Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Drowning in a Sea of Change

It has been forever. From what seemed like a winter that would never end to a hot and muggy day such as June 26, it seems an eternity. So much has happened. Life in all its frailty has burst through the surface of my life since I last blogged. To name a few changes: both my brothers (after 27 years of marriage) are getting divorced, our oldest son has graduated High School and is already registered at his college for classes in the fall. I overcame my dread of interstate driving in a busy city, and a very beloved Aunt has passed within three weeks of diagnosis from cancer. Many more things have happened but I've stopped counting. Sea of change was getting too deep.

I thought perhaps we could just ease into spring but life rarely goes as planned. With all this turmoil comes a fresh perspective. Marriage on its best day is hard work. People change, they evolve, life stomps in and demands its own way and we rarely survive the tantrum. Its strange to watch lives built together for so long slowly dissolve. People have to start over and rebuild what they never imagined, a life without their signifigant other. Children even grown are affected, two households emerge as well as feelings of anger, betrayal, and bewilderment.

Children grow up. I didn't think taking our oldest to register for classes would be emotional. Guess again. They seperated the students from the parents and off they went. They showed us the saddest movie clips possible in regards to children leaving the nest and all of us moms and dads cried. I watched my son walk in the cafeteria surrounded by his peers laughing and talking and I let him be. I quietly finished my lunch alone. At the end of the first day I texted him the magic question: "Can I go to the hotel?" or "do you want me to stay for the last session"? He found me and said "GO" and as I was walking away he ran up behind me and said with the biggest smile on his face, "I'm so glad I choose this school"! I couldn't be sad at that statement now could I?! So I climed in the car and headed into the city. All alone, not having driven an express way in years. Thank goodness for smart phones and GPS. I hit rush hour traffic but made it to my hotel and found that I was upgraded to a king suite at no extra charge. The place was built in 1917 and when I entered the softly lit marble lobby, with its pillars, and fabulous architecture, Frank Sinatra was softly crooning and I knew I was right where I belonged. My favorate Italian restaurant was only three blocks away so on a gorgeous summer eve I dined "el fresco" and took in the sights and sounds of the city. I loved being alone and remembering a time when I was 18 and wanted to live and work in the city. My fear of driving the expressways long forgotten. The next day we met up after he had registered. He was full of news from having spent a night in the dorms, meeting people, getting the courses he wanted etc. I also met some pretty cool moms and came away with a new friend or two. Our happiness was short lived.

One day back at work and my cousin sent a message. My beloved Aunt who was given 3 to 4 months was going within days. I needed to get there ASAP if I wanted to say good-bye. The next day we made it. They had doubled the morphine but her blue eyes still twinkled, and she was as beautiful and gracious as ever. I was able to tell her all that I wanted to say. And that is a privlege to be able to do so. Back to work on Friday and had to pull a backyard garden graduation party out of no where for Saturday. We had planned it for months but now 24 hours away I had to hit it into high gear. With a lot of help from so many awesome people we pulled it off. The yard was lit with lights, a tent, all the beautiful flowers, good food, great friends, and a very happy graduate. Not to mention the rain stayed away until late in the night. We did it, but right before the party started my dad came and told me my aunt had passed peacefully only an hour before. My heart was heavy and light at the same time. As I have said before life and death often hold hands. I've seen it a lot.

So while I have been drowning in the sea of change I have learned to savor even the unsavory. There are lessons to learn, and pieces of myself that need to be submerged in order to grow. I have shed tears for a loved one, felt empathy for those going through difficult times, and have experienced getting ready to have a child leave the nest. Do I feel wiser? I'm not sure but I can tell you, I do feel blessed, and I know I am richer for all of these changes...