Friday, May 27, 2011

Funny How it All Falls Away

Yesterday at the candle shoppe (I've been working there a lot lately, so it's only appropriate that my mind drifts to these experiences), a middle-aged woman came in with a large bag of products that she wanted to return. At first, I did the typical internal dialogue that any retail associate would about people needing to figure out what they want before they leave the store and deal with the buyer's remorse before they make a purchase,etc. This woman then relayed to me that she was assisting in the return for her mother, who was cleaning out her elderly sister's (this woman's aunt's) home. The sister, who had never been married nor had any children, was moving to a nursing home and the niece knew she would never return from there.

There were large candles, small candles, and teeny candles in scents like apple cinnamon and pumpkin--those scents that people often identify with family, home and hearth. It was a familiar smell of comfort and solace that wafted to my nose as I dumped out the enormous bag and surveyed its contents, but these scents hardly comforted me after the story behind them was revealed.

We all grow older and deal with the consequences of our younger actions and mistakes. A drunken fall in youth can easily lead to a lifetime of dull pain that is exacerbated by the rain. A empassioned decision to remove someone from your life then, could lead to a lifetime of remorse and make you a lonely curmudgeon in your twilight years. This bag of candles, more so than my inability to contribute any money to a retirement account, made me question my own decisions and mortality.

The niece said that her aunt could still drive until just recently, and did everything herself. I mean, who else was going to do it? Now, in so many ways, she's at the mercy of people who love her, I'm sure, but resent how this massive project has disrupted their own lives. When Dustin and I are this age, who will clean out our home and return our candles?

People often quip about how they have children in order to have someone that is obligated to take care of them when they are demented, but I'll bet some of those people aren't really joking. I resented the notion of that obligation when I was younger, but as I get older and see the logistics of aging a lot clearer, I must admit that I'm a little uneasy about not only not having my own offspring to shoulder the agonies of aging with me, but also obligating Dustin's daughter to a responsibility that shouldn't be hers. It's quite a fence to sit upon. And I'm still not having kids.

There are constant arguments about how the world deals with the aged, especially when the young cannot find work or provide for their young families. As the majority of the population grows older and people continue to have smaller families, I cannot help but feel that we're totally fucked on both a personal and social level.

When it's time to return my candles, I'm going out on the ice flow (eskimo-style), and you can burn my house down. Just take the cats out first.

Help the aged,
one time they were just like you,
drinking, smoking cigs and sniffing glue. Help the aged,
don't just put them in a home,
can't have much fun in there all on their own.

Give a hand, if you can,
try and help them to unwind.
Give them hope & give them comfort 'cos they're running out of time.

*In the meantime we try.
Try to forget that nothing lasts forever. No big deal so give us all a feel.
Funny how it all falls away.
When did you first realise?
It's time you took an older lover baby. Teach you stuff
although he's looking rough.
Funny how it all falls away.

Help the aged
'cos one day you'll be older too
- you might need someone who can
pull you through
& if you look very hard
behind the lines upon their face you may see where you are headed
and it's such a lonely place.

You can dye your hair
but it's the one thing you can't change.
Can't run away from yourself, yourself...

Funny how it all falls away. [x3]
So help the aged.
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