Does this make sense? Have you ever been happy and sad at the same time? Happily sad? Thinking of memories, some make you sad, but you are still happy to have these memories. That’s where I find myself at this moment. I am happy sad…
Currently, I am at our family lake home. This is my Dad’s homestead. Now it’s been passed to his children, I’m one of five living siblings. I do have two other brothers who have passed on. One I didn’t know, born before me, stillborn. One died at the age of 37. The 37-year-old was in the Army, single, his death benefits came to our family. He wanted this money to be used to build a house on my dad’s property that we could all enjoy, and gather as a family. His dream came to fruition and our lake house has a bedroom for each of us, including a sixth in his memory. It was a happy sad moment upon completion. Sometimes still is.
Saturday, we toured assisted living facilities with my parents. [Happy sad.] I was watching my parent’s worried looks as we started the first tour. But they relaxed, both having visited relatives and friends at these facilities. They were familiar with the sites but didn’t believe they may one day be residents.
We were treated to lunch after our tour at the first facility by the program director. This facility was like a small city under one roof! There were two restaurants, a hair salon, a heated pool, a post office, a movie theatre, a work out facility, a boxing gym, pool tables, a library, therapists and trainers on site… amazing. After we had ordered our food, my dad and I were sitting together and he explained to me that although this was nice, he had the farm… the lake house we owned as a family. [Happy sad.] I had to explain that he would always have that, but mom was in poor health. The facts pointed to sooner rather than later, she would need a nurse. My dad, as healthy as he was, would not need medical care but he needed to get mom the care she would need. [Just sad.]
We toured the others, then headed to Dairy Queen! [Just Happy!]
We dropped off our parents at their townhome to rest, but it wasn’t long before they joined us at the lake house. I couldn’t remember the last time I was with all of my siblings and my parents at the same time. [Happy sad.] We had an evening of laughter, serious discussion, and more laughter. I was very aware that these gatherings were becoming very rare and would eventually come to an end.
Life changes. Circumstances change. Health declines. Being present, in these rare beautiful moments, is the only way you can keep them … in your heart. Time marches on. No matter how hard we try to slow things down, Father Time keeps the clocks wound. You can’t cheat time. Beautiful moments happen in real time be they ever so fleeting. [Happy sad.]