I have heard of this stage of life. Caring for aging parents while still raising your own children. I guess I thought I'd be older. Ha! Here I find myself, with mother near me, dear to me, needing me and me wanting to be there for her. To be her helper. It is as slow a process. Much like waiting for a toddler to wander down the road, while looking at every sound, calculating every move, manipulating every bite... slowly. Meanwhile rocketing towards high school graduation is my oldest. This is uncharted territory, it has frozen me since August. How do I do this next step and prepare for launching a son? There are enrollment dates, things to accept, things to prepare, things to complete. If he were eager for his future and seemed ready, I think I'd be Ok, but he is one who seems hesitant to launch. They are both hesitating to launch to the next step independently and I feel in the middle as helper and yet powerless. "Get that job application in", I say. "Did you go to lunch with the others?", I say. "No", they say. Choices, they each have choices. Watching them struggle, one wanting independence but needing help. One wanting help, but needing independence. Ey, the irony! No wonder I am up at night ready to shed tears for both of them. For I remember. I remember feeling scared, uncertain, intimidated, angry at change maybe I did not choose. Serenity, the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. "That's it!", Charlie Brown yells. I cannot change these things, I must surrender to the role of accompanist. I can do what I can and that is all I can do and I need not accept responsibility for more than that. Emotional or physical. I must do what I can do to ensure safety, but I cannot rob another of the process. I can set limits and boundaries as needed, but only for myself. And pray they do the same.
Thank you Jesus for this time, for I feel you in it and I know You hold the ones I accompany in this process even closer than I do. Your love for them is far greater. Help me to both embrace and enjoy this time for it is truly ordained and You do not return void that which is ordained.
Amen and good night!