Amazing the stats of how many people commit suicide every year. A regular news item. Many years as a minister-counselor, I’ve lived with these realities — even directly counseled a few to successfully reconsider. This is not to report such cases. This is my report. I’m 85 and fairly healthy. I spend most of my time alone. I’ve no close friends where I live. I write books&poems that only a few have read—even a little bit. Nobody buys them. The local library seems to have hid them. My seminary has ignored them. My retired minister’s association has ignored them. Those three entities have ignored “me” as well as the writings. I’ve no collegium resulting from years in the ministry. My Minister’s Association keeps talking about collegiality, but the record is zilch with me. No one has even contacted me with a collegial “hello.”  I’ve made some attempts. Well, I could go on and on about issues from those sources. More importantly,I lost my wife, Marilyn, of 50 years on May 25, 2009. My dog, DaisyDew, of over 17 years, I put to sleep on June 5, 2015. I go out shopping to be with people. Even a “Hi” here and there. I drive the old haunts as if Marilyn and DaisyDew were still with me. My only real friends at present — are email/phone friends only — because all live so far away. Generally speaking (and observing), I have been written-off such that no one will be surprised if I die tomorrow. Of course, much of this has to do with age. And a lot has to do with credentials and who you know. Seems, in my world of writing/presentations, you have to be traditionally published, have some sort of Doctorate/PhD, been well-reviewed by the “establishmentarians,” and have extra monies to buy marketing programs, etc. Well, I don’t hear too well in group situations, and some one-on-ones, either. That puts people off and limits the prospects of friend/companion development. Also, I’m a progressive liberal humanist– and my type is a rarity in this Province of Trumpers. Being a poet doesn’t help. And could be a better writer in this mostly alone life, where laziness and loneliness vie for top rank. I have two children in the same area and a son just two hours away. So, I’m not totally alone and we gather as often as we can. So, I self-manage most days for essential activity, which includes roaming the shopping aisles with humanity. People my age and circumstance (soon a gonner) — no matter how loved by family — are in position such that death at any time and will be of no surprise to anyone. —  Except me!

I’ve felt a bit older each year since 80. Expect such to continue. Suicide is out of the question. I’ve a new Five Year Plan to bring to life. (Will report successes at 91.) No evidence of dementia or critical failings so far. Can still move and write. The first key is to minimize stress, depression, and loneliness. Second is to positively seize each day one wakes. The time will come when one’s having fallen asleep will just continue for an eternity. I’ve been given more chance than most to release and express a self that will never ever happen again. Fortunately, I am a writer/survivor. I may never be known for anything I’ve written or conceived. Odds are against that. So, just do MY thing until I can’t. The third key, which I write about, and more to come, is maintaining a “structure” that holds-breathes, like a good poem. Loss of “living structure” contributes to suicidal tendencies. I cook, do laundry. I plan. I visit doctors for issues. I structure survival.

I don’t have much money. Most of what I have is in my property. It would be to my children’s advantage that I never have to enter an old folk’s home of some sort. That would use up what money the property would bring. So, I expect to keep going until one day I just wear-out and don’t wake-up. I may write my own obituary in this five year plan.   But life is crazy, random, and violent as we all know. Anything can  happen anywhere anytime by many an anyhow.  Death comes to all. The continued life and expression of this MY self is up to me. I look back at a rocky-random-often-life-exiting resume. I’m still here. My assignment to be me is clear. Still, that nightly stair-climb to bed is a lonely ascent and then to wake with no soul-mate-type to meet for coffee, wine, and lively deeptalk. My soul-listen radar’s rusting into zero-prone activity to pick-up reader enthusiasm for a poem, a thought sequence, or anything on my website. Alas, one learns to live with such loss as with the loss of bodily functions and self-controls. Surely, I could will my own death by this or that maneuver. BUT, not this MDOK, who’s still self-convinced he may find-expose some more gold in the flow of time and memory’s hold; in the mud, the rock…from the digging and panning.  Then comes the freeing and polishing. Then! Oh, the glistens in the sunlight. Oh, the Glistens! Yes, this Life is worth its worth! —- And for as long as its “give&take” lasts………[–mdok-3/3/19–]……