Although I am not a marathon runner, I have been racing all my life. “Hurry, hurry, hurry!” said my too-fast beating heart, and “Go, go go!” said my over-taxed brain, and “Run, run, run!” said my tired feet with their fallen arches and the big bunion on my left big toe. And unthinking and unmindful of my own tired heart, body and brain; I hurried, I went, and I ran.
As I have often said, the Universe has its own way of slowing us down when we are running too fast and too long. Just this week, I lost my part-time job, my parents gifted me with one of their cars (the Crankee Yankee and I have been sharing one car for a long time now), as well as a cash gift.
Voila–no need to hurry, go or run. If you have read my post, “The Last Days of a Legend: Part 1,” then you know that my 83 year old mom is dying of metastatic cancer and is at home with my dad, and is on Hospice care.
Point is, there is now TIME. Time for me to run up to my parents’ house as often as possible, help Dad with chores, and most of all, spend precious time with my mom. I can help her in and out of bed, into her chair in the den and her other chair in the living room, in and out of the bathroom, and so on. We have even played Scrabble as in days past (and she STILL beats me!). She is very tiny now, and it is increasingly harder for her to walk with her cane or her walker. Her feet and ankles swell, so I rub white lilac lotion on her legs and feet and work the swelling down. We talk about all our time together, and how amazing it is that throughout all our years together, we have been both mother and daughter and best friends. And how rare that is!
Just recently we went through the family photo album; pictures of me as a baby, toddler, child, and so on. Also there are photos of my young mom; movie-star beautiful, graceful, beautifully dressed and poised. I used to think that she was the most glamorous woman in the world.
Then there are dashing pictures of my dad; young and strong and so handsome. And all those good looks wrapped up in the kindest of hearts, the most loving, sweet and good person–a real dad in every sense of the word. Page by page of birthdays, anniversaries, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and so on make us laugh and smile. Cats we have loved and lost, old and new friends, school days, school plays, graduation days; so many, many good times and memories.
And now, at this stage of my life, I find myself with less plates to spin. I have time to spend with my mother—my light, my North Star, my best friend, my teacher, my mentor, my partner in crime and Scrabble partner, and we share awful jokes and word play. This most amazing person who gave me life, who guided my first steps and heard my first word–this incredible mother of mine is getting ready to leave this Earth and go back to her true home. Although I know that we will all be together again some day, I will miss her with each and every beat of my heart.
This is only another passage, wrenching as it may be. And now that I have fewer plates to spin, there is more precious time to be together as mother and daughter, best friends, as two women lucky enough to be both related and chosen.
Please–do NOT let your own spinning plates rule your life and your precious time. Choose only the ones you really have to keep spinning, and let go of as many as you can.