Day 2 of #NaBloPoMo and I’m doing a lot of thinking.
Because life can be funny sometimes. Not in a ‘ha ha, let’s laugh at that good joke’ sort of way. At least, that’s not how I felt in May or June (I forget which month now) when I pulled off the main road to take the photos I’m sharing with you here.
It was a hot Saturday afternoon; no, it was a very hot Saturday afternoon. I had taken my ailing aunt to the doctor earlier on and we were finally making our way home.
As luck would have it, there had been an emergency with a patient so we ended up sitting in the doctor’s waiting room for almost two hours. My aunt hates to wait, and so do I. At 84 years old, she had fallen and hurt her hip. She was in a lot of pain, so sitting on a hard chair that refused to conform to her body shape made her even more irritable. It was a long two hours; no, it was a very long two hours.
I tried to distract her with conversation but how many topics can a girl come up with to cover 120 minutes of restlessness, impatience and muttered oaths? When we finally saw the doctor however, our reality was confirmed: the fall had activated arthritis in her hip; the Alzheimer’s was progressing at a much faster rate than originally anticipated. Now I was irritable too. I don’t think my aunt really understood the prognosis, her main concern being to get some sort of relief from the sharp pains radiating from her hip down through her leg.
We hobbled slowly over to the pharmacy to have her prescription filled after paying the doctor … another wait. We were both silent on the journey back to her home, lost in our own thoughts. I was wondering how we would move forward; there were so many decisions to be made. She needed full time care, whether it was to be at her home or in a facility. This would involve money either way. And before we crossed that bridge – I was sure she wasn’t going to agree to either – there was the fact that she couldn’t move around on her own as efficiently as she used to.
Being old is not pretty. Apart from losing the beauty of our youth, lots of body parts fail to work as they should or stop working altogether. Unfortunately, this can include our brain. Everywhere seems to hurt or spasm or tingle. You rub and massage and rub some more, yet you are still in pain. I feel old as it is – and I’m not anywhere close to being 84. Yup, being old is not pretty.
In addition to being irritable I was now overwhelmingly sad. It was at that point I really noticed the road on which we were travelling. We were passing by a beautiful beach with blue water calmly undulating towards a bright yellow carpet of sand. The sky was clear except for a few white puffs of cloud making their way peacefully on to the next island. Visitors dotted the beach in the distance, going about their business of relaxing and enjoying their time in paradise to the fullest.
This scene bothered me. I felt betrayed. The sky should not be so beautiful nor the waves so calm; not when I was so tormented and disturbed in my own mind. Did nature not understand this? Shouldn’t I have seen thick dark angry clouds raining cold icicles down on us? Why did the tourists look so happy when we were so sad?
And so I pulled over. And I took these photos of my country:
To remind me that life goes on even when it seems as though it has stopped us in our tracks,
To show me that the beauty of nature can heal and soothe the most tortured of minds,
To encourage me to go on even when I want to give up,
To have faith and hope in the face of hopelessness;
Thank you my Barbados,and thank you Lord.