Thursday, March 20, 2014

What Goes Around…

Image: H. Kopp-Delaney

There is no going “gently” into the night
regardless what you think, maybe in spite;
first comes the loss of all you had and who you are—
favorite treasures, then the home, and then your car.

This role-reversal somehow doesn’t seem quite right—
grown children argue with frustration through the night.
Undecided what to do now that you’re ‘old,’
yet all agree you won’t be left out in the cold.

They understand the care you need is specialized:
your memory’s fading; so’s your hearing and your eyes.
On top of that you can’t get out of bed at night;
the list of meds you take is too long to recite.

In-fighting really is the saddest thing to see
to observe when adult-children disagree
through selfish needs they’re losing track of parent’s plight;
they forget their turn will come to "face the night."

© Ginny Brannan 2014

Inspired by two adult-children of a nonagenarian I know. Neither wants to step up and be in charge of parent's mail, so they left a basket in parent's room for whomever decides to go through first.

A little exercise to put aging into perspective:

Write down 10 things that really mean something to you: 
i.e. spouse, children, grandkids, pets, traveling, reading, writing, movies, etc. Whatever you feel is important to you.
Now take away two. Okay, not bad right, two you can live without, right?
Now take away three. Getting harder isn't it? What's left--spouse, children, grandkids family friends?
Now take away three more. Getting even tougher isn't it?
Left with two, pick one more to lose, leaving one. This is really tough when choosing between two that you really love. I had to "choose" between husband and son. How do you do that?!!

This really hit home with me on what happens as we age and lose everything we love, everything that we were. Thought I'd share and leave you with some food for thought too.


  1. oo what an exercise...i will have to give that a try...and maybe even with a group of people....would make for some interesting choices....

    ugh, the frame of reference of it being us as we age as well....
    well you got me thinking today....

    1. Brian, it really does make you think, doesn't it? We had this as part of an in-service training at work--understanding the elderly, why they behave in certain ways or react sometimes the way they do. Really put some things in perspective for me, to be sure.

  2. A close-up portrayal of what happens in so many families, and something I've seen, too. You're in one of those "I-don't-know-how-you-do-it" jobs, Ginny, and you've artfully and genuinely expressed something most of us hopefully don't get that close to.

  3. Ginny,
    You've certainly gained a perspective from your professional work. Everyone deserves "gentleness," especially from family. Thoughtfully done.
    Steve K.


Thank you for reading my poetry and sharing your thoughts.