Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wherein like a true Minnesotan, I talk about the weather...

March ends tomorrow and unless they are really off-base on the weather forecast that is calling for temperatures in the 70's, we're going to get through the month without snow for the first time in the history of Minnesota. I have to say that it has been a little unnerving and hard to embrace the warm weather because I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. But it's not going to. No final four blizzard this year! And while I could worry about what this means in terms of global warming, instead I'm going to rejoice in the fact that my sock drawer may remain closed for a full six or seven months.

Now if I can just convince Charlie that he can replace his winter coat with a new spring jacket. I may have to stage an intervention like I did when Ellis was this age and I finally had to tell him in late May that his hat and mittens were going on vacation until fall. Sometimes it's hard to get your mind around the fact that things have changed. That hard times are over (or at least not everything is hard) and life is actually pretty good. You get used to the drama and it's hard to come down from it and just be grateful and inhabit your life as it is.

This week my mother was diagnosed with the early stages of dementia. It wasn't a surprise. Just a confirmation of something those closest to her already knew. I have complicated feelings about my mother and about the responsibilities that I know are coming to me and my sister as things progress. In many ways, it's not fair that Molly and I are left with these responsibilities and that the window of opportunity to reconcile the damage done over the years directly with my mom is now closed. Mostly all I feel right now is compassion for my mom, who gets to spend her final years, however many they are, struggling in confusion. I get to be here with my family - with a good partner for doing hard things and fun things with, and a close relationship with my children, and a life filled with a deep abiding grace.

I don't know why it didn't snow this March. I don't know why we get assigned the tasks we do in life. I don't know why our only real power in life is to choose the way we receive what we are given. I only know that I wish to remain mindful that as much as suffering is always with us, so is joy.

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