A s a writer I love said there are years that strip you bare. Yes, there are. For me, 2019 was one of those years.
Since 2015, I have been in a stage of life that was both painful and beautiful. Watching parents lose their independence and begin the slow, often indignant, march to death is life changing. This phase of life takes a toll, but also offers some of the most precious moments imaginable.
After mom died, April 26, 2019, I felt, in a word, lost. For so long, I have felt out of place wherever I was. If I was at work, I felt I needed to be with my mom. If I was with my mom, I felt I needed to be at work. If I was at home, I felt I needed to be at mom’s house. I missed my husband. I missed my home. Yet, there was no place more important for me to be than with my mom. Since she will forever be one of my all-time favorite humans, time spent with her was a treasure.
On Saturday, I called home to see if anyone needed anything from the grocery store. My niece answered the phone and said that my husband and son were helping our neighbor who had fallen from his walker and split open his head. Much to my surprise, I burst into tears. Yes, I was sad and deeply concerned for my neighbor Richard, but, this was a sheer emotional response to all the times my parents fell and what followed. As my dad said one time as he was being loaded once again into the ambulance, “Getting old is a helluva lot of work.”
In 2020, I am recalibrating. I am ready to not be consumed by the fear of loss and of change. The recognition of a season of being lost offers a great gift -the opportunity to be found again. I am ready to find myself again. I have no 2020 resolutions. There will be no new me. Just the very best version of me possible while dealing with the highs and lows of this one big bright and beautiful life.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher/Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.