Friday, 15 January 2016

Living and Dying - My Attitude to both

As a young diabetic aged no more than eight or nine attending the Diabetic Clinic, Mum beside me, we were privy to the conservation had between my Doctor, Adair Stewart-Mason, and his protégé John (later Professor) Monson. Stewart-Mason, a bloody good Endocrinologist but a man of Victorian upbringing who thought children best seen yet unheard, informed the younger man that someone my age would probably not see sixty. They were wrong. At sixty-two, I am still here.
My attitude to my health but also to life in general and the approach of death are much one and the same. Get on with it. Having had multiple seizures  as a child (haven't had one in thirty years) there is no alternative apart from getting up and doing precisely that. However, having had one heart attack, two minor strokes and with a list of irritating things beleaguering me all far too dull, tedious and uninteresting to bore my readers with, I have to face the possibility I will not make old bones. My attitude is unchanged. I will get on with it.
Rotten and rebellious unto the end!
Perhaps this sudden morbidity on my part is due to the death of our family dog Cookie who we all dearly loved or the slow, tortuous decline of my mother. A little bit of me, the black humoured part, thinks wouldn't it be a blast to snuff it at sixty-nine just like my hero David Bowie? But no, I fully intend to defy the statisticians  and medics by proving them wrong. I am also looking forward to teaching my grandsons all the bad habits I have learned.
The one poem that sums my long winded post up in, as Francis Bacon would have said, a succinct shorthand is this one by Dylan Thomas...

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

4 comments:

Cara H said...

I'm not afraid of dying. I'm rather weary of living a life that never went quite right. The only reason I'm still alive is because of my son. Otherwise, I'd have checked out long ago.

LeeKwo said...

Yes its the dying that instills fear not the being dead of it/

Russell Duffy said...

It's the living that is the hard bit isn't it? I, like you I suspect, have never truly fitted in. I've been like a spare part that no one quite knows what to do with. I totally understand your sentiment regarding your son.

Russell Duffy said...

Absolutely.