Single Steps Strategies Blog

Don’t Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Don’t Go Gentle Into That Good Night
By Dylan Thomas

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 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.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

What many of you may not know is that in my “first life,” I was a Language Arts Teacher. When I entered college in the early ’70’s, I wanted to be an attorney. But it was the ’70’s. That was too  “establishment.” So I got entrenched in academia and spent my days reading and writing poetry. At
one point I was hung up on Rod McKuen…can you believe? But wasn’t every teenage girl in those days?

The real highlight of my college career was my passion for English poetry. Not just the sonnets of Shakespeare, but the poems of the Romantics-Byron, Shelley and, Keats. And my poetry world would not have been complete without the poems of the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas.

The first time I read “Don’t Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” it affirmed the beliefs that I had been raised on by an Irish mother. Life is so important, so special, that we need to fight for it. Thomas watched his father grow weak and frail with old age. He tries to convince his father to fight against imminent death. Some studies suggest that Thomas’ father was going blind as he aged and so Dylan told him that he should “rage against the dying of the light.” This is not just for his father’s sake, but to give closure and hope to the family that he would leave behind.

I hear this poem in my mind every time I learn of a friend’s illness, the death of a family member, or the passing of a client. I relive it every time we have a client or family friend who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The poem ran through my mind every time I visited my mother in the hospital as she
fought against the effects of emphysema; and again when I talked with my brother as he was struggling with lung cancer in his last years.

On a happier note, it comes to mind when I watch friends, clients and associates as they make the most of their senior years with traveling, dancing, teaching and learning. As they go out into the world and enjoy encore careers, yoga classes, segwaying, entertaining, writing, and so much more.
And again, when they share with me the adventures they are having with family and friends; or the joys of a late life relationship with a new partner or mate. And sometimes there are stories of their parents or grandparents as they are reaching the “retirement years;” the “later years;” “the senior
years.”

As the “baby boomers” are aging and they and their families are dealing with realities of that, we at The Musuneggi Financial Group and at Single Steps Strategies see the need to focus on the issues that begin with retirement and thereafter. We believe that our clients and members are looking for, and
need, information and education to make these years the best they can be.

Join us on this journey. Over the next year, we will be concentrating on Retirement to Estate Planning. We will be providing articles and newsletters. We will present meetings, workshops, panels and events. We will introduce you and your family to our Resources who work in such areas as Retirement Planning, Long Term Care, Estate Planning, Encore Careers, Medical & Medicare, Social Security Planning, Lifestyle Choices, Senior Travel, Later Life Housing Options, Home Care, Caretaker Assistance, Income Planning, Debt Solutions, Healthy Living, Education, Winding Down a Small Business, and Asset Protection.

Welcome to the year 2013; and let us all make it the best year yet; as we enjoy every moment and we “Don’t Go Gentle Into that Good Night.

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