not flailing at flotsam

Mom joined Dad on Friday, around noon California time.

John and I imagined him waiting for her, asking her sarcastically, “What took you so long?,” with a cold Heineken in-hand for her, to match his own.

Near the end she talked about how badly she wanted to see him again. How it was what she wanted most, how she wasn’t afraid. At one point she remembered Dad’s concern with all things God near the end of his life, saying that she had prayed to God that he let her join him, that he let her go.

Pat welcomed me to the “orphan club,” noting that the initiation sucks. It does. Like I started writing about the day before Mom passed, it feels like a new era. As if to echo my own sentiment, my long-time mentor’s response when I informed her was, “There is a maturity that comes with this phase of life that I think you will enjoy a lot.” I liked those words a lot, read and re-read them, and I think they may have helped me realize something…

For me, this whole thing, this five year happening bookended by the losses of Dad and Mom, is about learning to tolerate uncertainty. No I I don’t mean to say it was engineered to teach me a lesson; I mean that’s what I’m supposed to be learning from it. To be able to weather ambiguity, to be OK with not-knowing, to drift directionless with confidence, not flailing at flotsam.

I don’t know how much I’ve improved. Dad, the RV trip, the big change, Mom… it seemed foregone… I mean we lived for a year with no agenda and no direction. It was bliss. We made a conscious decision to chase family and togetherness instead of promotions and salary. It was wise. But did I get better at living in the the between space? Jury is still out.

Maybe I’m being naive, after all I just got out of my first five-year class on the subject. Maybe the real learning comes after the object lesson, after being pushed from the nest? They may be gone, but I’m happy to let them continue to sharpen me.

Miss you Mom and Dad, love you.

Together again.

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