Everything Changes

Last night I went for a drive, the fields were being harvested in the dark of night, the stars were visible in the darkness and it was quiet.

Really quiet.

It also happened to be my birthday. Yay me.

I went back to the same little 110 year old chapel that I inevitably find, no matter what path I take.

It’s beautiful at night here and instead of little blue insects I found frogs. Despite the occasional ribbit, it was quiet. Calm. Peaceful. The air was cool in that early-Fall way. So I sat here for awhile, thinking. Thinking about the last year and my quarter life crises, the months that followed and the year ahead. Frankly this last year was one of the most productive of my short life. Personally, professionally, financially, I hit a lot of my goals. Which leaves me questioning where I go from here.

Everything changes and as we cycle comfort different aspects of our lives change. We can imagine and anticipate what life will be like, what changes will come and how we’ll respond. But it’s a little like that perfect comeback. You know, the snappy answer we think of when faced with a bully that we can never quite say just right in the moment. Sometimes the perfect comeback comes hours later and we say “I should have said…”

No matter what we prepare, how we think things will happen it’s never true. Everything changes. Even in a 12 hour period you go from this:

to this:

How much more changes in the course of a month? A year? A lifetime?

Last year at this time I was struggling with the first October without my dear Grandma. October is a big birthday month in my family and Grandma would have been 80 years old. We used to celebrate with one cake with 12 names and have a big family party. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Kelly only birthday party (which is most of the reason why I get uncomfortable when the focus is just on me). And celebrating without my Grandma seemed… wrong. It wasn’t wrong it was just the first time in a quarter century I’d ever done so.

This year is a different challenge, no easier to face. My Grandpa was told 8 days ago that he would die. Within an hour. I stood by his bed in the ICU, holding his hand and crying as his body bled and the doctors could not do a thing.  I mean, he’s 90 years old. He’s had a great, full life of love and joy and family.

We got a “hail mary” pass. Moved him to another hospital. Met with a surgical team. They stopped the bleeding. Then he bled again and they stopped it 3 more times. My dad rushed home from his vacation on the east coast. My uncle and aunt flew in from the southwest. We gathered around his bed, we watched the vital signs and we prayed for his ‘fighting chance’ to take hold.

Yesterday we had a sliver of hope.

Today they’re disconnecting him from support – the nutrition, the blood products, the oxygen.

He will die.

See how everything changes. In 12 hours. In 12 days. In 12 months.

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9 thoughts on “Everything Changes

  1. I am so sorry. Even though things change second by second the nice thing is that the memory stays–12 hours, 12 months, 12 years… always. I lost my dad 41 years ago and yet, the memories remain. Prayers for you and your family.

  2. Thank you Debbie. The memories do indeed remain.

    He passed away this evening after a long, full life. 65 years married to the same woman. 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren

  3. Oh Kelly,
    My heart goes out to you. It’s so hard to say goodbye to someone you love so much. Wonderful that your grandparents are together again. What a reunion ! So many memories to hold close to your heart. Take care.

  4. Kelly: I feel for you because I’m missing my mom a lot lately. She died in August 2003. How I wish I could share with her what’s been happening in my life.
    You don’t get over it. You get used to it. You reconcile with it. But you keep on missing this person you loved.
    Prayers going your way. And upwards, too.

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