My mind is flooded with memories of noise, chaos — happy chaos — of laughter; the family we were. And I “see” the family who we are now, and who we are yet to be.
Re-arranging the dining room/den (which has forever been called the “back-room”), there is now a corner for bird-watching and contemplation. An antique black typewriter sits on a wicker stand, with a potted palm tree beside it — my little taste of Key West on an early Northeast spring morning.
In this room, our new family will be forged. The same way the old one was, through times spent together, laughter, and a bit of chaos thrown in….
There is a growing to occur here. And a pruning as well. There is sorrow for the losses and the changes pruning brings, but excitement of what is yet to come; pruning is the way to new growth, new buds, new life.
But for now, there is a waiting on God in the silence, in the solitude, in the in-between ….. the waiting between the quiet times and the happy chaos.
This does not seem like it’s going to be a very encouraging story, on the surface. There is grieving for a mom who, physically, is still here, but yet she is gone. This has been different than our dad’s story-end — we were blessed to have 2 years to say goodbye. That didn’t make it better, just different.
There is only one place that brings light to this right now: thankfulness for a life with these two parents who were characters in their own right; an odd juxtaposition of out-going fun and self-captive anxiety, howls of laughter and battles with depression, a fierce attendance to responsibility and a throw-it-all-to-the-wind philosophy, acceptance of the unique and strange parts of life and humanity, while still adhering to a set of morals and rules. Sounds like confusion. At times it was, but mostly it was wonderful. There were times of learning together and figuring it out. Leaning on one another. Sometimes this could be a pain, but mostly it was a loving-bond foundation being built that would out-last the years. There were lovely times. There were complete downfalls. There was survival and thriving.
But, what now? The landscape is changing. We see the “next generation” emerging, taking their place, and there is hope that some of the bits and pieces were passed on to them. In the meantime we will find a way to say goodbye to the family we once were.