Yesterday my mom was moved to a nursing home. She was no longer able to stay in her apartment in assisted living. In terms of actual distance, she has not moved very far away from where she was. However, we all know that mentally, physically and emotionally she is moving far from where she once was. Away from us. Away from this life.
Yesterday Sonny Boy called us with the happy news that he has been accepted to graduate school in Virginia. He is striding forward towards his future and we are so incredibly proud of him. In terms of actual distance he is moving 3000 miles away from us and though we are so happy for him, we all know there will be changes to life as we've known it. Visits will be fewer. Holidays will be different. Life will be different.
Why does it seem that no reaction to an event is as pure and clear cut as it used to be?
Have I reached an age at which loss and happiness and growth and sorrow are nearly always intertwined? The various hues of life seem folded over one, woven so tightly together in a chain that sometimes they are indistinguishable from one another.
Ah life. It's good. It's difficult. It's joyous. It's sorrowful. It's cyclical.
Thirty years ago, my mom watched me set out across country right after college graduation, towards a new life. I understand now how much grace and love it took for her to wave goodbye with a smile.
I'll remember that in the days to come because in the woven chain of life, the strongest cord is that of love.
It's the one that we hold on to in times like these.
It's one that allows us to let go.