She lived the last few years of her life in excruciating pain. The pain was her constant companion even during those times when she was not in motion. It got so bad at times she desperately wanted for the end to come quickly. There were no medications to help ease her pain. No amount of nerve numbing drugs would help relieve the pain she was in. She was not suffering from cancer or some other insidious disease. Instead, her pain was from years of being alone. Her pain was born out of memories from those who passed away with one death being the result of murder.
Nothing that was offered her was of any interest. She briefly flirted with the idea of buying a computer so as to be able to connect with people on the internet. That idea fizzled out as quickly as it was presented to her. She had no desire to be able to call people the rare times she was outside but a cell phone did not tickle her fancy. At one point there was some intrigue or curiosity about meeting a gentleman through the newspaper personals. That did not materialize either. Her life mattered not to her as she was for all intents and purposes not interested in having the burden of pain lifted from her.
Yes, this was how she wanted to conduct her life. Family did matter as she loved her grandchildren but for some reason was not always receptive to their visit. She had nothing now in terms of friends and nothing seemed to suit her just fine. A neighbor right next door to her would bring her cake along with a smile along with an invitation to ring her bell whenever she wanted company. Needless to say, those few feet that separated her from her neighbor’s door was way farther than she wanted to be away from her apartment.
A small portable radio that was set to the station that would broadcast some sort of College Football or College Basketball on a Sunday night gave her a measure of pleasure. What was it about this one team she became transfixed on was something sadly we will never know. Slowly but surely she began to drift away to the point she really had no idea who she as talking to on the phone. She valiantly tried to pretend everything was crystal clear but it was not.
Despite all of her suffering, the best many could see to offer her were the charming statements telling her to “get over it already and get a life.” Get over it already and get a life! How could a human being be so cold and callous to this woman who never hurt anybody in her life or certainly not with any ill will or intent to offer up those words? Sad to say that many times that simple yet hurtful sentence was hurled at her by those who knew what she had been through. Part of it was said out of exhaustive exasperation but that was no excuse. Hurt does not heal hurt!
This subject is one I have written about semi-frequently as of late. Perhaps it was my way of allowing you to peek into the closet of my past in addition to my life at present. To the credit of the many readers out there that connected to this subject never once flung those words or that dreadful thought at me. Your outpouring of understanding penetrated into every surface of my being. Those whom I am sure rolled their eyes when this subject would come around, go away, only to ultimately come back again may have been tempted to fire away at me but did not. It takes strength of character to know somethings are best never to be said. Many thanks to all of you for the kindness you showed me. Your hands never stopped extending themselves to me. Those dreadful disgusting words were never echoed in my ears or whispered behind my back in columns on LinkedIn or Facebook.
The thought that enters my mind is what will become of me when I can no longer differentiate between day and night, child, and grandchild. When feebleness has me shackled who will be there to unbind me while you draw me near to you? Is there a so-called “leader” out there who will take up my cause to be kept going although I may not know it at the time? Can you rally those who breathe in any air that you exhale to be a partner to somebody so that they never feel the feeling of emptiness? If your plan of leadership is not inclusive of people who matter not in the greater scheme of business or what have you, how is it that you are a leader? The future beckons at your doorway waiting to be let in. Or is it that real life that exists beyond your boundaries compels you to simply lock that person away in an old age home so that they are no longer a problem you have to deal with. A few signatures on some forms erase any thought from your mind as to what will be of you years from now?
This is not about feeling bitter as I sat there besieged by feelings of hopelessness and powerless as the life of someone you cherished slipped through even the tiniest spaces in between your fingers. This is about no matter how ad nauseum this subject might be it is one that has a continual relevance to it. In light of the Republican/Conservative dogma (the emergence of the real Donald Trump pulled me away from there and back in the middle where I belong) that dominates the White House any mention of social causes such as the aging is taboo.
So here we are or here I am in the middle of an emotional crisis of sorts. Should I now demand of myself that I listen to the voices who in their disgust of people like me or those in a similar situation as me will implore me to get over it already and get a life? As I ponder the plausibility of such action it dawns on me that there is no clear-cut or concise definition nor is there clarity as to what those words are supposed to mean. The absence of a defined definition is disconcerting enough to the point where it can be concluded these are words that should never to be said to anyone at any time. Words that fail to heal but quick to hurt are words that need to be eliminated from a person’s vocabulary.
As I stand facing the tombstones that stand in solemn tribute to those who have passed on to their final repose I cannot help but wonder now that it is my loved ones who are resting under the dirt that I ever so gingerly walk upon where they too at some point instructed to “get over it! Perhaps said in tandem with the not so endearing phrase that reads “get a life!” Starring straight at the cold harsh reality of death which represents the final closure of life could it not have been possible for them or anybody else to escape the vicious cruelty that was afforded them by these verbal slingshots propelled hate? Could it have hurt for he who spoke with venom rolling from his tongue to have been silenced by the cherished words of love?
The words, those words, those sentences seem to go around only to come back around time after time. Whereupon doth lay your feelings of guilt if not a sense of wrongdoing circulating in your deeply troubled subconscious space that your mind has been overtaken by. Are you hamstrung from the passionless if not pointless excuse of what you call your life that any knowledge of good has heretofore fallen into obliteration? Get over it already sayest the people poisoned by thee! You will not sleep nor shall yee be forgiven as your bed in the dirt is dug where you shall be entrapped for all eternity.
A chubby-cheeked little boy with a string dangling from a stick gleefully singing the jingle from a bologna commercial allowed a smile to crease her face temporarily alleviating the first of two stings that penetrated deep into her skin. Stings set so deep they protruded from every inch of her withering form. She as well was torpedoed by the incessant repetition of those words. How well do you know from words? How well do you know from the pain you inflict? Losers such as you can never be winners!
There has yet to be a time when I am not flabbergasted when I hear somebody forcefully and angrily blurt out those words devoid of care. Get A Life! Get Over It Already! Such simple words to say but ones that freeze people in their tracks as they stand there in utter disbelief what was told to them. How would you or I react if we were given these orders or commands if you will? People should not be forced to live up to the standards that you set for them.
What you can do others cannot always do or have the ability to do despite what you say to the contrary. Events that happened in your life you can dismiss almost without effort others will be ruined by. The disgust you feel when it seems to be in your eyes we or they are inferior to you. What you have is this misguided ego fed notion that you are better than the rest. You have forgotten what it was like back then. Way before you had the money that now sits in your possession that lifted you up to your lofty perch from where you now look down on us you had nothing of which to speak. Now today with all that you have you still have nothing as nothing is all that you are.
When tragedy strikes or on those occasions where you feel pushed down a hand should be extended to lift you up so you can be in front of a smiling face followed by a warm embrace. You need not worry that you are slow to recover. Nobody knows what is left of your life. Get on with the living of life as best as you can. It is okay to feel whatever it is that you are feeling. There are others out there like you who are waiting to be acknowledged. There are others out there like you who are waiting to be accepted.
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On another but unrelated note to this article: Six short days ago the world we live in was changed dramatically when word got out that 58 people were senselessly shot and killed by a seemingly crazed gunman whose motives for this shooting remain unclear. We all bow our heads in prayer while we grieve for those who lost their lives that night. We hope and pray that the nearly 500 people who were wounded on that fateful night will fully recover from their injuries so as to be able to return safely home to their families or to loved ones that are anxiously waiting for them to return.
While this certainly is not the time to politicize this horrific event as the physical wounds and mental scars of the victims’ families along with those who are overwhelmed with emotion have not even begun to heal the question that is foremost on everybody’s mind is why did Stephen Paddock feel the need or what drove him to go on this shooting spree? Was he so far detached from the reality of what he was doing that the sight of people dying, the sight of people bleeding from their wounds did not faze him or give him reason to stop killing?
As with any mass shooting, the issue of gun control resurfaces. Should it be so easy to purchase an unlimited amount of guns that Stephen Paddock did? Even the staunchest hunter who will kill an innocent animal for sake of boastings of his “kills” for the day would not need to have the arsenal of weapons that were in the possession of the shooter. Even in a free society such as the one we live in gun laws are way to lax. Guns are finding their way into the hands of some of the most lawless individuals. Sadly, the toughest gun laws would not have prevented this carnage.
Are events like these orchestrated by those who were given to believe that killing is okay as there is no shortage of TV programs where the hero has a gun? Is it possible to get early readings on those displaying anti-social behavior so they can be brought to the attention of a Social Worker or Rabbi, Priest, Reverend, Minister, etc. to help them out of their crises so they don’t see the need to kill? The worst feeling in the word is not being able to stop these mass murders or sit idly by as they unfold before our eyes.
Here is a link to an article I wrote on gun control sometime back. Please take time out to read, react, and digest: The Big Bank Gun Control Controversy (My Take).