Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Sifting Through Life: Here and There
Today has been a day of restlessness and anxiety for me (I started writing this back on February 4th it will all tie together towards the end). I have been quiet on my page because we have been making some big changes in our lives. Honestly I feel as though I am in a time warp that keeps looping around and around.
Here we go again....heading back to Oregon.
Moving..on the go..off to the races.
This decision has not been an easy one to make because we love the east coast. We love Maryland. We have felt that this is our home. We also feel the tug of our families on the west coast as they tackle some big issues with their health.
The hardest thing has been to not be there with my extended family because I am here. Here in a state I love but not there with people I love more. My brother-n-law is due to have open heart surgery tomorrow morning. He is only 53 years old. ONLY--my GOD that is young. I am 6 years away from that age myself. Life has the ability to make you see clearer when tragedy is knocking at your door.
The doctors don't know if he will make it or not (he made it just fine and is recovering well) . We don't know anything really of our futures do we? I called my sister today to see how they are holding up and she said it is a surreal experience. She is going through the motions but not really feeling anything because she can't believe it is happening to her in the first place. They never saw this coming. Mike has been strong as an ox his whole life. Walks every day. Doesn't drink or smoke. They have had to put their affairs in order and plan for what will be either an altered future or a funeral.
He has two choices: he will live or he will die. Two choices that we all have as we stare into our own futures. Well, I have decided that I don't want to be 3000 miles away from my family. They need us and we need them. So tomorrow I will wait here in Maryland and plan my trip to help Shannon (I leave on March 2nd) there in Oregon when this is all over. Mike's recovery will be about 3 months.
I have eaten everything in sight. I told Shannon that my goal this week has been to not eat so much that I can't leave my house. We had a good laugh and she said that was her goal too. I have tried really hard to get back to eating the right way--I promise.
I am not ready for this. I'm not. I want them to stay. I don't want them to stay behind BUT then I do. I am so selfish in my thinking because I just need one more year. One more year for what? Being a Mom is so hard. I have these two little kids at home and in a way I am here and there. I see that the time goes by so fast. I want them to grow up to be there, like their older siblings, but I want them to stay here--with me. I need their hugs and simple I love you's!
I recently read an article that the author was quoted as saying that we die a hundred times in our lifetime. I was intrigued and decided to click and read. It talked about how the people we are now are not the people we were when we turned 18, 28 or 40. Those people are gone....dead. Our bodies are here in the now but our minds, our actions, our desires, and our plans have changed or completed there cycle. How many times in our life time do we start over? Start something new and finish it only to start something new again. We are essentially here and then we are there. It all happens so fast.
For this reason I have been in deep thought this past month. I tell you having a large age gap between your kids is a blessing and a curse..seriously I am laughing...but not. As my older kids age and make their own decisions I really do scratch my head because most of their decisions are nothing like what I saw for them in the future. With the two little kids I kind of get a do-over, right? I don't think so! If it was only this easy. Everything I thought I knew has been tossed out the window for raising our second two. Ask Rye, she will already tell you that we parent different today than we did when she was much younger.
My four kids are four unique individuals that require different elements in their lives. I am learning and seeing that I am more of a trail guide as they travel through this life instead of their trail blazer--so to speak--cutting through the brush and finding new territory. That is their job. I can warn them, instruct them and even hand them a band-aide if necessary, but they are the ones walking here and now.
I am starting to understand that no matter how much time and effort you put into raising your kids they will grow up and make their own decisions. It doesn't matter that sacrifices were made, hours were devoted to dinners, vacations, and birthdays or that we spent every waking hour reading and learning in the hopes that they would grow up to be responsible, reliable, loving, caring, and nurturing individuals---and they have---only they are making their own life choices. That is the hard part. Letting go of my desires that I had for my kids and letting them live theirs.
I found a box of baby pictures while packing this past week and I was immediately transported from here to there. It was only yesterday that I received my hand written Mother's Day cards, a list of my favorites things to do according to my kids (Favorite Country to visit: The China Buffet....I laughed for years over that one), and I was reminded of so many fond memories. My heart exploded.
I knew the day would come when I would be here. Facing the fact that our lives will run its course: family will have health issues, we will age, my kids will leave our home and we will eventually move again--we always do.
Dammit, sometimes I want to still be there--holding my babies, laughing with my Dad, vacationing with friends. It has taken some will power this past month to be strong for our family. To be supportive, smile and offer advice (when asked--important note with teenagers) but inside, I am silently hugging my inner self and reassuring that this is life. I have shed a few tears of joy and some of sadness. I need to stay present and enjoy every minute that I have with this sweet family of mine. As we celebrated Valentine's Day all I could think of is, "we won't all be together next year--that sucks." I need to stay here and not already wish my life was there--I really do. Its been challenging--I won't lie and I guess that is why I have been quiet on the blog.
Now you know. Would I change a thing? NO WAY! I realized that allowing myself to go "there" once in a while is okay. It reminds me of how far I have come to get HERE. Will I return? Yes--I usually do-- but staying present most of the time has been such a rewarding experience for me. I just get overwhelmed sometimes and slip back into old habits.
To keep my mind from exploding I have decided to start drawing again. This is something that I have enjoyed off and on in my life time. It centers me to work with the colors. Holding the pencils are calming. Blending the colors are rewarding. I enjoy watercolor and oil but I have fallen in love with colored pencils. I am teaching myself along the way using what I have learned from other methods. I share my progress on my Instagram account if you want to follow along. When we finally get settled in Oregon I hope to spend some time photographing more pieces of fruits, flowers, butterflies and vegetables. I have shared a few pieces here.
Sorry this Sifting Through Life is all over the place. I guess it is where I am currently in my life--all over the place. I have many recipes to share and I will get them up on the blog soon--but first I need to take care of my family and their needs. One thing I am learning is that the blog can wait but my family will quickly get from here to there in a blink of an eye and I must hold onto every second.