Life… and Perspective

After a long battle with dementia, my father-in-law passed peacefully in his sleep very early yesterday morning. He was a wonderful, kind, generous, and loving man. He was the best man at our wedding. That should give you a clue as to his character. After all, how many sons have you known to ask their father to be best man?

We miss him already, and will continue to forever. But we are relieved at the same time because his suffering is over.

Dementia is a long, slow, and painful process. In Dad’s case it dragged on for approximately six years. Most people hear the word “dementia” and know that it robs a person of their memories of friends and family.  What they don’t realize is that you forget acquired skills as well, and later lose your ability to perform basic bodily functions. Dad lost his ability to speak very early on. At first we didn’t know the aphasia was due to dementia – rather, we thought he might have had a stroke. Later, he lost his ability to read. Then came more drastic memory loss. And at the very end, he was having trouble swallowing.

He was a proud man though, and even unconsciously, fought this debilitating illness every step of the way. Had he been cognizant, he would have hated what he became. But now, the shackles are removed, and he is flying free. At peace. We love you Dad, and know you are where you need to be.

So, after a few weeks of going back and forth to hospital and hospice, and watching this all play out, do I care that my firing went awfully? Yes. But not nearly as much as I would have even a month ago.

Running glazes, ugly colors, and pinholes are the least of my worries right now. I will have other chances to get it right. Other opportunities to improve. I am trying again, knowing I get another day to be on this earth, and am thankful for it.

So for now, I will just lose myself in the spinning of the wheel and the feel of wet clay. Because the now is what is important. And creating is what makes my soul happy now.  When my soul is happy, it makes me stronger. That strength makes me a better wife to my husband, a better daughter to my mother and mother-in-law, and a better friend to everyone else.

Hug your loved ones. Make sure they know how you feel about them. Then, do what makes your soul sing. Remember the importance of now, and be strong.