Solitary Thoughts

lost in thought

Sitting at your window, looking out at the world, what solitary thoughts hold your attention?  At age 93 do you still delight in simple pleasures, those little discoveries made when I take my early morning walks?  Are there mysteries yet to unravel, interests to be explored?  Does the cardinal at the feeder, the sun skipping across jonquil and hosta, or a delicate raindrop cascading down the windowpane bring a smile to your face?

During these quiet times, does your mind wander to the life you have lived?  Do you wonder how many more holidays yet to be shared with your loved ones, how many more crisp spring mornings, how many more golden leaves tumbling down from the canopy above, how many more first gentle snowfalls?

time for reflectingAre you marking time in months instead of years, fearful of what is to come, afraid of how you will exit this life?  Was this journey what you had hoped for or do regrets creep into your thoughts, pangs of pathos overshadowing all else?

You have always seemed the strong, silent type, keeping thoughts buried, not eager to share.  These past several weeks I have seen a much frailer man, yes, but also one who is animated, a man I am thankful to have shared a few private words, a few childlike laughs.

dad at 93Since I came into your family I have chuckled at the way you seemed to have singled me out, asking my thoughts about complex issues like the death penalty and gay marriage.  Even when my beliefs have run counter to your own, they have never elicited a negative reaction from you.  You openly welcomed me into this family, tolerating the “huggy” kind of gal that I am.  I like to think that you secretly enjoy this aspect of me.

I pray that in your solitary thoughts you still find the joy in nature’s wonders.  I have discovered your love for my chocolate chip cookies, so I will continue to bake them, just to see that beautiful smile light up your face.

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86 thoughts on “Solitary Thoughts

  • This is the most beautiful post I have read in a long time. So profound and wise… This strikes a chord with me.

    Thanks for sharing… Glad I read this

  • I say “ditto” to Marcia’s comment. Very moving thoughts about a father-in-law. He is blessed to have your love.

  • What a wonderful post Lu. They are so lucky to have you around and I can tell you feel lucky to have him around.

  • it’s beautiful; can you divide those mail-out cookies into two boxes? one for me as well as alastair?

    when i was a teenager, we lived in the country, and a ‘through-the-fields neighbor – an older mentor” remarried after his wife died. he married his college sweetheart, who had also lost her husband. she had always lived in the city, so it was a bit like the set of green acres. i remember that she would sit on the steps in front of her house and stare out at the densely-shaded landscape. i always felt sorry for her and assumed she was lonely.

    years later, after long days, i would find myself sitting on the steps of my own house while i blissfully staring into the densely-shaded landscape! i realized that she had probably been just as happy as i! there was no doubt that he adored her and always reminisced about how beautiful she was!

    • Thanks Z for that lovely story. The longer we are here, the more my husband’s dad begins to share, so I am looking forward to some meaningful conversations with him. And yes, I believe I could send out those cookies in two boxes. I just can’t guarantee what they would look like by the time they arrived in Ecuador. 😉

  • Hi LuAnn & Terry,

    Terry’s Dad certainly favors Terry in the way he looks and his stature. Your thoughts about an older person and what they are thinking is pretty interesting. I once asked my Dad when he was 87, if he still looks at the world in the same way as when he was younger. He said, “Rog, when a pretty girl walks by, my mind is still 18.” Of course he got a great laugh out of his comments and my reaction. Let me say that now as I am approaching 80, I often find myself wondering about life around me. For a fact, as I look at the wonderful things in our life and the environment we live in, I still am amazed at how wonderful our lives are and how beautiful are our surroundings. I would bet that Terry’s Dad feels the same way. I know he really appreciates you and it is very evident in your writing. Have a great weekend. It is beautiful down here at San Elijo today. The surfers and paddle boarders are really having a ball right now.
    Rog & Gayl

    • Thanks for sharing this Roger. I am planning on having some great conversations with Terry’s dad, as he opens up more and more as time goes by. We would love to be at San Elijo watching the surfers right about now. Take care you two! 🙂

  • My dad, 85, and I talk often about the simpler times. As the years have gone by, my dad shares more and more with me about his growing up. It does seem like a simpler time. I am so thankful that he shares his thoughts with me. One day he said, “Marsha, my eyes see everything like I am still 20, but my body tells me other wise.” I said dad, “So does mine.”

    • Thanks for sharing this Marsha. I love to see Terry’s dad beginning to open up the longer we are here. I have a few topics on my agenda for him so I may be writing another post about him at some point.

  • Your post so reminds me of the 15 years my mother in law lived in our home and we took care of her…she moved in when she was 80 after Joe’s dad passed away and she died at 95. We were so blessed to have shared her last few years.

    • Thanks for sharing this Gay. We have had a few challenges since our arrival, which we expected, but the rewards have far outweighed this.

  • Beautiful! A beautiful post, a meaningful relationship to be treasured. His, a long simple life, of opportunity, spent in this wonderful country. A simple principled life, I am sure, to be remembered in his thoughts and shared with those whose lives he has touched. My parents and husband’s parents are gone and I wish they weren’t.

    • I plan to learn more about his life and his thoughts as he opens up the longer we are here. My mother passed away when she was 38 and my dad at age 60 so I have not had the opportunity to spend these later years with parents.

  • LuAnn… what are you doing to me on a Sunday morning… this has pull on a heart string I had forgotten I had… what a wonderful post.. you are really someone special…

  • Beautiful pictures….but the thoughts, the words, the kindness touches the heart so deeply. You have a gift Lu and I am thankful to be able to share it. Blessings and love and thank yous go your way.

  • What a great post!!, I could not avoid remembering my grandfather who died a year ago, I saw him many times sitting watching the horizon and I was always curious to know what he was thinking, now it’s too late to ask but his sudden departure made ​​me reconsider that I should pay more attention! thanks to share

  • I have one other thought, LuAnn. It would not be very costly to pick up a small tape recorder of excellent quality. In later years from now, to hear his voice relating amazing stories about life, etc. would be a treasure.

  • Oh LuAnn, what a lovely,heartfelt tribute to a very special person. Your beautiful words really moved me. So glad you shared these very personal thoughts. All the best, Terri

  • All I could think of is what a very lucky man this is…I am guessing it might by your father-in-law. You have honored him in such a profound way here LuAnn… in such a deep and beautiful form. I wish I could explain how this touched me. Thank you so much for sharing… these are feelings and insights (philosophical and reflective) … I think we all relate to on many levels… your post was just incredible. Love to you ~ x RL

    • Now you’ve gone and done it Robyn! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. Given my weary state right now this is just what I needed. Thank you for your touching words. Much love to you. 🙂

  • Your have a way of writing that presents a heartfelt tug. I love your meaningful questions and it brings up how I feel about things at 60. I am happy with my life and would not return to a younger me. Over the years I mellowed and enjoy a slower pace now than I had in my 20s and 30s.

    My father passed away a few years ago. I spent his last three weeks helping my mom, who was primary caregiver. With hospice helping out from time to time, Mom and I were right there with him until his last breath. We had some great conversations. He chose to stop dialysis three times a week and go out on his own terms. I respect his decision and he was at peace. A family can’t ask for more than that.

    • Thank you for your comments Sue. I lost a dear friend a couple of years ago to a rare genetic disease similar to ALS at the age of 53. She lived 13 years with this horrible disease, with courage, dignity, and a sense of humor. Near the end she decided to be taken off of a ventilator, and although I still miss her terribly, I admire her strength and was so thankful so was able to make this decision for herself.

  • RoSy expresses it best LuAnn, as do many of the others. You are quite an amazing individual (natch your husband also)! Your words here are very moving and poignant. When that extra sensitivity (which you possess) encounters the deep feelings of those close to you, your experiences become rich with emotions (the very very special and a few of the harder ones). Stay balanced dear friend. A beautiful post! 🙂

    • The balancing act is my biggest challenge, as I find my Type A personality rearing its ugly head. Most of the “heavy lifting” projects are completed, now comes the challenge of evaluating the emotional/mental aspects of aging. Thank you Penny for your kind words and I have not forgotten about that email. Love you! 🙂

      • Yes, you are correct. It’s the emotional balance (internal for yourself) that’s the trick, LuAnn. I do have some thoughts that might be of value, only as you are inclined and have time to connect with me, as always I am nearby my most special friend. 🙂 xx

  • Truly a beautiful and moving post Luann. Your sensitive, caring nature shines through 🙂 Your parents in law are indeed fortunate to have you and Terry close.

  • Your post is so moving, LuAnn. I think not one of us can truly get inside another’s mind, but you’ve probably come close here, with your contemplations. Your husband and his parents are really blessed to have you as part of their family. Hugs

  • What an astoundingly good post, it has all the emotions in it, makes me wonder what awaits us all and how will cope in that situation. This is the most sensitive and brilliant piece of work I have come across in ages.

    • I just read your comment to my husband, and must confess to getting a little emotional doing so. I explained to him what a brilliant writer I think you are, so this comment touches me more than you can know. Thank you. 🙂

  • LuAnn…. this was stunning. Both the words and the charming, spot-on pics to go with them.
    You sent me back to the time when my 89 year old mom moved in with us. Sadly, I didn’t have that experience of knowing what went on in her mind as I lost her to Alzheimer’s. You have a treasure trove to enjoy there as long as your father-in-law’s mind remains sharp. Pushing 70 myself, I hope that as long as the mind remains, one still enjoys those small wonders that make up the best in life. Hugs to all of you while you take this very different sort of journey.

  • I believe a person needs affection, empathy and also the alleviation of loneliness as he gets older. They just need someone to talk to. so glad your father-in-law is receiving all these from you.

Love to know what you're thinking.

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