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Endings and Beginnings

October 10, 2012

Grandma with her grandkids

My mom is sick. Really sick.

There are so many other things I wanted to write about. But my mom is sick.

It is so hard to think about it. I wasn’t sure if I should write about it. But, my mom is sick, and I find that I can’t write about anything else.

Last weekend, I went to Minnesota to be with my mom and dad. I found myself doing things for my mom that I am used to doing for my young children. Helping her get dressed, cleaned, and fed. At this stage, it is like our roles are reversed. I am now mothering my own mother. It is as though, in the circle of life, she is getting closer to where she started out. It is true that we end very near to where we begin.  And maybe that’s what this is about — endings and beginnings.

For the last 8 years, my mom has dedicated much of her time to being an amazing mother and grandmother. She watched and held babies whenever she could. She took grandkids to music classes. She travelled to Switzerland for the express purpose to play with her grandchildren. She often stayed back with the youngest grandchildren while the older ones went on to bigger things with the other adults. I think that was her favorite role.

As a mother and as a teacher, she has always had an affinity to small children. I’ve often thought she is like a kid at heart. Playing and singing and watching for hours, after most other adults would have gotten bored or gone crazy.

She can no longer do those things.

It is, at least for now, the end of another stage of life. She is no longer the babysitter, the hostess, or the traveler she has been. But, an ending also means a new beginning.

Right now, it is difficult to accept, not to mention embrace, this new beginning. Partially that is because we didn’t choose this situation, and also because we don’t really know what the new situation is. Between each ending and beginning is that nasty thing called transition. That’s where we are stuck right now… in transition.

Transition is hard. It means change. It means uncertainty. It means waiting for time to tell. It means adapting to what each day brings.

It’s been several months, and we still don’t really know what is wrong. The doctors don’t know. And perhaps that is the biggest frustration — not knowing. But we live in hope, and also in fear, that maybe the next doctor, or the next appointment will bring some answers.

At least with knowledge, we can embark on a new beginning.

October 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Very well said, sister.

October 19, 2012 at 9:58 am

Sarah…I’m very sorry to hear about your mom. I have lots of great memories of her from the old days, particularly from the “ETC Experience”. She is a wonderful lady, and you are a caring daughter. The two of you are lucky to have each other, and I hope that the coming days and weeks bring some answers, some kind of comfort. I’ll be thinking of you all…

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