Archive for the ‘Barnes Jewish West’ Tag

Late Night Ruminations

I’m scared. So I am writing and eating Hershey’s Kisses milk chocolate. Putting my fears and worries down in writing helps me make sense of them. Eating chocolate, well, one can always find a reason to justify eating chocolate, even Hershey chocolate.

As I write this, I’m on the southbound Amtrak heading for St. Louis. My mother has an intestinal blockage and was hospitalized this evening. She is in Barnes Jewish West. This isn’t the first time. She was hospitalized for another blockage last year. One thing I can say about my mom, she’s a survivor. She’s been through a lot the past few years.

She is a ten year plus colorectal cancer survivor. She was diagnosed at stage four, after the cancer had already spread to her lungs. Lately, however, she has had numerous health issues, including persistent chronic leg edema that has left her unable to walk without a walker. She is in constant pain and her health is on the decline. 

Tonight, I found out she has been having medical issues I haven’t been aware of. I just wish I either lived closer to her or had a car. She needs someone with her with a medical background. Unless her doctors can figure out what is going on, I’m afraid her family is going to have to make some hard medical decisions.

Reminders of mortality are everywhere. I’m turning 50 next year and have a friend who is celebrating his 50th this year. He has been taking stock of his life, ruminating on where he has been, where he is now and where he is going.

I have been taking an accounting of my own life. And, to tell you the truth, I feel like an abject failure at times. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. I had dreams of going to medical school. I cannot tell you the conversations I had with our family doctor, Dr. Bill. He was so proud I wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a doctor.

I gave all that up for the life of a writer, and have spent the past two decades running away from writing. When I was 17, I was in such a hurry to grow up and be on my own. Going to school, juggling three jobs and supporting myself, I kept pushing that dream further and further away. I never had time to write, as I pursued a collective litany of jobs that led nowhere and provided little satisfaction. Writing, like any tool, if unused, gets rusty. I gave up on the dream, but, fortunately, the dream didn’t give up on me.

I wonder what I would have accomplished if I hadn’t given up on the dream. Where would I be now? The missteps you make in your youth can come back and haunt you when you’re older. We can play the game of “if only I” or we can move forward.

In the overall scheme of things, we are insignificant specks in the grand universe. Consider this. Does what we do truly matter to anyone except ourselves?

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