Tuesday, August 20, 2019

THE GATE - This Was The Time For Me To Read This Book...

Sometimes when I'm lost in wondering about the future, I flip through my Kindle to see what I want to read... The Gate by Stan I. S. Law caught my attention, although I have others of his to read. Perhaps, it was a God Incident? For the first time in my life, I have serious health issues that present problems to my daily life... 

All I saw was The Gate...and started to read, not knowing what it was about... And I certainly didn't think about THE Gate!

Whoa...I didn't think I was heading to Heaven...yet...but...
just who knows when it's your time..

Na'ah, I didn't think I was heading upward right now...but I am of that age when I do think about dying...And maybe, just maybe you are too. If not, maybe you should be. Because anybody over, say, 40 should already be thinking about some of the things we're going to face... Especially, if you are the child about 40 and your parents are still living...


Just yesterday he was here. 
I looked into his eyes. 
He was a man now, 
even as once a child that suckled at my breast. 
I continue to see him. 
Constantly, by my side. 
Or could it be just my longing? 
Surely he can’t be here. 
How come I am granted such wondrous illusions?
 Shadows of memories of such joyful past? 
But surely he is here. 
And he’ll never leave me. 
I feel his gentle touch, passing over my brow… 
No matter how spent, 
I shall always see him, Hiding behind my eyelids, 
days, nights, even now...

Steven is the main character who supports his mother, and father, through their last days. Stan wrote the book based upon his parents' lives within a fictionalized version to have it emerge into a lovely biographic sketch of his mother. She had started to write or record years before, while her husband was still alive--he was ten years older and had developed early stages of Alzheimer when they decided to move into "The Institute..."

The story is written in such a lovely way. The reader wonders just how much his mother had written before Stan had taken on the task of editing and merging her words with his into a book. Even when he is not sure what was intended, he included her words as part of the manuscript. Such a loving son, he had to have been...

The book is broken down into four parts,  under the umbrella of the Horsemen. As a family, especially with Stan as their son, we would realize that Stan's inquiring mind would constantly be active and most of the book is conversations between he, his wife, and his mother. A note perhaps is needed: music is not part of the book, but it has been added based upon my reading of the story on my blog.

It was for his mother, who had become unable to care for Jan, her husband, that this final change had to be made to relocate to The Institute.  Mostly referred to as Mama, or Mimi by Jan, she was, then, for the most part in good health and able to easily adjust with less physical work to care for Jan.  Steven and Annette made that place as much of a home as possible, including carpet, which was not allowed...but somehow managed to be installed and left to deal with by staff.

Then there are the activities and people within The Institute...not a good place, but not a bad one either. It is the people who populate the home that helps. However, after Jan is gone, Mimi slowly declines as she ages and moves toward dementia... Dementia, she says, is much better than Alzheimer's. Those with dementia realize that it is happening and can learn to compensate for routine things much longer. As we read, as older people, we begin to see those times happening in our own lives. But reading it in one book gives you a total picture of the path taken. Somehow the family takes it a step at a time, a day at a time, and makes the most of life as they begin to talk about The Gate..."

When it begins, the entire section has been done with great sensitivity and love. Mrs. Kordos, Mama, had begun to question... "Why am I here?", "Why am I not with Jan?".

Then the questions and discussion became about why is God who is supposed to be loving leave us here,  alone, to suffer, to become something we are not. Mrs. Kordos is a Catholic, but finds she is not prepared to answer her own questions--they just told us what to do, we did it, and were forgiven... But there was so much more, she realized. She began to read and have discussions with her son and his wife, exploring life itself. Steven indicated we have free will; his mother countered with, then why can't I choose. She contemplated suicide seriously especially after Jan was gone.

All she wanted was answers...

I found what I wanted in this book by Stan I. S. Law. Perhaps I was already prepared for what might be said, what might be the "climax," the "ending." But there was so much more in between the beginning of the book and the ultimate ending...

Many Christian hymns consider death, heaven...with great joy and contentment...

But, in reality, what we find is something not so joyous as we face the physical deterioration of our bodies, and, sometimes, our minds... Steven and Annette and the other family continued to support their mother and grandmother, not being able to respond to her pleas, her questions.

Until they noticed that she was no longer asking...even though years passed... 

Mama died smiling...the smile that her family would always remember...

Recommending as a Must-Read.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Glenda. I hope the book had given you as much pleasure as it gave me writing it. Thank you very much, my friend.