other. The appearance of things came to pass as an act they mutually understood and performed; for the kids, for the inlaws, teachers, college recruiters, etc. Everyone told their children what solid parents they had and how lucky they were to have them. Ed shook his head considering that all the children lived out of state now, one out of the country.  ”If they felt so lucky they’d have probably hung around,” he whispered to himself.

What kind of mess had all that pretending created? Ed knew that faking things long enough eventually created a habit. That’s how they had come to sleep in seperate beds. At first they mutually agreed that his snoring was denying both of them a good night’s sleep. His noise was waking her and at the same time his worry over making that noise prevented restful sleep as he was jittery and uneasy knowing he was keeping her awake if he slipped into that snoreful sleep.

First it was set up that during the work week he’d sleep in the spare room. Then the weekends got absorbed too. They were both just so tired and needed a full night’s sleep. Then it was simply relegated to a few nights a week that he would “start” the night in their marital bed and then as they got sleepy, he’d depart. What a formula for disaster. He’d known it then and he was fully aware of it now. He gulped back a throat full of tears and stood. “Sorry Em,” he said while patting her stone. “You deserved better.”

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