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How the West Was Won and Other Tales from the Past

By Mechelle Abney

 

Miss Kitty, How the West Was Won, John Wayne, Rawhide

OVER and OVER and OVER again!

POW! POW! BANG! BANG!

Blaring at a million decibels through the airwaves like an Indian's arrow soaring through the hot, desert, day.

OVER and OVER and OVER again!

Feeling like a jailed fugitive forced to watch.

OVER and OVER and OVER again!

Caught in the moment like a stray bullet
f-e-e-l-i-n-g the anger rush to my head.  “Turn it down!” I scream in my head.

OVER and OVER and OVER again!

Every day, the sounds of the blaring TV remind me that my once simple and carefree life has changed forever.  Gone are the days of careless wonder and freedom.   Choices to sleep in or get up and go are long gone!  Now I live the life of a caregiver.  One I didn’t choose, but willingly do.  In many ways, I am proud to do this job, this task, this commitment.  “But why do I harbor these feelings of anger?” I ask myself.

Anger manifests itself in many ways.  Too much eating, drinking, sarcasm, not enough sleep.  Feeling denial, avoidance and guilt.  Slowly moving from optimism into pessimism.  Fearful these manifestations will rear their ugly heads to the person I most deeply care about, love, and gladly take care of.  Will he feel this anger? Will he feel my resentment?  I wonder.  Or will he understand and know that I love him very much and would do anything for him?  Will he understand that this frustration is only my inability to cope?  My – sheer – inability to cope with his slipping into the depths of aging – and death.

Aging that smells like death with its essence of crisp Clorox, ready to wipe away whatwas once youthful and vibrant.

Aging that creeps up like a dark vine clinging to a tree.  Slowly suffocating life away and bonding with death.

Aging going unnoticed while the young simply forget to notice because they are in love with what each new day holds.

Life, Happiness, Newness, and Beginnings.

But, it waits for no one, I tell you.  And suddenly it appears –

Like the end of a long day… and taking me with it.

 

Mechelle Abney is a caregiver for her 82 year old father who is living with Alzheimer’s disease.  She moved in with him about eight months ago to take care of him and enjoys knowing her father as she remembers him.  She says, “writing shares my emotional turmoil of taking care of someone and the aging process.”

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