There is a grandmother in my life. She is not mine, but I borrow her. As I watch her navigate her likely last decade of life, it makes me think about how I would like to be when I face such challenges in my last years, if in fact I do. Watching her makes me want to do death differently, to come to old age as gracefully as a frost-ripened vine: a crisp crumble into compost. But I am not old yet, so who am I to know?
However, as I looked at things in the meditation space, this is the information I got.
Illness et al.
Deep illness brings this choice:
To be less than
Or greater than
What you were before the jester goddess settled in,
Poaching on your piece of picket fence.
Illness sits laughing on your patio,
Eating strawberries from your refrigerator,
Grilling your steaks for her pleasure.
You can’t make her leave, but you can
You will see her face beside yours
In the morning mirror,
Still laughing, and pointing
From herself to you.
She will curl into
Your bed at night,
Watch your attempts at amorousness,
Or join you.
And when she sits down
With your morning granola,
Her message will be consistent:
What will you do with me?
What will your choice be?
To feed me energy like love until I am
A three-hundred pound bag lady living on
Simply to find
The pilot light of god inside your breast,
And set it off,
The growing glory of
Your truest self.
The choice is yours.
Illness doesn’t care.
With mischief in her eyes she asks,
“Where’d you put the Hershey kisses?”