On Mother’s Day, my sister got the “Best Mother’s Day present ever.” Mom called her from the hospital. Just a few days before, we thought we had lost her to a raging infection.
Today, mom was released from skilled nursing for four hours to attend a Father’s Day party at my sister’s house. This was her first outing since she teetered on the edge and came back.
Wednesday, she and dad will move into a wonderful two-bedroom apartment in a senior facility called Renaissance. I believe it will be a renaissance for the whole family. It will be a fresh beginning. Everyone will be relieved from carrying more than they can handle. After such a long slog, I’m beside myself with excitement for them.
I hear that many seniors revel in these kinds of environments. For many, it’s like high-school all over again – the good part of high-school, that is. Their basic needs are taken care of, there are so many things they can do, and they are free to enjoy their lives. That’s not the guarantee – but that is the opportunity. Like all opportunities, it takes exploration and experimentation to figure out how to take advantage of them.
And like any respite after crisis, it’s too easy to stay in crisis mode when we don’t need to anymore. That’s where I come in.
Helping people through transition isn’t just about doing things for them. It’s about helping to shape the vision of a beautiful new beginning. Yes, there is an ending associated with it. It’s only natural to mourn that. But the pain of loss is gentler when there also is the anticipation of moving toward something new and appealing. I’m not making anything up when I paint the picture of possibilities for them. I’m sharing my genuine excitement about how much they can enjoy this chapter of their lives. And that is as important or perhaps even more important than taking care of business and doing things like making certain the movers show up on time.