82 years young, independent and strong, running a farm on her own, riding horses with a daughter in Colorado. One month later - a stroke, a stomach tube, a move from the farm to a nursing home and suddenly now she is 82 years old. There was no easing into it, no edging, it was analogous to the ball dropping in Time Square on New Year's Eve. There was no grace granted to prepare, our sensibilities were numbed as we went through the motions.
She is our mother, known loving as Kenny and now she is 85 years weak and lonesome. There is this idea that one finds companionship and comfort when surrounded by their peers but we sense something totally different here. As peculiar as it may sound, we see Kenny amongst many, yet very lonely. Is that a distancing created intentionally or is it part of the aging process? Regardless the answer it is difficult to watch.
In a few short weeks there will be a changing of the guards. On November 1st we bring Kenny back home to her 50 acres, 4 horses, 2 dogs and a cat. We will be her ceremonial guards but it will be more than that because we are her daughters. Upholding past traditions we will also learn to perform new duties, more akin to being a mother to our mother.
This is not a fortuitous move we are making, quite the contrary. For over a year we have held deliberate conversation, fantasized, envisioned and prayed over the myriad of possibilities of our decision only to be blurred by so many "what ifs". Our spirits will directly dictate the beauty or perhaps the unwholesomeness of our decision. Imperative are the qualities of patience, understanding and love which we pray will supersede all other emotions.
There is a change on the horizon, a change of seasons for five of us and although we enter into it with great aspirations they are shadowed by our trepidations. Time will show us the wisdom (or not) of our decision but until then we will take all the prayer we can get.