Saturday, September 23, 2006

What Do You Do With This?

After a refreshing conversation with CMarsh Thursday at our usual haunt, Barnes and Noble, I received a phone call from my mother. It was one I could have never even dreamed up myself in a million years.

She informed me that my Aunt Pam (her sister) had been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and has about 47% lung capacity at present. I just buried my Great Aunt Juanita back in July from this disease.

"The doctor said hopefully about 5-8 years left....."

My mother's voice trailed off in my head a bit. Then I heard the word, "Germany."

My cousin is a supply sergeant and had been in the Iraqi theater recently and isstationed in Germany. Mom said Aunt Pam was going to move there to be with her daughter. She didn't say so, but she's probably going there to live the rest of her life.

"Glenn.....I'm going too."

I'm still wondering what to feel about all of it. Frustration, futility in the face of age/demise/impending death, abandonment, bewildered.....calm and assurance. I sort of childishly and selfishly thought, ...for the first time in my life, I won't have physical access to my mother.... I just can't "up" and go see her. But even more, will I see my Aunt Pam again on this side? I just wasn't prepared for the dynamics of such an adjustment....and so quickly. My aunt is flying out next Thursday and my mother to follow not long after. I'm sure we'll try to unite before the move, and that I'm missing the finer points and all, but it sure is a gnarly situation to sift through.

I talked to my Aunt Pam last night. She's by no means on her deathbed and is full of much more life. We talked about now how she has the blessing of knowing that she can choose to really, REALLY live each day in its fulness. To me, that was somewhat of a blessing, in the truest sense of the word.

It seems to be the right thing to do, given the circumstances. In that way, I'm okay with it. They have each other now and they don't want to take anything for granted, to miss out on what they HAD taken for granted. None of their family remains in Knoxville anymore. Grandparents, parents, brothers, aunts, uncles...either passed away or moved. And that is a foreign thing to grasp because so much of my formative years were there.

So they should go. I bless it to be. I don't want it...with all of my heart I don't want any part of what this situation is all about. And I remember my own sense of abandonment I lugged around. But Jesus touched that a few years ago. He covered that part of me and that healing spreads over even now, so that I can say, "" and know that it isn't about me. There's calm and peace there. Besides, I love my mother and Aunt Pam and my cousin too much.

I just long for the lost years sometimes.