Monday, June 13, 2016

It Was the Best of Times...It Was the Worst of Times

Well, maybe best and worst are a little extreme, but beautiful and challenging certainly fit. And I ask if that isn't so often the confusing case of this messy life: to relish in the undulating joy of the moments and be simultaneously pierced by their jagged edges? This weekend before last left me feeling empty and full. It's possible...I assure you. So many times this past week I thought to come here and muse, but I wasn't yet prepared to do so. I needed time to process. Time to reflect. It was time well-spent.

I'm far enough away now to have a little more objectivity and ownership where family dynamics are concerned. My cousin was visiting from Colorado so it was a whole lot of family in a single weekend. If her doctors are right, it may be the last time we see her, but I'm not ready to believe that yet. I believe it's called the practice of medicine for a reason, and only one entity truly knows what the future holds. Suffice it to say it was an emotional visit peppered mostly with highs, but also a few lows.What it comes down to is a number of strong, stubborn personalities and plenty of rather poor communication. It's not a good recipe. In the moment, I like to think that I'm excluded from the mix, but I'm not. I'm right in there with the rest of them...a spicy stew of fiery Irish, German and Polish roots. 

While looking back, I also realized we're all coming from good places because that passion we all possess means we love fierce as well. All we wanted was time with our colorful, charismatic cousin, but we're just not that good at coordinating and connecting. Feelings get hurt, egos bruised and tempers flare in the planning and posturing. There was too much he said she said and so on when all that really mattered was being together in the given moment. What Carol is enduring is living proof that tomorrow is not guaranteed for a single one of us.

I'm grateful I realized what was important before it was too late. The only thing Carol wanted to do Saturday was to go riding with Lily. I didn't know if it would be possible first because of her waning strength and second because of the weather, but when I pulled up to my Dad's in the rain, she was raring to go. The skies cleared and we headed to the stables. 

The picture above is of the little chapel that overlooks the stables. My Grandma's name is Rose and she was pretty much a saint, but I don't think she cared much for horses. She did care for all of us despite our flaws and imperfections. It's no surprise that I saw it looming above us more as a sign than a structure. A sign that we were exactly where we were meant to be blessed to be making the best of the time at hand.

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