How Things Change

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Family

140410 Sunrise

I don’t sleep much these days.  I wake up early in the morning (often very early).  I squint at the clock to see if it’s too outrageously early to get up.  My rule is if it’s before 4:30 AM I have to stay in bed.

Getting up really early affords you the opportunities to see the sun rise.  It seems like I take a photograph from the same spot looking out the living room window a lot but in doing so I’ve seen some amazing sunrises.  Yesterday was a perfectly clear beginning to a beautiful spring day.  Finally!  It has been one long winter.

With spring also comes some huge life changes for me (all of my family really).  After spending the past 30 years travelling from Enfield to Rowe and back I will be moving there full time in May.  Unfortunately I will be moving there without most of my significant others.  They will continue the weekend commute.

This was not an easy decision to come to.  Dad will be coming home and I will be staying with him.  Every single person that hears about it has asked me the exact same question, exact same words “So, how is this going to work?”  I tell them all the same thing – “I won’t know until I’m in it”.  You do what you have to do.

It seems as though everyone I know my age is dealing with the same issues that we are.  We are all caring for our aging parents in one way or another. I’m not sure most of them are living separate from their spouses for days at a time but our relationship is strong and we look at it as another thing to work through. I am fortunate that my father is pretty capable at this time.  His health has stabilized.  He’s pretty sharp as well.  Throwback Thursdays could take on a whole different tone with him telling me the stories behind the photos.

I think the loss of sleep comes when I wake up and start thinking about what I take with me and what I leave behind.  I look at it as leaving things behind because I will be leaving a large piece of my life in Enfield.  Don’t get me wrong, I will not miss Enfield for a minute.  I will miss my home, my bed, my furniture, my tchotche.  This is the part that has almost immobilized me.  I wander around the house at times and think “Should I take this?”  I packed a few things and brought them to Rowe at the beginning of the week.  When it came time to unpack the box I just wondered why I packed what I did.

My life has been so different in one place or the other.  I guess I didn’t realize how different each life was until I had to think about walking away from one.  I moved to Enfield when I married Bill. My kids were born and raised there.  They are grown and I went through the empty nest thing years ago but I will be leaving the Mom part of my life in Enfield – at least the biggest part. Not sure that makes sense – suffice it to say that this will probably be the biggest change I have ever made.

Time will tell.  I was horrified when my father was in rehab and then moved to assisted living.  I couldn’t imagine my health being bad enough for someone to move me away from a place I loved and had lived in for 50+ years without so much as a discussion.  I knew that if his health stabilized I would bring him back to Rowe.  He’s counting the days, for different reasons I’m sure.

I take comfort in the fact that I will be able to garden more, walk in the woods, sit and soak in the birdsong, play with Chester.  Compensation for being put into a somewhat difficult situation. I will also be able to see the sun rise from the same spot every single day.

The Author

Gardener, photographer, docent, homemaker, jack of all trades stuck between an urban and rural life.

2 Comments

  1. Ruth says

    Poignant thoughts Joanne—wishing you strength as you start on this journey!

  2. This post is so raw and personal. It hit home with me and I want you to know it was so beautifully written I went back to reread parts. As a very dear and deep friend told me once recently, “Leap and the net will appear!”
    I will watch with interest, and support should you need it, as this chapter unfolds. God bless your dad. He is giving you a gift of time.

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