Monday, January 12, 2009

To Have and To Hold

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from The Rainmaker. She had been wanting to blog for awhile and when I told her about The Dirty Burrito’s open call for guest writers, she quickly accepted the opportunity to pop her blogging cherry on such a well-established and well-respected forum. Her post is slightly more serious than my typical subject matter, and her writing style is clearly different – i.e., better. Below is her original, unedited post. Enjoy. And if you want to guest blog for The Dirty Burrito, simply get in touch.

“It’s hard to witness…I’m starting to notice signs of my parents getting older.”

Hearing these words from my roommate hit a nerve. I was not alone. It had been another 4am night in New York City, leaving us a little tipsy. Instead of our routine of preparing a frozen pizza we sat on the couch and disclosed our fears of our parents getting old into the wee hours. It is a fear that constantly haunts me in my mid-twenties – a sign itself that I too, am aging.

Loss prevents us from the very thing we know how to do – live. Why are we so threatened by it? Perhaps because of the minimal room for anticipation. How we feel and how we react is only determined once the pain becomes a reality. Maybe we are most terrified of what will become of us. We get a better sense of what we want out of life, the kind of people we want to be and what mark we want to leave when things are put into perspective and existence is threatened. We measure our fulfillment by what we have or don’t have, which isn’t necessarily right but human.

In a hopeful moment after a good checkup my grandpa asked my mom, “Do you think I might be able to live by myself again?” My mom had to tell him in all honesty that he was only fooling himself. Once the idea was shot down, a light bulb went on and he remembered how lucky he was. It could always be worse. At 90 years old my grandpa is in tremendous spirits. While he now uses a walker to get around and has a live-at-home nurse, he uses art as his outlet and still manages to live life with a sense of humor. I think with each stage of life it’s a matter of adjusting.

I look at my parents today and I want to freeze them in time – being able to do whatever they want without health complications, able to travel and drive, entertain and laugh without remorse…

It is heartbreaking to think of them one day losing the freedoms they’ve grown accustomed to. While you can’t dodge the inevitable, the fact that I won’t be able to blind myself from them degenerating before my eyes is most terrifying. I will only be able to do so much for the ones who raised me.

Unfortunately I have many friends who have already lost a parent at such a young age. My heart goes out to them. In that sense I am spoiled to still have both of mine around and it’s unfair to bitch about them getting old. I am counting my blessings. And in an attempt to combat my fears, I already told my parents that I’m moving them into my house when that day comes. Prince Charming will have to live with it.

Life is a gift. Family, whether biological or chosen, make it complete. Hopefully in this new year, in a difficult time for a lot of people, we will cherish those we love while we still have them.


  1. Brilliant...bold, chilling, and inspiring. Thanks for reminding us to appreciate what's most important in life, and to have the courage to face fears. Keep writing!...So proud of you. Thanks for posting!

  2. I deeply appreciate this entry! It's personally touching for me and I know it hits a soft spot most of us can identify with. I love that you write about family. I hope you continue to inspire us with your entries. Thanks Rainmaker, love it!

    P.S. I'll need to remember to bring a tissue before I read your next post!

  3. Rainmaker... you truly make it rain!!! Your words are beautiful and so well expressed. I've had the same thoughts and feelings, thanks for writing them down.


  4. Rainmaker, reading your entry woke me up this morning with an overdue kick in the head. Life is love -- and you are a true lover! And you make me want to love more. Thank you.

  5. i took note of quite a lot of things in this entry.

  6. Maker of Rain, this is something I definitely think of, but avoid talking about. So, I thank you for this. Thank you for the spark to start my day.

    One day your children may be thinking the same thing.

  7. Olive juice! Youre the best. Thanks for sharing.

    Can't wait to visit you in NY.

    - Random

  8. Amazing.
    You addressed something we all think about but are afraid to confront, and you wrote it down so eloquently. Thank you for reminding us about what's important in life - the family you're born with and friends (the family that you chose)

    Love you.