It has been way too long since my last blog, and the reason is that Ihave been non stop with my Mom since late June, including being with her for three weeks in the hospital, along with my brother and his wife (Andy and Jane) and John supporting and coming in when he can. She had to have major surgery and is still recovering, which is not unusual for a 98 year old woman! She has had ups and downs, and I think of her as sometimes frail, and sometimes like a "steel magnolia" though she is not from the South.
If I ever go through anything like this, God forbid, I hope I do it with her grace and dignity and ability to roll with the punches. Needless to say, an experience like this has smacked me in the face with my own mortality and aging and though I believe to the marrow of my bones that death is a doorway into a better and greater life in communion with God, I can't say the aging thing is easy to deal with, in my mom or in me! Wouldn't we all love to keep our youthful vigor and strength? Who likes to tire more easily, and find oneself more limited, not seeing or hearing as keenly, etc. ?
On the other hand, there is the strength of soul and spirit that keeps on increasing even while our physical bodies are losing ground. But I don't think that happens automatically.
One needs to cultivate hope, and faith, and endurance, and flexibility, and love, and all the other spiritual virtues we might name. The time to do that is now! It is a lot harder when the rough times come, and pain or weakness are overwhelming. So once again, my mom is teaching me vital lessons in living well. I think I am just beginning to see what they are, and then learn them by heart.
I wrote a poem about dying I would like to share as a way of closing today's blog.
I make no promises, but I will be trying to write more regularly as possible and trust at least a few of you are still hanging in there and checking from time to time.
Here is the poem:
When my time has come
Let me walk over the water on the red path
of the setting sun,
Climb the purple cloud banks reflecting
the day's last rays,
Perch on their gilded summits and slide
like a gleeful child
down their airy slopes for the ride of my life
to the other side.