It’s Sunday and I’m still in a bit of a fog after being “away” on vacation. I went home to the family farm in Saskatchewan – to visit Mom, attend a wedding, and catch up with family. Here are my random 5 thoughts from this past 10 days:
1. Lessons. Other travelers sure were chatty. On 3 out of 4 flights I had someone older sit next to me and once they learned what I was up to every single one spoke longingly of their departed family members. Some had a parent or sibling remaining, others had none. It was not lost on me, as the youngest of 5, that time marches on and there will come a day when I don’t have them anymore. Coincidences are just His way of remaining anonymous.
2. Time. I found myself wide awake before 5:00 a.m. most days (that’s 7:00 a.m. in MI) and outside soon there-after. Hitting my 5 mile daily walking goal was a breeze. Most days I walked 6 miles before 9:30! That time gave me the opportunity to visit with my brother & sister-in-law, chill with the farm dog & kitties, and drink in the intoxicating fragrance of freshly cut hay. Ahhh.
3. Silence. I hadn’t realized it until I was there but opportunities for meandering conversations with Mom don’t happen as frequently as they used to. She doesn’t hear as well now and it frustrates her to miss out on things. And as busy and restless as I tend to be, it was challenging to sit in the stillness with her. But I’m glad I did because opportunities still came. Case in point: The day we left for the wedding city, a 2+ hour drive, I could feel her anxiety and sensed she might pull the pin on our plans. It took several hours for me to get everything loaded up and once I had her buckled in I asked, “You ready, Thelma?” Her response? “Let’s do it, Louise!” That – and a fist bump from my 85-year-old Mom – and we were off. Traversing roads she hadn’t traveled for years I laughed when she chatted and commented the whole way there. She told me, more than once, that she never could have gone without my help and thanked me time and again for making it so much fun. Priceless!
4. Milestones. We had fun at the wedding but, as we suspected might happen, the excitement and schedule left her a bit weary. Plans to go out for a birthday supper were changed to a gathering at home instead. She got into her comfy chair, surrounded by kids and grands, and smiled all afternoon. We enjoyed take-out Chinese food and my sister’s delicious home-made chocolate cake with Opal’s Caramel Frosting . Between the pictures taken and the smiles shared we all felt a pinch wondering how many more times we’d get moments like this. Not one to dwell on such seriousness, she polished off her Caesar (aka Bloody Mary) and asked that we move outside — it was too hot in the house and she wanted to visit where it was cooler. In the dusk of twilight, we listened to the yips and yelps of nearby coyotes and Mom had her own “Carpe Diem” moment right there.
5. Appreciation. Being away from Hubbs made me appreciate him even more. How I missed our daily conversations and comments and humor. How I missed being able to chat with my boys and get regular updates on their lives. I looked around my childhood bedroom and laughed to myself that the same types of things “saved” there are “saved” in my MI home. I am my mother’s daughter in a very big way! My first morning back in MI youngest boy commented that he’d always known I did a lot (around here) but he didn’t know how much until he had to do it. “All I did was clean and tidy up and take care of things and water your plants and look after the pool and … wow you do a lot!” So as much as I love going away, hey, it’s good to be back home again.
*I’ve missed all my blogging friends and am way behind on reading your posts. I’ll catch up as soon as I can – in the meantime – how’s your week been?