Monday, November 1, 2010

A Mother's Reflections on Life

I disappeared for a while last week.  I was staying with friends who had suddenly lost their father and father-in-law. When I got the call my heart broke for them.  No matter how long someone has lived whether it is a day or 100 years it is never enough time for those left behind. 

It made me reflect on a lot of things. Like the fact that one day I to will have to say goodbye to those I love.

Last Thanksgiving I had received a call that my grandmother had a series of mini strokes.  That night my grandfather suffered a bad heart attack.  They both recovered but she is not the same person she once was.  Some days it is as though she is peering at you through a mist in her mind.  For the first time I now see my grandfather as the stronger one-physically.  As soon as he was released from the hospital he was by her side, holding her hand, praying.  They still live on their own in the house they built.

I have seen what real love, true love is.  It is a refusal to give up on the person you love. To never walk away no matter how tough things may get.   No matter how many days it storms, you stay waiting for the sun holding the umbrella to protect those you love.  Sometimes you may even dance with your partner in the rain.  There is always some good there, you just may need to dig around to find it in the muck and mud.

I am thankful every day that I recorded my grandparents oral history so that I can remember their stories and share them with my children and hopefully one day my grandchildren.  They will live on in those stories.

Sometimes I wonder when did we stop respecting the elderly?  Their bodies may be failing them but the stories and memories they have to share are priceless treasures.  When did those treasures become so insignificant in the eyes of the young?  Consider the concept of the butterfly effect.  If a butterfly's wings could  possibly cause a cyclone on the other side of the world imagine the impact of one person's life.

The last week has also made me realize that I want to be around for my family for a very long time and it reinforced why I need to eat healthy and be healthy in other ways to.  It is not about looking good. It is about being healthy, inside and out and being around for a long, long, time.  Which is why I am off to the gym on this bright, sunny but chilly morning with the girls in tow.

I know this is a bit melancholy for a Monday morning but such is life sometimes.

A tear is shed
Over the memory of the the life you led
A life well lived almost nine decades long
I can't imagine a life with you gone
Smiles, stern words, hugs, and looks
A catalog of memories of the paths you took
You held my hand or stood nearby
Now watching, guarding from up high
I will pass on what you taught me
The lessons underneath the triumphs and tragedies
A toast to you
Who I am is to you due


kaley said...

thank you for this. for whatever reason, it hit home today.

Aging Mommy said...

Your blog is your place to come to and talk about the things most important to you in life - so this was the perfect post for you today and is a good reminder to us all to treasure those we hold dear who are older, as well as a reminder to enjoy every single day we are lucky to be in this world.

parenting ad absurdum said...

Thanks for this - I lost my grandmother last year, and this struck me particularly.

Joy said...

Life is so short even if you live to be 100. My friend's mother was so strong and brave. She kept talking about her angels-those who had stood by and were godsends to her and him during his final days. I can't imagine the pain that she was going through after they had shared over 60 some years.

blueviolet said...

It breaks my heart to see the lack of respect and reverence for our elders. Other cultures are far better at that than we are.

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