Monday, April 7, 2014

Turn, Turn, Turn

In the great Facebook and blogosphere uproar which occurred when Pope Benedict resigned, there were some responses that sounded to me a bit like spoiled children, and the one that really got to me said something to the effect that your father is always your father. "A father can't stop being a father," this person said. And in a certain biological and psychological way, that is indeed true. But in a very real, practical way (and this is the way in which Benedict is no longer our father) it is entirely false, because if your father lives long enough, it's likely that your father will not be able to do for you any of the things that fatherhood implies. In fact, it is likely you will become your father's father, or your mother's mother.

This is where I find myself now. I no longer depend on my mother; she depends on me. It's not like she's in any kind of second childhood or anything like that. She's still active both mentally and physically, although she has slowed down. She doesn't need me to take care of her physically, but she needs me nonetheless. She's fearful about many things, and now she has to make some big changes in her life. It's like some kind of reverse adolescence. At the moment, she needs my guidance more than anything else, and my reassurance that someone is there for her.

I don't mind having to do this. I'm glad I'm able to do it, and I wish I had more free time to help with things. I wish she didn't live so far away. I wish that there were simple answers to the challenges she is facing, but there aren't. I wish that she would be happy with the decisions we have to make, but chances are, she will not.

In addition to all the above, even as I am trying to help her adjust to a different kind of life, I can see in myself the beginning of a road that might lead to where she is now. It's nothing serious. I can still work. I can still take care of the things I need to take care of. I can still think clearly--I just can't think as quickly as I used to. I can't do anything as quickly as I used to--except fall asleep. Things that would have once come easily to me don't seem worth the trouble. For instance, I know I could sit down and figure out how everything on my new phone works, but after several months I haven't done it because it's just too much bother, even though I'm fairly sure that when I get around to it, I'll find it was much easier than I thought it would be.

I don't know where I'm going with this really, I'm basically just rambling on because this is what's on my mind. Although, it makes me tired to think of how I will possibly find the energy to do the things I will need to do in the next several months, and some of the things I will need to do will not be pleasant, I'm not worried about how things will work out. I trust that the Lord will be with us get us to the place where we need to be. I'm hoping that somehow my mother will be able to see this, and that she will find some peace. I'm hoping that you will keep us in your prayers.



  1. Dear Janet, I am so touched by your piece today. "Love gave me this path" and "I know the plans I have for you" are the words I hear with my heart and spirit everyday as I move toward the changes and challenges of aging. I will be praying for your Mom, and you too that peace will rein in your minds and hearts as you move through this process.

    1. Thank you. I've been meaning to say how glad I am that you are reading this blog.