My parents have both had health challenges. They are 99 and 94 and live close by. Since December 7th I have been with them in hospital rooms and ambulances. I’ve held their hands and watched them heroically face their destiny. I’ve had moments where I’ve done well and moments when I’ve fallen apart.
Through it all, I kept repeating “This will be the best Christmas ever.” There was not much evidence to support this idea. None of the trappings of a beautiful holiday seemed close at hand. And…in the end I did attract a lovely Christmas eve dinner with Kevin and a beautiful church service that was freely available to me. I just had to walk through the door. My older sisters were tirelessly present and many, many friends offered prayers and blessings. Each and every holiday card this year was treasured in ways that their senders can’t even imagine.
My parents are not having the end of life experience that I would have hoped for them. I don’t know if there is anything I can do about that. The best solution I could muster was to get them into the same room together. Now I simply hold them with courageous and compassionate strength as I allow them to do their thing, whatever that looks like for them.
Yet the questions of leadership remain. How do I take a stand for what they need when I really don’t know what they need and I can’t trust my emotional responses to what I am witnessing? The answer simply seems to be to unfold one moment at a time. One breath at a time. Keep turning my mind back to my heart’s wisdom and courage. Keep trusting Grace. Keep following the rays of light. Keep savoring each and every moment of Joy. Keep turning away from the dark thoughts and surrendering myself and each of us into the light of Love.