Out with the old…

How quickly we go from the height of our strength, health and beauty to joining the club of the aged. Well, wine is better when its aged and so is cheese, right? Hopefully, so are humans…at least to their loved ones. Where did time go? How did it pass by so fast?

About 3 weeks ago we got a call from our son in law to tell us our daughter was in the hospital again and this time for a 7 minute seizure. At the end of the day, and at the end of all the tests, they could not find any cause. There are a number of possible reasons but nothing conclusive.

Before the pandemic hit, this girl was healthy, but since 2020 its been one thing after the other and not all of them related. Right now, since the seizure, she appears in tip top shape. She is back at work and the reason I am still here is because after a seizure, state law dictates no driving for three months. So I am her personal chauffer. Her husband travels a lot with his career, and he will be home for Easter and will be working from home after that. Then I will go home.

This 6 weeks has been a bit of a gift in a world of constant movement. Everyone is SO busy. Everyone is TOO busy. We rush here and we rush there, always on the move. Now, I am in a quiet zone of non busy and in a zone of just Mother and Daughter. We have had our moments of adjustment, but as time ticks by, we are developing a rhythm to this new temporary life. She had a difficult time at first, losing control of her health, losing her freedom to drive here and there, and having someone being injected into her home and life because of state laws concerning driving.

We have done very well and have filled the time deleting “Stuff” from her closets on her days off from the ICU, and as we have gone along, she gets more and more motivated to get rid of even more stuff no longer serving its original purpose. Slowly, closets are opening up, and the house seems bigger. I think the poor girl felt like she could never get rid of things that parents and grandparents have given her, and once I gave her permission to donate things, her enthusiasm escalated along with her joy.

We are two different generations coming together and discovering how different we are in our tastes of the material things we value and lifestyles. Times have changed and it is important to give our adult children permission to carve out a whole different identity from our own. We packed the Traverse suburban completely full two times (almost ready for the third trip) and off to Goodwill we went. Out went Grandmas china and crystal, out went gifts long ago received, out went all sorts of household stuff no longer necessary to her life. Maybe they were never necessary, but she was too polite to decline.

I told her about when my Mother died how I chose to not take anything of hers home with me other than a tapestry purse she always carried with a chiffon scarf inside that she always wore when it was cool outside. I did not need anything to remind me of my Mother. She was and still is as present and clear in my mind and heart as she ever was. We had a deep love and respect for each other, and now my daughter and I are building the same kind of relationship.

I will miss her when I go home and I sure hope she will miss me. I think she will. I know she will. In my mind, she is still that little girl in a picture of our family from long ago. In my presence she is a strong, independent 43 year old for whom I prayed and prayed when I was pregnant with her. “Please God, give me a girl”, I prayed over and over. When she was born, I was beyond thrilled. Now, 43 years later, I am still thrilled. God is good!

jjb/3/29/2022

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