I can finally hear the “Hallelujah Chorus” resounding in my brain in praise of my parents’ decision to – drum roll please - move near me.
And while I am humming along, my spirit is giving thanks:
For my siblings and me for sticking with this tumultuous journey while our own lives chug forward on separate paths: spouses, children, work.
For our continual - polite at times, firm at others - reminders to our parents that they needed to move near one of us; that we could not uproot our families and move near them.
For our patience as children now grown-up dealing with grown-up parents acting like children.
For our parents’ courage to take this leap (new city, new doctors, new caregivers, new home) when breathing in and out each day itself seems uncertain.
Off in the distance (only because I have pushed it there) is another chorus murmuring would-be calamity:
“She won’t be happy with the place you have picked out.”
“They will call you all hours of the day and night.”
“She will complain about the care you have arranged.”
“The food won’t be tasty.”
“Her days will be boring.”
“Medical specialists will be impossible to line up.”
“You will be more stressed with your children.”
“You won’t get to spend as much time with your oldest during her last year of high school.”
“Your youngest will live in continual fear of her ‘mean’ Granny.”
On and on the voice croaks from its locked box, the place I banished it to when I realized that this was what had to be, that there was no other choice.
I used to let this voice get to me. To eat away at my plans. To gnaw at my peace that we were making the right decision.
“Look I get it!” I used to scream at this voice and lie down at night unable to sleep for fear of the “what ifs.”
But now I know what I know. I know it won’t be easy. I know it won’t be perfect. I know there will be glitches. I know there will be catastrophes, illness, and eventually death. But I also know that many other people have been-here-done-this and lived to tell about it.
And most importantly I know that with God by our side even the difficult things in life can bear good fruit.
So, on this new life journey I chose to listen instead to His Hallelujah Chorus as it sings of different what if’s:
Holiday dinners at home with the family, instead of in a far-off state.
A special trip to the mall between teen granddaughter and wheelchair-bound Granny.
Reading in Pop Pop’s lap.
Sharing special baked items lovingly prepared by a pastry-chef-wanna-be granddaughter.
A quiet weekday lunch between parents and grown daughter.
Yes, it won’t be easy but it can be good.