Tomorrow is going to be a day of transition, of goodbyes and new beginnings. I'm traveling to Houston and bringing my mother back here to live in a nursing home minutes from my house.
Except for occasional weekends in her house - my childhood home - she has been living in a nursing home near Houston since she and Daddy were released from the hospital in July. She has been whirling through one transition after another for months, including my Daddy's death, hoping the day would come when she could just go back to the house she'd called home for almost sixty years and live in peace. The house she vowed she would live in forever.
It took time, but she finally agreed moving closer to me might be the best thing. It will certainly bring me peace of mind having her close enough that I can just jump in the car when I can't reach her on the phone, or when I have questions about her care.
I'll be able to stop for a hug on my way to and from work. On rare days when I can't go see her, Tom and the kids will be there. I plan to take her on outings, to my house or my son's, or the mall or out to eat or wherever she wants to go.
But first we have to get through tomorrow, and Tuesday, and Christmas. I have to watch her say goodbye to her house and familiar streets, and then help her look forward, reminding her she'll carry those places and memories in her heart wherever she goes.
It will be a bittersweet day at best.
But I'll still be on the lookout for purely sweet! moments, those little gifts of light God sends to brighten the dark days. I know they'll be there.
Here are a few more from this past week...
Tuesday: flexibility in your job; delivering Texas-shaped gingerbread to clients; finding a beautiful ornament from a friend in your mailbox
Wednesday: gorgeous sunrises through your window; a productive day at home; Mucinex; watching The Grinch and decorating your tree with your daughter
Thursday: a photo of your mom with Santa, thanks to your sister; time to take care of things that have been nagging at you; going to the movies with your kids, even if it's not a good movie; a large bucket of theater popcorn
Friday: spotting a Mallard duck couple swimming on a pond; watching a movie with your kids and laughing so hard your stomach hurts; an executed contract
Saturday: bumping into a friend you haven't seen in years in the post office and being asked to find property for her in Wyoming; an afternoon of baking; warm cookies fresh from the oven; Christmas parties with friends and family; dancing in an airplane hangar; fresh homemade empanadas
Sunday: seeing the magic of Santa in children's eyes; friends who are willing to dress up like elves; assurance that your mother hasn't developed sepsis; a walk with your puppies after church; a blue heron flying overhead; seeing a dear friend in the grocery store; watching the best parts of the old "Sound of Music" with your son and daughter
May you spot the sweet! moments in your life, even on the bittersweet days. I promise they are there.
May we see after the rain, fair weather, after the darkness, light, after these storms and tempests, a gentle calm. Amen.
- St. Cyprian of Carthage