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Thursday, May 10, 2007

changing of the guard

This week has been one of emotional heaviness for my family. My younger sister had a miscarriage. My uncle died. My mother in law had back surgery yesterday. My own mother is in the preparative stages of her own back surgery. All of the expected emotions are dancing a chaotic rhythm as the band seamlessly shifts from one tempo to the next – my footsteps struggling to keep time to the ever changing beat. But, as I step to the side of the dance floor and take up my preferred wallflower position, there is something deeper revealing itself to me.

Suddenly, the death and age related illnesses are affecting a different generation, the one occupied by my parents. There is a subtle shift of power taking place as they prepare for the eternal leg of the journey, we step into the matriarchal and patriarchal roles, and our children begin entering the age of power. I don’t like this feeling. It is not the ephemeral nature of life which strikes such a sad chord in me.

It seems we spend an inordinate amount of time in our youth striving for the age when we will be grown – to have the power over our own destinies. That power is short lived. Life comes full circle, and with age, we slowly lose those things for which we fought so hard. For some, the journey is graphically symbolized as the ability to drive, care for their homes, tend to their physical needs, and make decisions for their own future is slowly whittled away by degenerative disease. For others, the loss is sudden, unexpected, and profound.

In observing the world around me, I often note that faith seems strongest in young children and senior citizens. Perhaps it is easier to surrender control to an almighty being when the evidence is already so clear that we really never had the power at all. I do not mean that we have no say in this life of ours. There is just so much, always, that we cannot put reins around. Perhaps acknowledging that fact is easier when it is so clearly written in our lives.

We all know this life is fleeting. My prayer would be that I am able to recognize those times in my own life when change is coming and not sit with gritted teeth, grasping hard to reins now uselessly attached to a horseless cart.

On this day, as I leave my house to visit a hospital for one mother, gather in mourning and remembrance of a loved one gone, and take another mother to another preparatory appointment, may I mingle the caring and love of my children into a smaller frame of time. May I hold onto the present with them while preparing for the future. May I keep my eyes always on an even more distant future when all of the parts are again united - when eternity becomes now for us all.



  • Oh my, T, this has been quite a week for you and yours! I so relate to what you are saying. I've been facing, for the past year or so, the ravages of time on my own body--many of which are the result of my own poor care of this temple of mine. And my mom and Paul's parents are all reaching a point, a tipping point, where I think things could go downhill very quickly. There is so much that goes with it.

    This was a post of perfect expression, my dear.

    By Blogger Mary-LUE, at 1:27 PM  

  • yes - this is a tough point when you realize 'this isn't supposed to be me doing this, my mother is supposed to do this!'

    Its a tough time and I feel for you. I'm a little on the other side of the hill - its not quite so bad as the climb.

    By Blogger spidermama, at 4:35 PM  

  • Oh my.....

    *sending peace filled thoughts*

    It's a tough transition.
    It's a loving transition, tough as it might be.

    *healing prayers for you and yours*

    By Blogger Mel, at 12:31 AM  

  • You worded this so well. Yes, I can relate to this changing of the guard. Can't say I like it since there is so much sadness that goes along with it, but it is unstoppable.

    Peace & blessings to you.

    By Blogger Terri B., at 7:41 PM  

  • Mary- Yeah, it's like that (and I too am reaping what I have sowed in my own body).

    My spidery friend - Can't wait to meet you on the other side! It's always good to know such a capable friend has gone before me.

    mel - thank you so much! And yes, I see the loving side of things. On an up note, it has opened conversations with my own kids about respect and love.

    Terri - Thank you so much! I guess part of me is very grateful for the unstoppable aspect. Otherwise, I might try to throw a wrench in the works (which would simply delay the inevitable).

    Thank you all!


    By Blogger atypical, at 10:05 AM  

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