It’s Time

“Nothing is inherently and invincibly young except spirit. And spirit can enter a human being perhaps better in the quiet of old age and dwell there more undisturbed than in the turmoil of adventure.”  ~  George Santayana 

Twilight soaring

Twilight soaring

Our life is soon to take a dramatic turn, one that we knew was coming and brings with it many emotions.  Beginning in April we will be curtailing our travels due to a change in health with Terry’s elderly parents.  Terry’s folks live on five acres near Dayton, Ohio and wish to remain there so we will be moving onto their property in our RV to be closer.  We will still be able to fulfill our wanderlust in the winter months, when we will request help from friends and family so we can take our RV away from the cold winters of Ohio.  We will also take some brief jaunts during the summer and fall, exploring more of the eastern part of the country.

As I write this many of you are living similar experiences or are anticipating this day yourselves.  Although we feel fortunate to be at a place in our lives where we are available to provide more help, we are not foolish enough to think that this new venture will be without its challenges for all four of us.  Losing independence to advancing age has to be one of the most daunting prospects in one’s life.  At this juncture there is a role reversal that takes place between parent and child and the rules are ambiguous at best.  However, we do believe the rewards will outweigh the challenges and we look forward to quality time spent with Terry’s folks.  I see organic gardening in my near future.

Until then we will continue our gypsy lifestyle, reveling in each new day and the experiences each brings.  We know that many times the biggest challenges can be life’s greatest blessings.

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83 responses to “It’s Time

  1. The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all things living, which are part of one another and involved in one another. The new “journey” you and Terry will be taking is filled with compassion and caring, touched with frustration, as it takes great strength to give and to receive. I do not doubt you both are filled with all of the above and the time spent in Ohio will bring cherished past memories to the fore front and create even more cherished memories for the future…with the difficult all but forgotten. My heart, prayers and thoughts travel with you always…through your many adventures in the past into the future and as you set forth on yet another adventure. One of the greatest gifts I ever received was to be there with my mother when she took her final journey. Fraught with difficulty and challenge, it gave me an opportunity to place her in my heart…to get to know her deeply and, I am sure, for her to see me through different eyes. I visit her often, with my dad, in my heart and I am thankful for that time. God bless you always for what you are doing and know, if you need anything, we won’t be that far away.

    • My heart is overflowing with love for you right now my dear friend and my eyes are brimming with tears. I know that Terry’s parents find it difficult to ask their children for anything so when Terry offered this up as a way for them to stay in their home, it was with great difficulty but a deep sense of gratitude that they agreed. I lost my mother when she was 38 and I only 14 and was there for her final breaths, as well as at Terry’s sister’s bedside with his mother when Bev passed over. Although difficult, the intimacy of those moments will live with me always. We are looking forward to this next facet of our journey and are thrilled with the knowledge that you and David will be ever so closer to us both in person and in spirit. Blessings to you both. :)

  2. How blessed Terry’s parents are to have your support and love. I am also sure you are both blessed to have the parents who have enjoyed a long and healthy life.
    Being from Ohio, it isn’t the end of the earth. There are so many close and beautiful places you can travel to. I hope you enjoy this new adventure. Cherish each moment you have with Terry’s parents.

    • Thanks Marsha. We are looking forward to this next adventure. Perhaps someday we will even get to meet the two of you, being in the same state. :)

  3. The only constant in life is change. All the best on your change.

  4. I absolutely love the opening quote. We are on the cusp of this time as well. We pray for a little time between raising our kids and caring for our parents. Our youngest is still in college and while he is not living at home…he is not independent either. Our parents have had health issues off and on. We are quite to the place you are. Blessings to you as you enter this time of discovery.
    ~Becky

    • Thanks Becky. I also pray you will have a little time between raising children and caring for your parents. I have heard so many stories recently about those in your age bracket who are dealing with doing both and I honestly don’t see how they do it. Being a caregiver is not easy and unfortunately, many times they are the forgotten ones who don’t take care of themselves. Blessings to you also.

  5. How wonderful for Terry’s parents to stay where they are and still be close to you then. All the best with the change in your life! Ute x

  6. I hope that everything works out for the best.

  7. I was born and raised in Ohio and loved staying at a friends farm in the Summer. Visiting Ohio again is always a joy for me. There are many beautiful places, even National Parks. The Cuyahoga and Monongahela Rivers converge into the Ohio River. Though it is always sad when beloved parents become frail, this will a wonderful chance for you to get to know that part of this wonderful country of ours. Blessings to you all.

  8. What a blessing that you are able to be with Terry’s parents during this time. Though difficult, it is a cherished time that you will treasure always. Do look into Hospice to give yourselves periodic relief and guidance. I work as a hospice volunteer and see the joy that families can feel as they grow closer. I kept both my parents home with the help of hospice and was so thankful I could do that. We hope we can get down to Ohio sometime during your visit. We are now in San Miguel de Allende for the winter. We send you our love.

    • Thanks Jan and Bob. We will certainly keep hospice in mind. Hope you both are enjoying San Miguel as much as we did. It is a beautiful city. Perhaps we will get to see each other more often once we get settled in Ohio. Love to you both.

  9. Reading your post, I recall the time I spent with my father… It was difficult, but my brother and I shared the responsibility and supported each other. You are right– “the biggest challenges can be life’s greatest blessings.” Bless to you also.

  10. This is a challenge.. so many changes for everyone! But with your wonderful attitude, I’m sure it will all work out. Organic gardening sounds like a great way to start. I lived in Cincinnati many many years ago and enjoyed my stay in Ohio. I know there is lots to see, and a great jumping off point for all of the rest of the East coast. I wish you all the best as you adjust to you decision and life changes.

  11. I am so sorry to hear about Terry’s parents. I cant think of a better couple more qualified than the two of you to step up to the plate. My son in law worked in Dayton for 3 years and LOVED this city. Bless you in your new adventure.
    Laurie

  12. I’m on the other side of this journey you’re about to start on. I took care of my quadriplegic husband for nearly 20 years until he passed away almost four years ago. In the midst of that, I moved my mother out here from Florida to take care of her in the later stages of dementia. She left me two years ago on Christmas eve (her 96th birthday). You will be facing challenges, I’m sure, but there will be many rewards as well. I wish you all the best in this new phase of your life. It’s such a pity we didn’t get a chance to connect, but maybe some day…..

    • I am truly touched that you shared this with me Gunta. Terry and I only wish his parents lived in OR :) but I still believe our paths will cross one day. I had my mother only until I was 14 and was with her when she passed and had an estranged father so I feel blessed to have the opportunity to share this time with Terry’s folks.

  13. I’m sure that with your positive and caring attitude to this change, LuAnn, you will all benefit from this experience, and how wonderful that Terry’s parents will be able to stay in the home that they love. I wish you all the very best as you start this new phase of your life. Hugs to you.

  14. How fortunate Terry’s parents are to have you two so willing to go and care for them so they can spend their final years in their “home”. I know how difficult it can be to care for a loved one who is not well. I too held my brother and dad as they passed and was only with my mom in spirit when she joined them two years ago. My prayers will be with you and Terry as you “step” into this next adventure in your life. May God bless you and give you strength as you go through this time. Safe travels as you head to Ohio. Love to both of you.

    • We know there will be trials but we are looking forward to the quality time we will have with Terry’s parents. We still look forward to seeing you both in February as this change will not take place until April. :)

  15. My husband and I spent five months near my mother when she was ill. I am so very thankful for these five months. We were able to park our RV on my brother’s farm and visit my Mom everyday. This time and opportunity is just a short slice of life – enjoy everyday. It won’t always be easy, it won’t always be hard – it will just be memories left in your heart.

    • What beautiful words Sheila. Thank you so much. We are fortunate that my in-laws have 5 acres and a place where we can put an RV pad and electrical box. I think it will be important for all of us to have our own space but still be close enough to easily help.

  16. Its absolutely beautiful Lu Ann…, can’t take my eyes away.

    Warm regards,
    mei

  17. God bless your heart… My people often pray that God give us children that will take care of us when we are old and unable… It is a beautiful and honorable thing you are doing…

  18. Love the photo. We know all to well this scenario. We’ll chat over a glass of wine watching the sunset set at Cave Creek. :-)

  19. Terry’s parents are blessed to have you two to help at this time. Family always comes first and sometimes it affects our plans. Nice that you can take your home with you there. There will be blessings for you along the way too, in giving we receive the best life has. The road will still be there when the time comes again and discovering all those places close by Ohio will be an adventure too.

  20. That is quite a daunting and challenging but rewarding tasks ahead of you. Bless your heart for spending time and caring of Terry’s parents. Who knows too we can catch up with you in Ohio instead of AZ.

  21. I know this will be a difficult transition for you, but I’m confident your strength of love in yourselves (and each other) will pull you through. We’ll be keeping in touch and hope to see you on the road in one of your trips.
    Nina

    • I think that will be the toughest part for us, not getting out to the West coast like we had planned, but nothing is forever. It would be great to see you both on the road again.

  22. Such a perfect picture for your topic, LuAnn.
    My heart goes out to you. I know this is an emotional transition in many ways, for you and for them, but I assure you that you will not regret the time you spend with parents who need you now. Heartfelt prayers for you all.

    • It will be emotional, I’m sure, but rewarding as well. You would know this better than most now, wouldn’t you? Thanks for the words of encouragement Marylin.

  23. You and Terry are doing the “above and beyond” gift; giving security and love to parents who have undoubtedly given you both much support and consideration throughout their lives. Hurrah for you both.

    • Thanks so much for the vote of encouragement. We think it is going to be a rewarding time, but not without its challenges for us all. Hopefully we will all grow in the process.

  24. Best of luck to you LuAnn as you shift gears :) What you are doing will bring you much joy I’ve no doubt, and I am sure a few good lessons too – enjoy the journey with the wonderful open mind that you have!

    • Given what you have done with your life and the fact that I am planning to raise a large organic garden when back in Ohio, I was wondering how I could educate and help others who are less fortunate in that area. I am going to do some research. Mind if I pick your brain at some point in the future?

    • Thanks Ste J. It will be quite different but we think rewarding as well. Only time will tell. Since I will not be on the road traveling as much, seems I may have even more time for reading so I will be dusting off that list of yours. :)

      • There is still plenty of time to make it longer as well(he says looking around the book shelves for more interesting books).

      • Once we get settled and I’ve started to devour your list, I may be asking you to do just that. Seriously, thanks for all the great suggestions. :)

  25. Hello LuAnn,
    I’ve invited you on a coffee date…!
    Hope you can come…!
    http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/coffee-anyone/

  26. Hi LuAnn, blessings to the two of you. In my various years of being there for family members and others I have acquired a wealth of stored information in my head on a variety of subjects with reference to caring for and being there for close family members (I do not exaggerate in this case).

    So my very dear friend I want you to know that in ‘any way’ that I can be of aid or assistance to you and terry going forward, as you reach your destination and beyond, please do not hesitate to call upon me. I’ll be there for you in every way that I can. As a friend, as someone to talk to, as someone who might have info. that would cut through possible “red-tape” of things, on various health issues and so on.

    Anything at all LuAnn. I have kept this part of my personal history to myself on my blog but much of the last 15 years of my life was spent in that arena both professionally and privately.

    You are both such caring and loving people that it does not surprise me to see you doing this. Take care of yourselves my very dear friend, we are still going to meet! I just know it! In the mean time remember, I am here for both of you! With all my love, Penny

    • Penny, I can’t thank you enough and I may just take you up on this offer. Our journey ahead is unknown but we are thankful that we will have this time with parents. I lost my mother at age 14, as you know, and my father, well, he was lost to us all long before that so this is a blessing to me. I do so want to meet you one day so I believe it will happen. Love you Penny! :)

      • Please do come to me for any/all the above, LuAnn, enjoy the precious moments ahead, brace yourself for the unexpected troublesome spots, and take a day at a time, mostly ~ be good to yourselves first! ;) my main motto, you know! :)

      • I know and I believe we will need to remind ourselves to take care of us too. I watched my dear friend’s husband, who had been a caregiver for many years, run himself ragged. There will be some tough times ahead as the parents try to hold onto their independence so I may need a sounding board. Thanks once again Penny. :)

      • I’m here, my friend! :)

  27. I marvel at your incredibly positive outlook on life. You are an inspiration.

    • Thanks! It doesn’t always work for me but most times it does. I choose to be happy and love life. It is a choice now, isn’t it? Much success to you! :)

  28. Challenging….yes, but as you stated, a blessing as well. We have just returned from visiting my parents in South Carolina and this scenario isn’t too far in our future. LuAnn, you have an amazing heart and grace….Blessings :-)

    • Unfortunately there are no rule books for this sort of endeavor. One day at a time is what will be our mantra I’m sure. Thanks for your kind words Tammy. How are you feeling these days?

  29. I enjoy reading your posts and look forward to all your new post

  30. I’m hopeful that wherever your travels take you next, we’ll continue to be able to follow along behind you via your blog. With a daughter set to move to Florida in the spring, I expect we’ll be spending more time on the east coast than ever before, and perhaps our respective travels will make meeting somewhere in the middle feasible at some point. :-)

    -Tamara

    • We would love that Tamara. We haven’t done any exploring of the east coast yet in our RV and are looking forward to it. We would welcome your company. :)

  31. Another adventure of a different sort for the two of you. How nice that Terry’s parents will have you near!

  32. Not too far in our future either Luann, with R’s dad turning 91 this year!
    It isn’t going to be easy, but I know you two will be up to any challenge :-) I wish you all the best.

  33. It’s a road I have travelled my self Terry and LuAnn and my heart and good wishes are with you both. It also continues to reveal more and more of the generous, compassionate and giving people you are. It is sharing and caring experiences like this that truly make a difference not only for Terry’s folks, but in the world. Thank you.

    • Thanks for the encouragement Rick. We are not going into this thinking it will be without its challenges but feel it will allow us to grow, as well as give us the opportunity to spend quality time with aging parents. My husband’s best friend is in Columbus, OH, so who knows, perhaps our paths will cross one day. :)

  34. I am in the same place as you are right now. Trying to help my Mom downsize after the loss of my father 5 months ago. Great that you’re thinking of it as adventure and have the compassion to help loved ones. Change is the only constant in our lives.

    • Just like most other adventures in our lives, we have had some rough patches and some smooth sailing, with many memories to look back on. We know that it isn’t going to be easy, but we feel it is the right thing to do. Thanks for commenting. :)

  35. See you in the rain tomorrow. :D

  36. Hi LuAnn and Terry, We went through very similar changes a few years ago, and we’ve always been so glad that we did. And I can tell that you two know how to find the joy, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Wishing you all the best, Terri & James

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