Farewell to Summer

Yesterday…

 eyes brightly reflect

flushed innocent faces

unlimited possibilities

vast as billowing clouds

grazing azure heavens

~Hopefulness swells~

~

Today…

shoulders rounded

life’s weight evident

dreams withered

cast like seed heads

astride stiffening winds

~Resignation settling~

 ~

Tomorrow…

isolated thoughts

whispering when…how

days’ limits palpable

reverberate bittersweet

in slowing gait

~Farewell to summer~

© LuAnn Oburn 2013

Time to bid adieu to summer, our season of myriad changes, emotions, and revelations, but mostly one of blessings, for time allowed to aid aging parents with their struggle to retain independence, light-hearted family visits, friends who touched us in innumerable ways, and the gift of continued inner growth. Although there are aspects of this summer we hope not to revisit, we are grateful for the wisdom we have gained.  Farewell Ohio!

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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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Letting Go

Learning how to let go or knowing when to let go can be painful or downright frightening, depending on the circumstance.  It seems throughout life we do this little letting go dance  and as time marches on, the dance steps can become more complicated.

When we were preparing to embark upon our new “nomadic” lifestyle, selling our home and letting go of possessions caused me to catch my breath a time or two.  Once I moved beyond some of the initial emotions that this evoked I felt the liberation of unburdening ourselves.  Letting go of our “stuff” opened up an entire new world with lots of possibilities.  As we began to travel this beautiful country and meet some great people I was reminded of what is truly important, and it became obvious that it wasn’t our “stuff”.

Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  ~  Robert Brault

 I found myself reflecting upon this topic as we traveled back to Ohio earlier this week to visit Terry’s folks.  I must confess that I envisioned posting about the countryside here and mom’s beautiful gardens but I’ve forgotten the cable necessary to download photos to our computer so perhaps fate is at work here and I was meant to write this instead.

The touchy subject of aging presented itself and we found mom to be receptive; it seemed she wanted to discuss it.  We had pursued this topic with her in the past, only to find she was not ready. Now, at age 86, and with dad 92, it is time.  That is not to say that she is fully prepared to deal with all the aspects of aging, such as when to give up driving; how can I continue to live on my own should something happen to dad; how not to burden the children; what if one of us becomes ill and must take care of the other; will I outlive my nest egg.  All of these signify letting go of independence.  Although this is painful to see parents go through, we are thankful that mom is ready to share some of these worries, to let go just a little, allowing her children to be part of the process.

Our thoughts go out to all of you who are dealing with the challenges of aging parents or have this looming on the horizon.  May we all be able to let go of our fears and navigate these waters with patience, love, and grace.