Today is the beginning of the end
and the beginning of the beginning.
Growing old has its perks. Grandchildren, for example. 55-plus deals on meals. Bank accounts without service charges. Seniors discounts. Canada Pension Payments.
I was enjoying all of these benefits, without too much philosophical thought as to their purpose and intent. Then the number 65 started looming closer, and so did the inundation of bonuses, each seeming to glitter with an increasingly attractive colour, and all promising more freedom while vying for my embrace. Forgiven professional fees. Old Age Security Benefit. Free eye exams. Reserved parking spots. Free extended health care. Offers for Seniors Housing.
The beautiful variegated shades of pigment start to show a darker side: the ugly signs of suffocating sticky tentacles, laughing in the shadows, waiting menacingly to pull me down into a dark, shadowy, murky tunnel. I started to feel trapped and lured to a point of no-return, with an ever-tightening noose around my neck, slowly squeezing out my life, breath, and freedom. Questions about retirement and employment status. Allegations of perceived accelerating forgetfulness. Growing concerns about physical fitness and nutrition issues. Conversations about managing “the end”.
The beginning of the end had come.
“Leave me alone!” I cried. This is all too soon. I want to fly freely for a little longer… much longer… until I can fly no more. Away – far from everyone and everything – unless my fancy leads me back to my beloved and my nest. On the one hand, I wanted life to continue forever, or until I willed it otherwise. On the other hand, I just wanted it all to be over and so avoid the impending doom. Neither was an option.
And so today has arrived – the ‘beginning of the end’ – an unclear, unknown, and uncertain future.
But for now, I will try to ignore all of the coloured markers that constantly remind me of my eventual demise and seek to infuse my thoughts with fear and anxiety. I choose to embrace this new season, for however long it lasts, digging deep into my soul to find the vitality placed there by my Creator and Redeemer, believing that the end of my physical breath will truly be the beginning.
In the meantime, I will shed a tear, and then fly.
Today is the beginning of the beginning.
Eagle Flying over Mountain: Courtesy of Julia Revitt unsplash.com
Eagle Flying over Ocean: Courtesy of Fati Larai Lara unsplash.com