Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Taking Inventory

As octogenarians, my Mom and Dad are definitely categorized as being in their "golden years". I have found that my interpretation of the "golden years" was very much the same as my interpretation of the "empty nesters"...way off the mark!

The only information I ever had about these stages of life was negative and came from other people...people who were either experiencing these times themselves or had "heard" of others who had "been there".

When I stepped into the "empty nest" stage of my life I found it to be refreshing...not so bad at all! I found humor in the everyday "brain spasms" I had and even the fact that I have slowed down a bit. But, that's me. There are so many things in this world to worry about that you DO have control over, that worrying about things in God's hands is not worth the time or effort it takes. It's all about faith...I leave that stuff up to Him, and I know that He will take good care of it.

I think my Mom has the same attitude about the "golden years". She takes each day with stride. Although she likes to share each ache and pain with you...each comment from the doctor...which new medication she is on...the dose...the reason she is taking it...yadayadayada...she is for the most part content with her life. After all, that IS her life!

We admitted Mom to the hospital last night as a precautionary measure. She has been fighting a respiratory infection and it has not improved...even with the doctor's mega prescriptions. He felt it best to admit her so that they could monitor her and make sure that pneumonia did not set in.

So her nurse, Doris, was asking her the usual questions for her file...which things had she suffered from in the past or was currently suffering from. As I listened to her answer these questions I realized that she really was in great shape for 86 years old! No history of heart problems...no strokes...no arthritis...no diabetes...no replacements (knee, hip, etc)...only one surgery (gall bladder a few years ago)...good eyesight (although she does have a few cataracts that the doctor "just chooses not to do anything about"...her words)! I commented to the nurse that she could run a marathon if she was not short of breath right now from this infection!

Then she asked Mom if she had dentures. "Nope...they're all mine! As a matter of fact I was just counting them the other day to see how many I still had!"

What a hoot! I laughed until I had tears running down my face...as did my Dad, I might add. She is most definitely living this stage of her life with humor.

Lesson number 1,732,815 learned!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A year of mixed emotions

Well, 2009 is gone. Just like that. I was looking forward to it ending, and hoping that it would not all at the same time. We have had an unbelievable year full of blessings...and great sadness.

But...life moves on.

We moved back "home", built our dream house...filled it up with our little birds and grandlittle birds, rekindled old friendships...life was grand...life was just as it should be. Then it screeched to a halt. We are still feeling the affects of the whiplash. Our lives have been altered...forever. I miss my sweet grandlittle bird, Carter, every minute of every day. There is an empty place in my heart...a place that was reserved for him.

I know I should be focusing on all the blessings in our life...there are way too many to count! God has been so good to us. He has filled our lives with the love of a wonderful family and numerous friends. And He has covered us with His grace to get through our pain and deep sadness.

2010 has arrived. There is no going back. Yes, life moves on.

This year ended an era in the Wilkinson family...the whole Wilkinson family...not just our nest. We have traditionally gathered at the home of D'dad and Namby...my honey's parents...every third Christmas. All the birds flew home to the "mothernest"...brother Andy and his flock, sisters Jenny, Martha and Annie and their flocks. There are around 30 birds, grandlittle birds, and great grandlittle birds. What fun we have had over the years...such wonderful memories we have made!

But, this year was the last year we will all gather in Illinois at the "mothernest". It was an emotional year for me...I have been a part of the Wilkinson family traditions since 1973 when my honey and I started dating. Although we plan to continue to gather at the BlessInn every third Christmas because that will be D'dad and Nam's new address, some of the traditional things that we have come to love will stop or at least be quite different.

Yes, life moves on.

I am thankful for everything the year has brought to us, but I am also happy to say goodbye to a year that ended so tragically. I am thankful to be a part of such a close and loving family with such strong traditions, but am sad to see them end or change.

Wishing us all a happy, healthy 2010 filled with the love of family and friends, and the beginning of new traditions. May God continue to pour his blessings on us all!