looking out my front door across the street
It is amazing as I am sitting here looking out the window in almost complete silence (the dogs are rustling around trying to figure out how to get out the door and run in the beautiful snow) that growing up has absolutely nothing to do with your age, as it has to do with the experiences and adventures that we encounter throughout our lives.
When I was little, I feared turning 21 because I thought your life was over and you had to become an adult and it would just be a horrible thing. Oh, how I wish I was 21 again! For anyone who knows me, that is about the time I came out of my shell and became more outgoing and started to realize more of what I wanted out of life, but I certainly was no grown-up. LOL
At 30, I use to think I had to have short hair and needed to have a house and a family and look like a professional because the rest of your life was work, work, work. When 30 came, I was lucky enough to have found a wonderful husband (I also learned that fairytales do not really exist in real life, but rather working through difficult times brings you closer and that when you don't give up it is worth it in the end) 3 beautiful kids (I learned that it is a different generation and all those things that my parents said to me and I listened the first time, DO NOT work on today's generation so that in itself was quite the challenge) and a home (which I thought was the biggest house ever haha until about 6 months later and realized that coming from where we were it just looked bigger) 14 years later in the same home and we have worked really hard to make the small space ours.
Now at 42, I realize that my parents are the next step in my life. With my mom being ill and us not knowing what exactly is wrong with her and even the hospital not being able to diagnosis what exactly it is I so wish I was on one of those shows that knock on your door and this doctor comes to my rescue and says, "I will figure this all out," and he does and everything is better and life goes on like it was 4 months ago. My dad is happy again, I do not have to look at the tears in his eyes because his wife of almost 50 years (50 years on Feb. 2!!) isn't sleeping next to him every night. The look at his tired eyes as he has spent since the end of August at her bedside from 8 in the morning until at least 7 or so at night every day wondering and waiting for everything to be ok again and them to walk around the park like the day they did when she fell that night.
We have all learned so much through the process. Again, my inner child let him have his way against everything that I knew was right. I learned that as an adult (ugh did I say the "A" word) I do know better sometimes. Not often, but sometimes and to stand my ground and make decisions that are in his and her best interest. Isn't that why we are all here as children? Isn't it a circle? Our parents take care of us and then we take care of them even if it means telling them they are wrong. Ugh that is hard to do.
We are in a wonderful nursing rehab now and the staff are just wonderful and very caring. But again, it wasn't turning a certain age that made me realize that another phase of my life has just taken place whether I like it or if this is the way I thought it would happen or not. It just happens.
I always believe in miracles so I will never give up. So although, I should say, I know, I am going to wish for a miracle and I am going to secretly hope that any phone call might be some doctor who says, "let me try and help you." I am going to move on with my plan of trying to see if some walls in the house can be broken down and a perhaps the garage be turned into another living space so when that next phase comes (as I realize they just come and there is no planning for them) my mom and dad have a place to move in with my family where they belong. Where what they have instilled in me my whole life can be become an action and no longer words.
Family....... Friends....... Choose wisely they always said. You do not need a lot, you need ones that count and will always be there. Family is who they both need to be with at this time. It is my turn to give back to them. To give them the feeling of love, support, consistency, and security that have been part of my 42 years on earth. My fear always was that when I was alone someday I did not think I could make it because I always knew that if I failed or if anything went wrong, I always had my parents as my security net. What happens when you fail and you no longer have that? It is a scary feeling. But I have come to realize that I am ok and it is really the opposite. I am their security net. It is me who must make them feel like it is ok, because I am always here for them and it is ok to try and see what happens.
My children are so lucky to have had their Gramma G (Tom's mom) and my parents for their lives. They have learned compassion and what it means to have true love. My mom had made this entire room for George to come and live with them. Yes, that was the plan. George's high school is right down the street from where my parents live. So, they had decided that George should come and stay with them during the week so he didn't have to get up and catch the bus at 6:10 every morning. It was wonderful, I thought. He could protect them during the week and make sure they were ok and he could be closer to school in a loving environment. My mom spent so much time making this room so wonderful for him and there it sits. He has never slept in it, and we really do not go in it. I have asked why over and over again, but I try to think like my mom would have told me and say, "God must have had other plans." I will never think it is fair because I will never be as rational as my mom, but I do believe everything happens for a reason.
So what I hope my children will learn from all of this is to pay forward all the things they have seen Tom and I do to help our parents and all the things that their grandparents have taught and showed them by example. I hope they have a compassion towards the older generation that have paved the way for them to have what they have in this world. Not just my parents or Tom's parents but all the older generation for without them where would we be?
I think I may have broken my rib somehow and it has been very difficult to walk and talk the last several days. Last night when I called my dad to say goodnight, he cried on the phone. When I asked him why he was crying, he said it was because when I hurt, he hurts. That is how we are as a family. When one of us hurts the other one hurts. It makes me so happy to know that this next journey whatever it may be will be one of love and support. I hope I can accomplish the things I want to do. Not quite sure how it will be done or how it will work out, but I know that my friends, and family will always be there to support me.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Holiday Season and I wish each and every one of you the Best for 2013.