Nobody is ever comfortable with change.
But, as John Lennon said,
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
I confess I have the bad habit, when stressful news forces its way into my life, of closing my eyes and covering my ears and trying to pretend it isn't real. I fool myself; I think that if I simply re-double my efforts, refuse to acknowledge, be stubborn, that I can will away the change.
But change happens, and it's happening to me.
Sadly, over the holidays, I lost my "other mother" (I could never bring myself to call Kaye my mother-in-law; I've always hated that term).
Kaye had been ill for years, but she never let it conquer her. Every time I was with her she was a treasure: showering us with love, looking to the future, never complaining. Even as her cruel, cruel illness robbed her of mobility, trapping her in a tinier and tinier box, she was never bitter or harsh, but gentle and gracious as always.
It can be no easy thing for a mother to see her own child grow up, but when I showed up and took her daughter out of her life and into my own, moving us far, far, (too far) away, she never lashed out, nor showed any regret; instead, she welcomed me into her own life and gave me her love as if I was her own.
And, I suppose, at that point, and due to that, and from then on, I was.
If I could seek only one thing, it would be to incorporate her uncrushable spirit into my own life.
Here are the words it's too late to say now, because I can say them but you cannot hear them, but I say them anyway; let the world hear them.
Thank you, Kaye.
Thank you for having such a beautiful and wonderful daughter; thank you for letting me take her into my life; thank you for choosing to love me like you loved her; thank you for being brave; thank you for passing all your wonderful qualities on to your daughter; thank you for everything.
I meant to tell you all this; life happened while I was making those plans.
Meanwhile, other changes continue to happen. In a brutally short period of time we found out that we lost three neighbors: one next-door, one across the street, and one just a short ways away.
We weren't related to any of these folks, but we'd lived next door to them for 15 years and they were all wonderful, wonderful people as well: Harry, the Stanford football player turned mining engineer, Barry, the hotel manager who moved here from Michigan and had an unbelievable sense of humor, and Barbara the wonderfully-kind best friend of our close friend and neighbor Mark.
It's all a dirty, rotten shame, and none of it makes any sense.
But life goes on, and change continues. Just to keep me on my toes, there's still more change in my life: after seven wonderful years at my job, I got one of those "too good to refuse" offers, so I made the terribly hard decision to step away from a job I thought I'd never leave, and take the next step in my professional career.
I'll have more to say about that, some other time.
For now, I'm just dealing with change.