Life:Beginnings and Endings

Wishing all of you a beautiful Thanksgiving!

Holidays invariably put me in a reflective mood. Here’s what was on my mind during my travels yesterday:

The train ride between New York and Boston is a mere four hours long, but the distance I travel between my son’s Manhattan household to my mom’s Cambridge apartment seems so much greater.

With my mom, I have no choice but to confront end-of-life issues up close and personal, even as I celebrate the blessing of new beginnings in my son’s family.

My son and beautiful daughter-in-law gave us the best Thanksgiving gift we could possibly imagine—the news that they are expecting their second child, a baby sister or brother for three-year-old Milo. Milo is an absolutely joyful child—full of energy and imagination.  He is on the go from early morning until bedtime, serving his “customers” ice cream from his “ice cream shop,” dancing to his favorite Spanish song, and playing endless chase games. For Milo, every day is exciting and new. Spending three days with him was magical.

And now, as the train speeds to my next stop, I’m headed to see my beloved mom. Her dementia continues to progress, yet not so completely that she doesn’t mourn the loss of who she once was.

I often think of that old Woody Allen line: “It’s not the idea of death that bothers me. It’s the hours.”  I have a different, less funny version: “It’s not the idea of death that bothers me. It’s losing my memories before I get there.” Watching my mom lose herself piece by piece has been incredibly painful.

Yet, I’m also so profoundly thankful to still be able to witness and appreciate the early years of my precious grandchildren.

Beginnings and endings. That’s life.

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