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August.

Some friends came by tonight - two men that I have loved as my own family for almost 20 years. One of them has received a diagnosis of a type of cognitive decline, one that leads to dementia in many cases, within 5-8 years. We sat and talked calmly but sadly about the details of the diagnosis, one I hadn't understood before, and in many ways, refused to see. We talked about his wishes not to live with dementia, and their plans for his decline.

I'm very, very sad.

It is August, in my life too. 

I am 45. In three years, I have lost both my parents and initiated a divorce from a good man who, in many ways, I still love deeply. Not in many ways, just love deeply. Full stop. Couldn't keep up with him or tolerate the risk he could, and couldn't keep chasing a goal when I wasn't sure how much time we had left. But love, yes, still.  

My hair has streaks of gray, my body is getting wrinkles and paunches and refusing to be pushed in the ways I used to push it. I have felt the first flames of hot flashes in my face, as regular as the clock, in the early afternoon and evening. The days of planting are past, the harvest is over, and it is the time that I enjoy the cooling days and the last, fading blooms of my flowers before the frost arrives. 

I have no sense of time in my life for "another try" or a "new start". The deaths of my parents, one protracted and foreseeable, and one instantaneous and shocking - took that away. 

What I have the sense of is that what I have left is a brief period to get right with myself and the Universe, and to enjoy every blessed instant I am given with my friends and my children, and to try not to leave a terrible mess behind for them to clean up. 

All I have time for is "To do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God", as the prophet Micah exhorted the people of Israel. 

It is August, in my life too.


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