Past into the Future

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woman-future-ahead-forward-ss-1920-800x450It’s been a while since I have written in this blog or anywhere else.  I’m not sure why I ended up here tonight.  I was remembering my mom.  She died four years ago today, and I needed to read the words I had written years ago.  I wanted to go back in time for a few moments and remember what our lives were like during those last few weeks.  It wasn’t an easy time.  Four years later, the memories of those last years, and terrible last months, are beginning to mellow and become replaced with gentler, happier memories from my childhood.  I miss both of my parents.  I’m not sure if I will ever be able to see myself as anything but an orphan for the rest of my days.  As an only child, the shared memories of my childhood died along with my parents.

I often think of what my parents would think of my life now.  They don’t know where I live!  They have never been to my home.  They don’t know where I work.  For the first time, I have freedom from their opinions and judgement of my life, and yet I miss those same opinions that often filled me with anger or dread.

There has been so much change in my life over these past four years.  An unbelievable amount of change; it often feel like a completely different life.  So many people I have loved are gone now.  Even this past year, we have lost other friends and family.  Other people have left my life for reasons of their own or our lives have taken separate paths.  It’s no surprise to me that I do not deal well with change and loss.  For so many years, life was full of steadiness and sweet sameness.  As I get older, I realize that change is inevitable and beyond my control.  As a result, I have found a profound appreciation of those moments when life feels wonderful.  There are big moments and little moments of perfect just waiting to be acknowledged if we’re willing to recognize and honor them.

Getting older isn’t any fun, but along with age comes valuable experience.  If I have learned anything over these past difficult years, it has been to appreciate moments of peace, laughter, and contentment.  I have learned to slow down and enjoy what is in front of me instead of longing for what I feel is lacking in my life.  Another thing that is new, and I think good, is a new sense of impatience.  I am impatient and intolerant when it comes to bullshit.  For too many years, I wasted time and energy on people who didn’t deserve a moment of my time.  And I didn’t enjoy the frustration.  I enjoy making people happy.  That won’t change, but I’m not longer a “pleaser.”

I wish my parents could be here now.  I think they would approve of the new me.  They would be proud.  I often image how they would view our lives in this new place.  It’s so very different from our lives back home and anything they would have ever imaged.  I know they would be proud to see how their grandchildren have grown into such fine adults.

Most weekends find us with a house overflowing with people and laughter.  We live close enough for our sons to visit, and our family is growing.  Luke is engaged and will be married this coming summer.  Emily has a serious boyfriend from back home who visits most weekends.  Lola is a busy 7th grader with a group of giggly girlfriends who are here most Saturdays.  T and I are now the older generation.  Isn’t that a weird thing?  We are creating new stories, new traditions, and new memories.  Even as we mourn the past and learn to let go, life continues to surge around us and pull us into the future.