You know, I never really gave thought to what “taking its toll” actually means. I simply “knew” the intent of this saying and kept pace with what was being said when it was used. I’ve , even used it myself at times. Today, I own this phrase. Here is my version of it … “You gotta pay for livin’ cuz’ life comes with costs.”
Deep in my heart resides a life pain, whose source is multi-faceted. There are sources tied to my age and its myriad downsides, my struggles and disappointments in relationships with those whom I love, and there is an acute pain associated with my mother, and by extension, my father.
Last night I slept only in spurts due to, what my loving wife assured me was stress. Up my spine and across my shoulders was a cramp-like spasm. I was neither stiff nor sore from exercise but this is kind of how it felt. Over the last some months, if not last few years, I routinely find myself suffering profound sadness and grief. Having learned many years ago to identify my emotions, denial is often beyond me and I must simply embrace my feelings and “deal”, so to speak.
In my estimation denial gets a “bad rap”. This life mechanic sustained me through some rough years when I was thirty something and trying to … kill my emotional being. By outward appearances, it was reasonable that some thought I might be trying to kill my physical being! Life had thrown so much at me I had actually entertained, albeit in an abstract way, the idea of throwing in the towel. In subsequent years education gained through the experience of working with people not unlike myself taught me that I was not alone. What saved us? Denial. Pure and simple. Denial. Oh dear Scarlett … “Well fiddle-dee! I’ll worry about that tomorrow.” Anyone of us might have said, “Pass me that bottle/wine/joint/needle/body/chip …” I cry a bit when I hear “Tonight the bottle let me down”. I cry at the evidence of someone who shared my plight and my manner of “dealing”. Denial will save your ass, and your life, at critical times.
So, life is having its way with me today. Metaphorically raping my soul, it seems. My heart breaks for my mother and grieves the loss of my father. This mix of emotions represents the “circle of life” for me. This may be God getting me ready for my own departure. Today I have an inkling for how old folks can so cavalierly mention their preparedness for death. Indeed I have witnessed their invitation to death. Universally they do this not in a morbid way, but rather as though the end, death, will be a welcomed relief from life. At such a tender age, relatively speaking, how is it that I already “sense” the nature of their plight? “I am too dang young to feel this damn old!”
So – I am in denial today but will lean on this, from Augustus McCrae … “It’s ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living.”. Or, how about this one from Bob, “He not busy being born is busy dying.”? Think I’ll be about getting reborn, in my own manner. YEEHAW! I was reborn the day I jumped form the high dive. I was reborn the day I asked Bo if I could come by her mama’s house. I was reborn February 1, 1988 at a noon meeting at KISS. I was reborn the day I asked my lovely Katherine to be my wife. (She said yes!!!!!!) I was reborn the day my loving daughter Allison Taylor was born. I am veritably reincarnate!
This bit of writing is dedicated to my sponsor, James H. Aye God, but he is a savior, of sorts. He helped me save me! In our time I was reborn into the man I am today. I showed him – I helped him get re-borned right back! Like babes in the woods, we have made our way home. Love ‘ya like a brother James!