If there’s been a theme to this summer, it’s been one of suspended animation.
In just six weeks, my mother went from living independently in her own little garden apartment, to assisted living, to skilled nursing, to hospice care – punctuated by three trips to the emergency room and an unexpected surgery.
I find myself holding my breath all the time, anticipating the next phone call, the next emergency, more bad news. Knowing the inevitability of how this will end, it’s been draining living with the knowledge of imminent finality.
So, what to do? How can I reconcile my desires to ‘live in the moment’ and ‘be here now’ and stay positive with my hyper-awareness of this huge pending loss?
I’ve tried the sheer stubbornness of just getting through it with mixed results. But this morning I thought of an alternative path.
Each time I feel overwhelmed by sadness, I’m going to fight back with gratitude. It will be a fight for sure, but I am well armed with hundreds and thousands of good and fun and happy memories.
Like the time she went shopping for a traditional Swiss long cotton granny gown and came home instead with a pair of zebra-stripped jammies with hot pink trim.
Author: kristin fellows
I am a documentary film consultant, writer & photographer. And once upon a time, I lived in Asheville, North Carolina.
I am really, hopefully very nearly finished with my first book, "Lions, Peacocks & Lemon Trees" – a travel memoir that follows a collection of old letters half way around the world, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Ethiopia to Portugal and Italy.
Other adventures have taken me to Iceland to hike volcanoes and photograph puffins; to Barcelona, Mexico, and Croatia. I went to Athens for a big fat Greek wedding, to Helsinki to get beaten with frozen birch branches in the city’s oldest public sauna, to Portugal to track down the backdrop of an old photograph, and to Italy to travel in the footsteps of my late grandmother.
My travel articles have been featured in Pink Pangea, a travel blog for female travelers, and other publications. One of my photographs, “Skywalker,” was chosen as a National Geographic Photo of the Day in 2015.
But many of my favorite stories still come from the nearly eighteen years I lived in Asheville, which you can read about in my blog, "On the Edge of Appalachia."
I also invite you to join me on my newest adventure – "Oceans of Love" – in which I move to a small farming village in the mountains of central Portugal and nothing goes as planned.
View all posts by kristin fellows
2 thoughts on “Living with the knowledge of imminent finality…”
Love it. I want a set like that. Gratitude to you for sharing.
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Yes, gratitude, but also respect. Living is hard work. Coping with constant change is hard work. Our elders whether they are our family or friends or strangers should receive our respect.