For the past month, my mom and I have been involved in the details of bringing her oldest sister to live with me. It has been an odyssey, to say the least, and a journey filled with grace, love and also some unexpected trials.
My mom and I didn’t do all the work. This was an effort that required many helping hands, including my cousin, Linda’s, who helped me pack, purge and organize 78 years of a full and blessed life into a minivan and a couple of cars in less than 48 hours and helped me get Aunt Linda’s car serviced to make the 4 hour trip safely so my mom didn’t have to try to deal with it. Linda also relieved me to stay overnight in the nursing home to reassure Aunt Linda when she couldn’t remember why or how long she would be there. My mom couldn’t have done it and by the time my mom returned for the duration of the rehab stay, my aunt was able to make it through the nights unafraid (as long as my mom was returning in the morning).
My brothers were ready to bring Aunt Linda home at a moment’s notice. Including my youngest brother, John, who ended up making the round trip with my youngest son, Mark, and my mom’s roommate to help my mom on the 4 hour drive.
I have been blessed by many mothers in my life. My own mom has always been a model of strength, courage, patience and unconditional love. She only confirmed that these past few weeks and it’s been so nice to make this happen together. This transition has the mark of divine orchestration all over it. Most notably in Aunt Linda’s acceptance of the move in spite of the sudden life change and having to leave behind her lifelong friend who is facing her own crisis from a fall.
I’ll write more about Aunt Linda another time as I really don’t want to forget some parts of this journey (like the selflessness of the above-mentioned friend).
One treasure Linda (the cousin) and I stumbled upon were decades worth of letters, notes, report cards, school photos, drawings and the like that anyone sent her over the years. I have a stack from my immediate family (and children). They’re adorable, hilarious, genuine and sometimes heart-breaking (like a couple from my brothers on the back of collection letters).
Although Aunt Linda lived away from us our entire lives, she loved us well. We’re all so happy to return that love by caring for her since she’s unable to manage on her own any longer.
Happy Mother’s Day! I know mine is!