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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Circle


I've been pondering the circle of life of late...
the seasons we pass through, the ages and stages
and milestones which mark and imprint our lives.

I am part of what some have labeled the sandwich generation...
that age where we are raising children, and simultaneously
starting to worry about aging parents.


Well, yeah...
if we had ever been able to actually have  kids, I suppose.
That ship has sailed.
But the age remains the same, 
and the aging parents thing is looming large.

Objects in my rearview mirror are most definitely
larger than life, and approaching with what feels
like breakneck speed.

What if I'm not ready for them, though? The changes.
"la,la,la, I can't hear you" only works for so long, you know.


There is a beauty to the changing of the seasons,
to newness and rebirth, but a hesitancy and a denial almost 
of what must precede it...
there has to be a Good Friday 
before an Easter Sunday, after all.

A constant theme of late is the passage of time,
the ruthless, mercenary, onward march of life...
Days into weeks,
youth into middle age,
the cared for becoming the caretaker.
Cruel and inevitable, as day passes into night.



My faith has been shelved of late, but it's time to retrieve it.
The journey demands it,
and  I can't see myself
navigating these waters without it...
not with any degree of success, or...peace.

"Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety..."

Yeah, God.
I give a hearty amen to all of that, but always feel that last part
is aimed squarely at me.

And so the wheels turn.
Slowly, steadily, fatefully.
The circle is formed, and a new season begins.




P.S.
please keep my mom in your prayers




78 comments:

Jem said...

Well wishes from across the pond, Anne. Sending my best for your Mom!

Jem xXx

Brynwood Needleworks said...

You know that I'll be sending up prayers for your mom and your family, Anne. Hope you find something joyful to celebrate and enjoy this week, my friend.
xoxo
Donna

Vintage Market Place said...

stay strong, these are the hardest times, seeing our mothers and fathers become the ones in need.
They took care of us for all those years and now it is time to return the favor.
Peace be with you
Amy

Alice said...

Oh Anne, I know how frightening it is to worry about aging parents. After mom passed away just shy of two months ago, I see my dad looking a bit older every day. This has been the most difficult time in my life. But family, faith, and friends help keep me going.

I'll keep your mom in my prayers.

Susan said...

Oh Anne, you and your Mom are in my prayers for sure. I can see what you mean about trying to brace yourself for what lies ahead. I'm 43 and have little ones to take care of, while I watch my parents age. There's still so much I want to share with them. You're right in that Faith will guide you through.
Take care,
Susan

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Anne....I am thinking of you and sending prayers to you and your mother. This is a part of life when you are young that you think will be far away that you just kind of "shelve" it in your mind and then life goes along and one day you realize that things are changing and now you must start to come to that chapter of your life. We all go through it and though it is hard we somehow become a little stronger and learn another life lesson. Your faith will be your strength in these times...~Hugs, Patti

The Feathered Nest said...

Sending up prayers for you, your mama and entire family sweet Anne...hugs and love, Dawn

Farmgirl Paints said...

can't believe that we are finally at that age..where loved ones and family members are dying and we are left picking up the pieces. it's just too much sometimes...this circle of life. i will pray for you and your momma. doing it now!

Shelia said...

Dear Little Anne! I hear your heart through this post! I'm right there now as my mother is 88 years old. My Daddy has gone to be with Jesus 14 years ago. I don't have any brothers or sisters to help me with mother. Sometimes it's very hard and sometimes I get tired and I hate to admit it but sometimes I don't want to deal with her situations, but I love her and remember how she has always loved me and given me her all and then I pray. God really does give us what we need - the strength to keep on keeping on. Also, there are many agencies you can call on now for help and advice.
You know you and your mom and family will be in my prayers.
Blessings,
Shelia ;)

Theresa said...

Praying for your MOM right now! I will add her to my prayer list and keep on praying for her and you! I have been there and know how tough it is to have aging Parents! HUGS to you dear Anne, hope your day is blessed!

Petite Michelle Louise said...

so well said dear anne. hubby and i have been "navigating" those waters over the past few years with my dad and his mother. i hope you find the strength and faith you will need to get through these difficult "passages of life" as well. you and your mother will be in my prayers.

Jill said...

I will most certainly say prayers for her...

Silvia said...

Non consco bene la tua lingua , ma mi piacciono molto le tue immagini pubblicate con il tuo post...Bye

Pattie said...

Been though this and it's not easy, I know that I do not now you but only in blog world... But to me you seem like a very strong lady, I'm sending my thoughts and prayers also...

Elaine said...

Prayers with you as you take on the roll of caretaker for your Mom ..I've been there severaltimes myself. Take care of yourself to.

Shanon at Vintage Sparkle Chic said...

Prayers for you and your mom. Beautiful photos you shared with us. I hope you have a peaceful day.

~Shanon

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Sweet Anne I am sending you prayers for your Mom. It's a rough path right now I can tell. I am now 61 with an 81 year old Mom and a new Grandson...it is really a circle of life. I have been lucky that so far all are healthy but I know my days are coming to care for my Mom and then my days will be here before I know it. I am trying to grab and enjoy each moment I have now in the fullness of my life. Sending you that wish...that you grab each moment, good and bad, for they all have a lesson to teach us.
Linda

Miss Gracie's House said...

on this threshold myself...it is a strange thing...this switching of roles...yes, we do need our faith for this opportunity of service. prayers for you and your mama.
rene

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

Anne, I will keep you and your mom in my prayers!
hugs~~~ Daphne

Danielle said...

On this journey as well. Reading the Great Lives Series by Charles Swindoll has really been inspiring for my faith walk. I highly recommend!!! Praying.

Olive Cooper said...

Definitely. I think one of our first communications was about our mothers. May the God of All Comfort be with you. I also pray you actually feel that comfort. bighugs♥olive

Susan said...

First, why are you so sure the ship as sailed on children/ you are still young, and there are soooo many children in this country that need a family, foster or adopt.

Second, i was a TRUE sandwich -- caring for 3 children all under the age of 10, while caring for my MISERABLE, and nasty (truly) MIL. She lived with us for 10 years, the last 5 she needed me, the last year it was 24/7, that summer my children had no life whatsoever.

My mom is 83, and not in perfect health, but still. my dad passed in 05
Mom lives about 2 hours away. I barely get to see here for lack of my own vehicle, and some other reasons sometimes.

I so sense a change in you lately Anne. (Not hanging up a shingle or anything-but perhaps you are depressed and may want to look into that) I speak from my own experience and from loving and knowing others with it.

you and your family are in my thoughts.
Love n hugs,
Susan

Cindy said...

My prayers are with you and your mom. This post brought me to tears! I am facing the same situations and I have the "lalala, can't hear you" in my ears also!
Be strong!

Little Leslie said...

Anne, I'm sending pink healthy thoughts to your mom. My mother is approaching 85, she's mentally strong and clear, but her little body is is giving her problems. I think about the "passage of time" all the time. I have anxiety spells a lot. I try to think about the immediate future and what I'm doing currently to assuage the fear. I just turned 61. Oy!
Leslie

Gail said...

I'm sending prayers your way for both your sweet Mom and you....when I can't handle any more I give it to Him and he never lets me down....hang in there!

My Grama's Soul said...

Oh sweet Anne....I'm saying a prayer for your mom AND I'm saying a prayer for you.....you will be able to handle whatever comes "round the bend".

Hang tuff,

Hugs Jo

One Charming Thing said...

I'll keep you and your Mom in my prayers. It's so hard. I know. My Mom lived with us for 6 years before she passed nearly a year ago. It was really tough. That whole "switch" in roles can really knock you for a loop. God is with you. He'll be alongside you no matter what you do. :)

Love,
Sheila

Amy Kinser said...

I pray for God's perfect will to be ministered into your mom's life. I pray peace for you both.

God bless you.

La said...

Hello Anne.

This was so beautifully written. I am facing the same situation with my father.

Best wishes to you and your mother.

Lisa said...

You provide such loveliness to us thru your blog. The least I can do for you is keep you and your mom in my prayers. My parents are aging as well and it hurts to see them different in any way. Try to stay strong yourself.

Joanna said...

Of course you and your Mom are in my thoughts and I hope that your faith brings you strength at this difficult time.

xx

It's me said...

Prayers for you and your mom darling.........wishing you streingth......beautiful post !....i miss my mom so...she died last moth...i am feeling so sad right now.......love from me...xxx...

It's me said...

I mean month....

Sue said...

I've been where you are with both my folks. Not an easy task. They passes away within five months of each other. My dad just couldn't live without my mom. The only thing that got me through that a few years ago was just taking a day at a time. Because if you attempt to take too many steps more than that, it all becomes overwhelming. My thoughts and prayers are with you and those you love so very much!

Take care, Sue

Mona Kay at Blissfully Refurbished said...

Hang in there, and know that you and your mom are in my thoughts..

from me to thee......... said...

I am 55 years, raised 2 daughters, and when my parents got old and sick took care of them....now they are gone and I wish soooooo much I could have done even more for them. Don't ever look upon this time as a burden, but as a blessing. Now, I take care of my 5 grandchildren during the day while my daughters and son-in-laws are at work. That is the cycle of life. I think a long time ago, that is how families were, they took care of each other, lived close, if not with each other.....I will stop rambling....this too will pass, have strength, you will find the strength, blessings to you.

Lara said...

Anne,
I will keep your mom in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs hon. Please do not hesitate to e-mail me, if you want to chat. I know how you feel - my dad is taking a fast decline right now and has neurological problems affecting his speech & walking.. it is just awful.. really makes one think.
xo Lara

A Cottage Muse said...

Both of you are in my thoughts and prayers...hugs to you both!

lisa Moran, Bilancia Designs said...

Dear Anne~
Typically, our emails to each other are personal...but I wanted to share this with you NOW.
I watched my mom battle a slow, very frightening disease, called Alzheimer's. There are no words to describe how a child feels watching the physical & mental decline of a parent. But you find the strength, somehow, and you pray...you pray more than you ever have in your life, even though you cannot possibly comprehend how God can let this happen... Suddenly, you reach out for friends, family, acquaintances...until you realize very quickly they're already lined up at your door, waiting to "help" in any capacity imaginable. Lean on those wonderful people who will make a difference in your life. They wouldn't be here if they didn't care...and WE DO CARE...more than you'll ever know. I'll pray for your beautiful mom, and I'll also pray for you and your entire family. This IS a difficult time for all of you....but love has amazing healing powers you never knew existed.
I'm always here for you, my friend.
Sending you love ...and hugs big enough to wrap around you when you need them the most.
Love you, Lisa xoxo

hometown girl said...

i will keep you both in my prayers. i know what you mean as my littlest goes off to school and i find myself making another adjustment to what life throws my way. i could never do it without my faith. xo susan

mollydianeh said...

A Men...sistah! Having recently (the last few years) stepping into the role reverse of now being caretaker of my Mom did NOT come without great trepidation (sp?). But...I did it. Or should I say we (God leading, me following...kicking and screaming some of the time!) How did it turn out? We both survived. As to the future...all I can say I'm GLAD that we can't SEE around corners. Most times it's best to just take things today, toNow. "For tomorrow will take care of its' self" I'm praying for your Mom, and for you too! As to being a "sandwich generation", that WAS me...now I'm alone and more of an "open-face" sandwich. ;)
Chin up kid!
mollydiane@att.net

sandy said...

I do understand...I'm sandwiched everyday. Moms are so precious and its hard accepting that they may not be the same person that we knew for so many years. And we become different for it. May the good Lord grant you peace and strengthening of faith, they go hand in hand. I need to remember that too!
Love,
SandyL

andrea said...

I hear ya. I worry about my mom all the time. And my adult brother, who has severe bi-polar depression and remains unemployed b/c of it. His anxiety about life becomes mine...b/c I know someday I will have to help take care of him as well as my own kids. And my mom. Because he can't even take of himself. And it creates a huge rift sometimes, and lots of family drama, when people refuse help. So let's together say a prayer for all moms. You are not alone, Anne. You are not alone. Sometimes we have to walk the big road and we feel very alone. But you are not alone. Hugs, Andrea @ townandprairie

Granny Lyn's Garden said...

Sending a heart felt prayer your way. I know our Lord will cover you and your mom with his heeling hands. God Bless, Lynda

Karen said...

Your words are so strong. I heard your message and also have felt this way MANY times. One thing I have experienced first hand is that God never gives us more than we can handle and I found that out at a time in my life when I thought I couldn't handle anymore. I know He heard me then and I know He hears me now. I'm thinking about you and your mom. Growing old is cruel in some ways but with love we can all make it through.
xo~
Karen

At The Picket Fence said...

Anne,

You have been heavy on my heart. Praying for you daily. For strength to endure what is happening in the present and in the future. Praying that God fills you with a peace that is beyond understanding, and that you daily feel His love as well as the the love of all those who care deeply for you. May the beauty and grace you bring to others return to you tenfold!

Love you,
Heather

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Oh Anne, I have tears in my eyes, my heart hurts and I am SO SORRY!!!! I too have not been around so much and feel so bad. You are going through so much and I am so sorry! I will be thinking of you, praying for you and wishing you peace at this time. I have been here and it hurts like crazy. Sending lots of love and positive thoughts, I'm sorry you are hurting!
XO
Kristin

judi said...

hi anne,
my heart is with you as well as my prayers. i have been on this journey for well over a year now, first with my dad and now with my mom. it is exhausting at times, but do cherish the moments no matter how stressful. do what you can to mentally and physically destress along the way, but most of all put your cares at the foot of the cross as He will never leave you nor forsake you.
much love my friend,
judi

Debbie @ ribbonwoodcottage.blogspot.com said...

Hello sweet Anne, I will pray for you and your hubby and mom. We navigated these rough waters a year ago with my parents. Dad has Alzheimers. Although God didn't take the storm away, I am grateful for this time of navigating the rough waters. It is better to navigate them successfully then to look back full of regret. You are strong....take the steering wheel and steer with strength. Give yourself a big hug from one of your favorite fans!
Blessings,
Debbie

A Cozy Cottage in the City said...

Keeping both you and your mom in my prayers!

Best,
Jessie

Privet and Holly said...

Cruel is certainly
the word, sweet Anne.
I am praying and
praying hard for your
mama. I know you are
close and how much
she loves you!!
xx Suzanne

Linda said...

Oh this isn't easy, Anne...and you can feel so out of control...life just has a way of following its own course. Sending loving prayers your way for comfort, strength, and peace... XO

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Praying for you and your mom in this hard stage of life.

Fondly,
Glenda

HRH Sarah said...

... as we wait in JOYFUL HOPE for the coming of our Savior... Don't forget the joyful hope, Anne, no matter how bad things seem. God bless you!

Junk Exchange said...

praying for your Mom .. praying for you .. my Momma and I used to laugh about how it didn't get any harder, it just got more entertaining .. I miss her .. I can say what you are about to encounter you will never regret .. it may be hard, it may be nerve-wrecking .. but you will never regret it and will in time look back and be thankful for the chance you have been given .. I love you, Anne .. just hand on and know that we are all here .. and you know where I am ..

Allison said...

Thinking of you, Anne and saying prayers for both you and your Mom. Be gentle with yourself. I am so sorry you are having a difficult time.

Faded Charm said...

Beautiful and heartwrenthing at the same time Anne. You and your Mom are in my thoughts and prayers:-)

xoxo
Kathleen

jeanne @ juNxtaposition said...

very nicely said.

M Margaret said...

What is the expression "been there, done that". Went thru years of dementia related issues with my Mom, lost her in 2006, and now things are heating up with my Dad......... there are no easy answers to these prayers......only fervent wishes for strength.

Keep us posted and know that you are in prayers, and many, many prayers are never said in church.

Mary

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Praying for her Anne....

Lou Cinda

www.MaisonStGermain.com said...

Always in my prayers, I am now adding your Mom. She is so lucky to have a wonderful daughter like you:)
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

trash talk said...

You're all ears and I'm all tears. Taking care of my mother the last two years of her life were the hardest, yet most fulfilling thing I've ever experienced. There were days of frustration, anger and there were days of bittersweet longing. Would I do it all over again...yes. Would I want to...no, but not because it was hard...but because it was sad. She was my rock and I pray at the end, I was hers.
Prayers for you both.
Debbie

Whimsey Creations said...

You and your mom will be in my prayers. Been there, done that, more than once. And in the middle of it with my "last" parent. Bless your journey and hugs to you!

Sarah said...

Anne, both you and your mom will be in my thoughts and prayers. It's not an easy road to walk. It was heart wrenching difficult to say goodbye to my dad when he was only 62, but now that mom is approaching 97 I sense that it will still be very difficult, just different. My heart goes out to you.

marie said...

I'll be praying for your mom and for you and your husband too! My 93 year old father-in-law moved in with us 3 1/2 years ago. He's in relatively good health but does require some care. It has been difficult at times but a blessing all the time.

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Thinking of you and your Mom Anne.
((Hugs)) Maura

stefanie said...

I am soooo sorry, one day all of us will be in your shoes...I remember one day my grandpa and I were sitting on the porch, and he tells me.."we are born helpless and need to be taken care of, and one day we are old and like babies again, needing to be taken care of" it always stuck with me, even thou I was only ten, but it is sooo true!

Vintage Junky said...

so sorry that your mom is going through a rough patch. Big Hugs and even bigger prayers!
xo

Tanya@takesix said...

Anne, I'm praying that you will feel the loving arms of God wrapped securely around you at this very difficult time. Praying for you all!

rockpaperscissors said...

I'm so sorry, Ann for your sadness. I've been where you are now. My heart at times still wishes that my mom had not suffered. I try now to remember happier days and all the love that she gave me during her lifetime. Hugs, Maryjane

Katherines Corner said...

my hand in yours. Prayers for you and your Mother too. Hugs

Pam said...

Sending prayers for your Mom. I have been there and it is not an easy place to be. I treasure those last few years with her although at the time it was very stressful and confusing.

Vicki said...

Thinking of you and your mom. Keep your faith strong. xoxo

Kathy said...

I am where you must be, it is heart breaking...I leave Sunday for Pa. to be with my mom who fell last Friday and broke her hip and with my dad who will have back surgery Monday...I am terrified and full of fear, trying to not be consumed. It is so hard, I said a prayer for your mom and for you, know you are not alone and I will do the same. xo

lisaroyhandbags said...

Big hugs to you. I know how difficult it is when we get to this age and our parents become more and more fragile. I had a scare with my dad in November and it's so hard to receive news while across the world that things at home are not ok. My prayers go out to you and your mom xo

FILIGREE MOON said...

Anne, I understand all too well what you have said. My mother's diagnosis and now deeper journey with Alzheimer's has been the most painful episode on all accounts. You and I share the same faith, as well as that same struggle with the many challenges presented with the caretaker becoming the one in need of caretaking. It is such an intense pain. My mother has always been my best friend and the epitome of what a mother truly can be. Why would such a devastating disease overtake such a beautiful, kind, sharing, unselfish being? My heart aches deeply, daily, as I witness the slowly disappearing of the mom I have always loved. It is indeed a lonely time as I struggle to cope daily, hourly even, with the cruelty of this devastating illness, all the while trying to maintain some level of balance in the trials and joys of those in my family circle. Know that you have a kindred spirit in the many avenues that are endured with the challenges we now face. My prayers are with you and your mother, and I would be ever so touched if you might send some my way. God knows we need it while we continue to be aware of his greater glory in all things. It is hard to see the good, though it is ever present. Hugs to you and yours. ~ Angela

Heaven's Walk said...

Anne - I just wanted you to know that I am praying strength for you and peace for your momma. I'm so glad to hear that you have returned to God's loving arms. He will definitely help you on this journey you're traveling and will be there for you when there are questions and frustrations. Blessings to you, sweetie... ♥

xoxo laurie

Lili said...

Praying for your Mama and your entire family dear Anne. You express yourself so well even under times of great stress. You're strong with a beautiful spirit. Hugs to you dear Anne. xoxo ~Lili

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