As we cleaned out the office and spare room to turn them into two bedrooms, I went through piles of my dad's stuff. In other words, piles of pictures. I came across a bunch of snapshots from my parents' trip to Australia. A koala up a tree, the view from their hotel balcony of Sydney, each of them with parrots all over their arms, shoulders, and head. The scenic shots I ruthlessly tossed; the photos of my parents, I kept. They look, if not young, then healthy, active, and full of life. I did some mental math. Let's see, that was the fall before I first went to Latvia, and Daddy turned 60 that next March...so they were 58 and 59 in these photos. Not much older than my sisters are now. Now Mom is dead and Daddy sits in a wheelchair all day wearing sweatpants pulled up to his armpits. I've been feeling sad that my mom won't meet her youngest grandkids, that my kids won't know my dad to be the person he still is in my head. From there I started thinking...it's going to go by so fast. All the good things about parenting, all the struggles we have ahead, it's all going to slip by. I will try to bear that in mind when I am at my wit's end, so I don't drown in the sorrow. I will try to bear it in mind when we are full of a warm golden glow, so I appreciate the moment.
*From a song by Cheryl Wheeler