Yes, the end of my life is in sight. Physical disabilities are piling up. In particular, I am losing my ability to walk more than a short distance. My mental faculties are still sharp, but my family history suggests that my days are numbered in that regard, too.
So, what to do with my remaining days on this earth?
I certainly haven’t been cheated out of anything. No regrets. I don’t want to spend my last days on this earth in bitterness or anger.
I set out, so many years ago, to try to see this world clearly for what it is, without illusions. My journey has taken me from my tiny hometown of Watseka, Illinois to San Francisco, to New York City and to Woodstock.
Like so many people, I thought that I would be much more important than I am. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that being important is not that important. Well, it is a good thing to be important to a few people.
I spend my days now playing music, babysitting my granddaughter, drawing pictures and taking care of my health. That last item consumes more of my time every day. The struggle to maintain my body wears on me. My determination to continue that struggle is diminishing. Soon, I know, I will succumb to the desire to let go of the burdens of this world. I can feel that coming.
Do I have any wisdom that I should leave behind? Should I leave behind a legacy?
The things that I remember most about my life are not impressive achievements or grand events. I recall walking the streets and hills of San Francisco for hours. Often, I spent my entire day in this fashion, stopping occasionally at coffee shops like the Café Trieste in North Beach. I thought then that I was searching for an epiphany or for a dramatic event. In fact, I was just enjoying the scenery, the walk and the coffee.
These last few days I hope to complete my work as an artist, whatever that might be. I think about what God might be, and what the next life might be, but I am as confused about that as any human who lived before me. I love the hymns that suggest that I will be reunited with those who really loved me, particularly my father and Myrna. But, I do not know if that is where the journey will lead me.
If there is anything that I have learned in this life, it is that I should not expect anything… that I should be prepared to be completely surprised by where the road leads. That is a good thing, although it seldom seems that way at the time that it happens.
Myrna always told me that we are all precisely where we need to be to learn what we need to learn. I will trust God to lead me, once again, where I need to go.