Flashback to a simpler time in life to the year 1965….50 years ago when life had much less complication and stress. My family unit consisted of six and the potential in the faces of the children was only matched by our innocence. We began a journey that led us through the country following our parents as we moved with Dad’s military career. None of us knew what the years would bring and for one moment frozen in time a photographer helped us to capture life in the 1960’s when we knew we were loved. Little did we know where our paths would lead and the strength we would find along the way. This last week my mother turned 81 and I see the light in her eyes begin to fade. She dreams of my father who has long gone before her. Even thought she continues to guide us and be there for us, time has changed her outlook on what is left of life. Her words of wisdom ring in my ears and I spend as much time as possible with her to share her stories again and again. I want to store each memory of her to freeze it in my brain like the picture. It makes me smile when my mother tells it like she sees it.
Now I see my own children in a picture just like the one from 1965 but with their own families. I think about what trials they must live through. The family time is such an important time in life yet I see the wisdom my parents shared being passed down through generations. The love, encouragement, joy and hard work continue but in a far different world. Simpler time? Not really, and until we can put others needs before our own like the ones a mother does for her children, we will not solve the true needs of the world. Hate will continue to multiply and grow like wildfire. Don’t be afraid to hug your children, elderly, loved ones and friends. It is only through sharing your faith and love that we can help our children change the world. Our choices do matter and make a difference. Choose to be a role model, share your values, talk to your children, hug your family tight. Love them to the moon and back for love will conquer over hate if we dare to share the memories we all hold so dear.
An all inclusive word, motherhood, meant to involve years of hard work, caring, cajoling and encouraging our young to grow up not as we do but as we say. One must definitely lead by example to obtain the best results. I was reminded of this as I watched the ducks over this last summer at a pond where I met one of my friends just to walk. There is nothing more uncertain or stressful as being a Mother. When my mother used to tell me that having children was the easy part it took me until I had my own children to realize that the years I would spend teaching them as they grew up would mean the most and be the most challenging. Learning to speak a language that my children heard and observing their responses to see the results of my words.
Our house was always full of our girls, their friends and teammates. I enjoyed watching my two beautiful daughters turn into women and begin to raise their own children. I have many times been very proud of how they show their love and tough love to mold my grandchildren. I have been privileged to see five generations together and the values and morals that built a strong family unit who cares about each and everyone in that unit as if they were a child of their own.
As I sail into the sunset and watch my mother I see her still connect with the great grandchildren and treat each one as the special individual they truly are. Her strength and courage to realize she still makes a big impact keeps her moving on as she knows the goals God has set for her. I love you Mom, as you continue to guide me, love me and encourage me each time we speak. Just like the ducks in the pond, life regenerates itself and we not only learn what we live, we pass it on to the next generation.
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.