Saturday morning, as I was removing my mother's wheelchair from the trunk of her car, my phone rang. Brenda was calling to tell me I need to talk to Owen, our 16-month-old grandson. Owen was in the barber's chair for his first real haircut and he didn't like the experience much.
"Talk to him, maybe it will help take his mind off of the scissors," Brenda suggested.
So, here I am in the parking lot of the skilled nursing center, where my dad is recovering from two surgeries, about to wheel my mother inside to see him, talking to little Owen, who I know was trying to figure out what I was trying to do! I'm told he smiled, but returned quickly to do battle with the barber!
When we entered the nursing center, we found my dad in the dining room waiting for his lunch. He was seated at a table with two other gentlemen. All three were in wheelchairs. My mom pulled up to the table to make it four.
I watched as my parents greeted one another. My dad was so glad to see her, and vice versa. They will celebrate 68 years in November. Hard to believe. And, they are still in love!
Later that afternoon, after bringing my mother home, I rushed off to a soccer game.
I don't even understand the rules to soccer. But that didn't matter for this game for two reasons. First, none of the 3-year-old boys playing understand them either. And, most importantly, I was there to see my oldest grandson, Wyatt and not just the game.
Wyatt loves to play. Doesn't like it when he has to "take a break." He has more fun playing with his buddies. I have even more fun watching him! I am thinking that he has a bit of linebacker in him! I don't think that is a position in soccer.
Of course, Gracie, our 5-year-old grandaughter is there to watch her little brother play. It is fun watching her cheer him on. And, it's fun playing with her on the sidelines!
Reflecting on the day, I got in touch again with the circle of life--beginning, middle and last. I'm somewhere in the middle these days, watching parents and grandchildren experience this part of their lives. It is a curious position. I don't understand it all, but I'm open.
It occurs to me that this is not an easy time. It is certainly not easy for my parents. I expect it is challenging for my own children, as they watch their little ones getting started.
It hit me how hard, how very difficult it must be to make it all the way around the circle without resources. The circle is so much harder, so much more difficult for people and families who have few material resources. For sure, they compensate with what they have in terms of human, community and relational capital.
But, it is very clear to me today that it must be really tough making things work if you have little income. And, that is true no matter where you find yourself on life's ever-turning circle.