Had another dream last night. It started with my father picking lint off his clothes as he sat in the nursing facility where he spent his last years. As so often with dreams, the reality wasn’t much like that. He’d lost his ability to see detail to macular degeneration years before. He could still get around, since his peripheral vision worked fine, but he hadn’t been able to read, thread a needle, or aim his shotgun at the broad side of a barn for years.
Picking off lint wasn’t something he could have done. But then, there was so much he could no longer do. Aging had deprived him of every one of his teeth except two that didn’t meet. Weakness had stolen most of his ability to walk. And so on and so on.
But he was always glad to see me, and I don’t think he ever lost his sense of humor. I always enjoyed our visits and looked forward to seeing him each time. My fondest fantasy is that Josh and I might see a similar time. He and I are currently as estranged as my father and I once were. But that’s another story all together.
Now I’m tying to cope with the more physical loses I’m seeing coming my way. M.S. has forced me to recognize those earlier than I’d expected, but aging brings on the train wreck in small steps, so I suspect it snuck up on my dad, too.
Anyway, the dream started me to thinking about what I’d most miss if I was no longer able to do it. Things like those I’ve lost already–balance, flexibility, and the ability to fire certain muscles–but that are still currently in my command.
I’d miss my reasoning powers, of course. And the degree to which my math skills have deteriorated in only the six years since retiring is frightening. If I realized they were gone, that is.
I’ve always wondered about that, actually. If I lost my reasoning power, would I know it? It seems I’ve known any number of people who, despite seemingly quite convinced of their rationality, couldn’t carry a train of thought more than three steps without making at least one totally irrational jump in their thinking. On the other hand, there have been plenty of examples where people, mostly my math students, clearly expressed their discomfort at knowing what formula to use but not understanding the principle involved. They knew when they didn’t understand, and those were always my best students.
One thing I don’t think I’d miss at all, though, is my penchant to become aggressively involved in politics. Any of you who’ve read much of my blog through the years know it’s a major preoccupation. As the M.S. has progressed, though, I’ve gotten more jealous of my time and, despite my love of politics, I’ve decided to cut back on it. At least on writing about it.
I’m sure some of you will welcome this news, for I can be a little bit overbearing, I’m told.
In fact, I have to apologize for that tendency. I’ve always been so passionate about the importance of politics that I can hardly restrain myself from talking about it, even when I know the opinions of the listener differ from my own. Especially so, actually.
Basically, I just wish it were obvious to everyone that I’m right, and that their own opinions would, therefore, meld with mine, and the universe would be One. Auuuuum.
Well, you get the idea. Even if you didn’t already know that much about me. The point is, I’m going to try to curb my enthusiasm so that I don’t wax nearly so political in this blog in the future. Instead, I’m going to try to stick to my primary Message and its numerous nuances.
I think the best place to begin that discussion is where every mind has gone before. Over and over, even. Who or What is this guy, gal, or thing we call “God,” anyway? What does that word mean?
Next time. Let’s make it a conversation: be ready to add your two cents worth!.