Graceful Aging

It is with love that I get to help my Mother grow old gracefully.  I used to wonder what that meant as I was growing up but I also got to see my mother model the role with my grandmother.  She always found time to help her or hold her up in her not so good times.  All my life my best role model is the Mother that God gave to me.  Her laughter is contagious, her smile lights up a room and she is the best listener I know.  She offers her words of wisdom whether I ask for it or not but many times even when I am not asking for it, her words make me think before I jump in and make a mistake.  Her compassion for everyone is amazing.

Her spirit, honesty, values and stories continue to amaze me.  She does her best to continue to fight even though she realizes that her body is growing weak.  To me that makes her fearless as she sees her mortality as not an end but a beginning.  I know she longs to be with my father who has long gone before her but her job to help form us and the next generation was not complete.  She takes that duty very seriously and her smile is always eager to visit as she witnesses the newest generations growing up before her.

God had true wisdom when he gave us mothers and gave women the strength to give back to their families tirelessly.    As I helped her do basic things this weekend she kept thanking me and telling me that God knew she needed girls and was so blessed to have three that she is so proud of.  She told me she didn’t feel she was aging gracefully but no longer had enough fight to care.  To me she will always be gracious and graceful as she never stops sharing her heart and her love……even if it is only her words or a smile.  Thanks Mom.

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Friends from the heart.

Friends make us laugh until we cry and can raise our spirits like a kite on a windy day.  Two such friends come to mind that have done this for me.  I began this journey when I met a woman who shared her story with me about her life.  She was very genuine and honest in what she saw was a life in limbo.  Fast forward to years later and her life did change and turn around and she blossomed like a flower when she got back to her roots and closed a circle she had left undone years before.  This circle gave her light to her eyes and a smile on her heart.  It was of course and old flame from her school years who took her heart to new heights.

It is such fun to enjoy chatting, sharing and caring how things are going and before you know it, life keeps you so busy you drift from what fun there was.  Only to bring you back with a slap.  Not only is my friend sad again but that terrible sentence that health reasons for her and the love of her life are not good.  I went back to reconnect and find that life has beaten them both down.  Oh, they smile and make conversation but are fearful of letting any feelings in their hearts.  My heart breaks watching them struggle since the sunshine that once surrounded their souls is gone.  The grieving has begun in anticipation that one day it will be gone is coming too fast.

I have seen this all before in the patient’s I have cared for yet this time I question my faith.  I ask God “Why is this happening?”  They are such great people, friends, advocates of others and hard working.  How can things end like this by taking away all that was good, true and full of life.  I find myself closing off a room in my heart to keep memories dear.  Am I closing off that part to God because I don’t understand what journey he has for my friends?  Am I just angry that he is taking them so soon.  And now the guilt of why them and not others who don’t try to do his work.  My bible tells me to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path.”  I have to lean on you now God to comfort me…help me as I walk to the end with my friends.  Help me keep a clear head and heart so I can enjoy what time is left.