Thursday, July 2, 2009

Maple leafs and flags and changes

Spending Canada Day with good friends on an unusually hot July 1st and in a breathtakingly beautiful place allowed me to pause mid-week and once again get a measure of the brilliance of my life. Observing my dear friend as she absorbed news about a serious health challenge for her elderly father, watching as different aspects of the awareness struck her, I was impressed by her strength and grace. She didn't resist when emotions passed through her, didn't avoid us as the gathering and Canada day celebration went on in her lovely home, allowed us to be there, shared with us when it felt right. Today, she is flying off to be with family as they deal with the crisis, which is perfect and appropriate. I hope that we provided her with some space in between, to be with her feelings and to see the continuity of life as her daughter and grandchildren played in the sun with those of us fortunate enough to be in her circle of community.

This brings to the surface once again the inevitability of my mom's departure. Of a similar age as my friend's father, I am always somewhat waiting for a call with news of a signficant change in her well-being. Not living near her seems harder and harder as she ages, determined as she is to remain alone in her familiar home. I have reconciled with her choice of staying put and honour her commitment to her home and cat yet I am fearful that no one would be there if something catastrophic occurred. An interesting balance - a pull to be there for her, take care of her and an equal and opposite tug to be here with the imminent birth of the grandbaby. Obviously, I chose a long time ago to make my life away from the city of my birth and don't regret having become a west-coaster, but certainly wish for the invention of instant transportation in the event of really good or bad news!

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