Monday, 28 April 2014

The Last Time

I am sitting at my Mom and Ray's apartment here in Vancouver, looking out their large front window at the upper branches of the trees on the street. The buds are breaking open, the leaves beginning their seasonal voyage from new green to their ultimate end in October. There is not just one shade of green, but a scale from near white to near brown, all shades of colour. They are almost blocking the view, not fully, just enough to hide the clusters and clutter of houses and other apartments.

It is a combination of blue and white sky here today, the ever-present spring rains just a threat away. This some grey out there too, the clouds that carry the rain off the sea and onto the land here in BC, the rain that creates this green and verdant paradise. The weather here in April and May is on the edge of summer and winter, the edge of the rainy season and the warmth of the sun. It is the season of new beginnings, the season of flowers and new mown lawns, the season of light breezes and, for some, walks on the seawall.

There is a certain amount of pain in the losses I have endured. Yet each day I take joy in the things I can do. When I got up this morning, Mom and I were talking about how long it takes me to get dressed. Ray said "Yeah, but you can still do it." As usual, his straight forward observation of the facts was on point. I can still do it, still dress myself. Each thing I can do, I will do, until I can no longer do it.

The counterpoint to this is simple. I will do something until I can no longer do it. And when I stop doing something, it will be because I can no longer do it. It is the grey area in between, where I am not sure if I can or can't, not sure if there is ability or disability. In some cases it is simple, the gradual decline. In others, it is more complex, a choice about what is worth the energy or effort, what is worth the time and struggle, if it is worth the risk.

What I know for sure is that once I stop doing something, it is unlikely and in some cases impossible that I will start doing it once again. I never know for sure when it will be the end. For each thing I do, this might be the last time. I will keep doing for myself as long as I can, and when I cannot, that will be the last time.

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