It's been a long time since I have time to sit and write. Many things have changed in my life and to juggle all of that while taking care of the dying...almost impossible.
Dramatic huh? Well, you know me, I have a flare for the drama. Anyway, last March, about 40 days ago, my daughter was sent home from Peru due to flooding. The Peace Corps decided that it was too dangerous for the volunteers to be there and put them on planes and sent them home. As soon as she hit the ground in the US, it was more than obvious that my life was going to change for a month or two. Jim and I had become pretty good at empty nesting, sometimes not making dinner or speaking to each other in the evenings after a crazy day at work. We just sat together and finished our day however we felt fit and were okay with that. Now we had a young adult at home that is our child. We turned back into Mom and Dad. I look back now and wonder where I got the energy to work, be the volunteer that I was and played the role of mom...with dinner on the table every night, homework done, cup cakes baked as needed, and didn't pull my hair out.
Well, on Sunday morning, she is leaving. When I think of it, it brings tears to my eyes. I am not sure why because it is time. This kid is 25. She is in love and she knows everything. She thinks different than me and she tells me the differences. I shudder sometimes at how offended she becomes when I say things, but when I sit back and look at how the world has changed, I get it.
She is her own person. She is an engineer and commands a much larger salary than I every could with my job. She is smart...can speak Spanish fluently, can pick up a book and read directions to anything and do it. While she was home, she crocheted me a blanket, painted two pictures, hosted a Peruvian night with authentic food, and spoke twice at the high school and once at church about her life in the Peace Corps. Even after all of that, she went crazy at home not having much to do, so she deep cleaned my house, ran with the dogs, and helped her father with Spanish. She organized my pantry, watched movies with me and hugged me more than I feel comfortable with. Yes, she is so different from me.
I cannot believe that 25 years have gone by since she was born. I learned so much from her and am still doing it. I remember when we brought her home from the hospital and I was so in awe of that little bundle that was dependent on me for everything. Now, when I walked in the door these last 40 days, dinner was made and she took care of me.
She would notice how stressed I was with work and urge me to walk the dogs with her. We would walk to the mailbox and talk about everything...and I could feel my tense muscles relax as we solved the world's problems. When I had questions about how to lead or how to handle certain issues, her experience of being a female in a man's world helped me understand what I needed to do to move forward. You know the saying that 'Youth is wasted on the young"? Well I used to agree until now. This kid is something...wise beyond her years and energetic and willing to take the chances that we old folks find crazy.
As you know if you read this blog, I work with the dying. I sit beside people every day that are wondering if it is their last. I have the honor to listen to them talk...and hear the regrets. So many of us put things off so we can make more money to do those things we really want to do. Then, we don't do them because we are too old, too tired, or get a diagnosis that makes us stay in, stay home, or crawl under a rock.
Maybe these millennials have it right. Work less, make money for the time you are expected to and not a minute more. Make memories, see the world, get to know the people in it and don't compare or make judgments because someone is or thinks different than you. Love people, hug them longer and while you know you will see them again, will you? Make sure you do it right the first time and don't wait until everything is perfect. Why...because life is never perfect. Life is life...so messy, imperfect, and amazing.
Those are the things that shook my writer's block. Those are the things in the last 40 days that I have learned from my Christie.
I am so happy she came home and now so happy for her to go back to her love and her family in Peru.
My hope is that all her dreams come true. But, we know how that goes in this life of ours...so I say, traveling mercies, kid, love the journey, God is with you and come home safe and sound.
Remember, your loved no matter what!
We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,