Dust in the wind or inspiring a change of seasons?
Dust in the wind or inspiring a change of season? I’ve been asking myself that question quite a bit the past few weeks.
Why? probably the falling leaves in the colors of bright orange, yellow and golden brown — wispy clouds in the sky that just ‘look’ chilly — pulling out my favorite old pair of sweat pants and slippers.
It is no different than last season – except someone is missing.
This change of season is evoking a different flow of memories. And I think it is because it is finally truly settling in, that my mother, Miss Nellie is gone. Not coming back. Ever.
Of course I knew this fact the day she passed, Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
What I didn’t know – or understand – at that time, was just how much her aging and me living the role of caregiver, would shape me. Change me. Be a driving force for much of what I now consider important in life – and what I no longer view as relevant. It has also pushed my work into a new direction.
After 20 years of being the point-person for care for my mother (with 2015-2020 the seriously heavy-duty lifting of caregiving), I am just now coming out of a mental and emotional zone in which caring for my mother directed my every thought; my every action.
The good part of that? Moving through the role of family caregiver and learning so much about how to lovingly and safely take care of another human being – a grown person – I realized our society still doesn’t talk enough about what the realities of aging will bring.
Taking care of Miss Nellie, and understanding I had to dig and search for guidance and answers (sometimes even from medical professionals), I knew in my heart that we (as a society) have to talk more about aging and caregiving.
Right now, I’m pretty sure Miss Nellie is someplace looking down. She’s shaking her head thinking, ‘My daughter… she is taking on too much work again…’
In some sense; she is right. But, I also believe she would be proud to know her journey – and by default my journey – through aging, decline and eventual death, are playing a bigger role.
Our experiences and lessons-learned are now helping others.
Dust in the wind…
When I buried my mother placing her next to my father (she was cremated), I couldn’t help but ask… is this all there is? Is this what it all boils down to? Do we really just wrap it all up by becoming dust in the wind?
What eases the ache of missing my mother? Realizing the answer is NO.
Miss Nellie lives on… helping me, help you, help each other.