From Here to There

“The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” ~Erma Bombeck


I am afraid.  I am faced undeniably with the mortality of the people around me.  Most specifically, my father-in-law. 

I have reached the age at which you begin to recognize the fact that your parents–and the parents of your spouse–aren’t going to be around forever.  It is incredibly painful. 

I was probably 14 years old when I first met my hubby’s dad.  Here’s a frightening thought:  I have known him more than half my life.  He was an avid hunter and fisherman up until about maybe 7 years ago when his physical limitations started to get the better of him.  I remember when I was a teenager and I would go out fishing with my then boyfriend/now hubby, wanting to make a good impression on his dad.  I have never been one to love the slimy scaly feel of a fish between my fingers.  But because I loved my boyfriend, I would go.  Hubby’s dad is a take no prisoners kinda guy.  He will ask you anything…appropriate or inappropriate.  He will say it just like it is and have no shame about it.  You’ve gotta love that in a person.  Truly.  We don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye on certain things, but we agree to disagree.  I have learned over the years to appreciate him and enjoy his certain brand of humor.  And I have also learned to let a lot of things just roll off my back.

My in-laws are an integral part of who I am and they made my hubby who he is–they raised a wonderful son.  They love me and have always treated me like one of their daughters.  And though my hubby’s dad has been known to be a bit of a crotchety old dude, he is a lovable old dude.  He is 83 years old.  I have watched him physically decline over the last several years.  There have been times when I have been extremely frustrated with him–before he was so sick and when he was so crotchety–and most recently I have come to a place where I sincerely love him and see him as an aging man who is coming to terms with that very fact and my compassion for him has kicked in to overdrive.

He is struggling with some pretty significant medical issues at the moment.  And it is at this moment that I see the divine providence of our moving back to within a day’s drive.  

So why am I afraid?  Maybe I am afraid of feeling the pain that I remember feeling when my granddaddy passed away 16 years ago.  Maybe I am afraid that I won’t know how to comfort my hubby while he is dealing with his hurt about his father’s sickness or when he loses his father.  Maybe it is too scary for me to think about losing my own parents.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that reality bites sometimes.  And I have to find a way to deal with what is.  I am the kind of person who avoids pain when I can.  I avoid confrontation.  I am a procrastinator by nature.  And when I am confronted with the realities of life–and death–my choice would be avoid, avoid, avoid.  This is too close to avoid.  Aging and dying is a part of life.  It is part of something bigger than us.  God’s big picture.  Who am I to question God’s big picture?  I do trust completely in God’s big picture.

And so I don’t ask God “Why”.  I ask, “Help me get from here to there.  Help me deal with what comes day by day.”  And I know He will.



Filed under Lessons

8 responses to “From Here to There

  1. PJ

    Oh boy, I sure do understand how you are feeling.  I adored my in-laws and unfortunately lost them both many years ago.  My son kevin, was only 11 when they passed.  They were wonderful towards him and were a huge support to me when he was diagnosed.  I miss them every day even now.  I only have my Mom now and every time I see her she gets a hug and an I love you.  It is so important to tell people you care about how much you appreciate them, no point is waiting.  Unfortunately it is an inevitable part of life, death is just as natural as birth. 
    Your feelings and fears are very real but talking about it them is very healthy.
    Wishing you a good week ahead, ((hugs)) Patricia

  2. Cindy

    You know I take care of my parents on a daily basis.  It has been difficult to watch them age the last couple of years … my dad more so than my mom.  It is scary … there is no avoiding the inevitable … I try not to think about it too much.

  3. Nooner™

    A great day starts in 3 hours … Veterans\’ Day!
    The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is so important to us all. I\’m just elated that I am part of the free world, as well as thankful to so many who have served us all.
    Here\’s wishing you a good Sunday. I know I was just here yesterday, but I enjoy coming back here .. lol. You take care, Joell 🙂

  4. Nooner™

    "reality bites sometimes" <—- Yes it does.
    I feel your sentiments completely.
    Two years and two days ago my father of 86 years suffered a head injury after falling down six stone steps going up to a Post Office door. He passed away seven days later, so this is a very reflective week for me that we are in.
    As unprepared and painful it was for me at my dad\’s passing, both painful at the time and for many months to follow, I now mostly rejoice in my thoughts of him. I rejoice because he led a wonderfully long life. I look back at many instances of his life, and of course look back at the many visits we shared which is in addition to all my childhood days living with him.
    My mother is with me still, yet the inevitable will come one day. I am better prepared now.
    Back to you, as terrible as these natural thoughts and feelings are that you have, you will find the strength when necessary. God bless you, Joell 🙂

  5. Wahzat

    this keeps me up as well. I am still not buying that they have to die before 100, but I realize that it is inevitable and like you I am concerned how I would exist or my husband or my sisters.
    So I share a virtual hug with you even though we only just met 🙂

  6. Aimee

    it\’s a hard position to be in…reality is that none of us live forever…although it\’s never easy to let go even thought we all know this…funny that something we know must happen all of our lives is such a hard and scary thing to deal with…just know that we as humans can not always make it through life without some sort of help…
    *~* :o) because you shared your smile… :o) someones day got brighter.. :o) *~*

  7. Zhu

     God bless you .

  8. Jim

    Time is a tough one.  You can\’t stop it nor can you avoid it.  I just went through a tough time trying to be there for my wife when she lost a family member.  I struggled to know what to do.  I wanted to be there for her but did not know how at times.  She tells me that just becuase I wanted to be there for her was / is enough.  I am sure your husband feels the same way. 
    Still sucks though.  Wouldn\’t it be great to stop time and just fish with your husband and his father forever?

I always love hearing from you! :-)

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