A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Monday, March 10, 2014

UNHAPPY IS THE LAND THAT HAS THE NEED FOR HEROES

Well, the new job is going fine so far if you enjoy sitting on your butt for 10 hours a day watching and reading the computer screen.  In fact it's a lot like unemployment except you don't get to choose whats on the screen and you get paid.  Actually, it's  a lot of fun.

But after spending that amount of time in front of the screen, while I've been chomping at the bit to write on the blog, I haven't felt like sitting in front of the computer.

The tonight I read an article that hit me hard:

The body of Jesse Kirby, 76, was discovered Friday afternoon in his bed when police went to the home to check on the couple, said Morgan County Coroner Jeff Chunn.

Living inside the house was his wife, Doris Kirby, 78, who was hospitalized after the discovery.

The man had numerous health problems including heart issues and apparently died of natural causes in his sleep about four weeks ago, the coroner said.

The door was closed to the bedroom where the man died, Chunn said, and the woman continued living in other parts of the house with access to food.

“I don’t think she even realized what was going on when (emergency medical workers) came to take her to the hospital,” said Chunn.

Police saw the man’s body through a window after going to the house in response to a relative who had been trying to contact the couple and could not reach them. Two dogs that apparently died of starvation were found in the bedroom also.

Neighbors were unaware anything was wrong, said Dean Hayes, who lives nearby.

“It’s a shame all of us live right here and didn’t know how bad his health was,” Hayes said.

Hayes said the Kirbys were good neighbors but seldom went outside. Hayes said she saw Doris Kirby about two weeks ago.

“I had seen her on the porch and then going to the mailbox, so I thought everything was all right,” she said.

Chunn said the man has two children who live in the Decatur area, but neither realized what had happened because their Kirbys were “sort of loners.”

The children, who are grown, believed the man was taking care of the couple’s needs, he said.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 

I don't know what you think and feel when you read the article, but believe me it's not what I feel.  The incredible sadness I feel for that husband and his wife.  Alone, neighbors who are not really neighbors - just strangers that lived next door.  Kids that were too busy with their lives.  And an old man being run night and day until exhaustion finally overcame him and he died in his sleep.  The wife, out of her mind, spending a month wandering around the home and no one knew.

The dogs dying of starvation.

This is our world.  A world with no heroes in a world that needs heroes.  We let our elder parents suffer the ending years, alone.  What is sadder, the fact the kids didn't have the balls to care for them, to make the decision to put them in a home, and just let them go thru the hell of old age alone.

And what does this say of us, our culture?  Once upon a time in this nation, families of multiple generations lived together.  Grandparents, parents, and kids.  Each caring and helping for each other.

I'm glad I don't have kids (save that quote for me in 20 years when I need help and there is no one there).  You have that moment of joy of birth, raising the kids, sacrificing for the kids, and then they just jet off and leave you to your own with the obligatory Thanksgiving or Christmas visit, the card on your birthday, the call on Mothers Day or Fathers Day.  If you are lucky.

The Simpsons.  The laughter and putting Grandpa Simpson in the home, taking over his house.  How many generations laughed and learned.

Lots of garbage coming up in my head after reading that article.  I often worried that I might die, drop dead of a heart attack and what would happen to my dad and to the dog.  How long would he live with me dead, would he wander out the door in the cold, fall.  I know what that man went through, most only imagine it.  Golly, I wrote a 700 page book and didn't even really put it all in there.

We are so wrapped up in our lives, me included, and do we really know our neighbors?  Do we really look after others?  We are so stressed with inflation, unemployment, job insecurity, food shortages.  Why are people worried about their 401k when the market is doing so well?  We've lost the dream of that magic retirement, we have lost the American dream.  We don't die in a bed, our families surrounding us.  We die alone and our death is nothing but a pain in the ass for someone to deal with.

A pox on their children and their neighbors.

Look back on time with kindly eyes,
He doubtless did his best;
How softly sinks his trembling sun
In human nature’s west!

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