Sunday evening we spent a few hours with my 92 year old Grandma. She has a lung issue and has been on oxygen for several weeks now. She sits on the couch during the day, does some knitting, reads, talks to her caregivers, and sleeps. She has had a long full life. 6 children, 25 grandchildren, and a growing number of greats. Her youngest granddaughter is getting married in October. Grandma’s mind is sharp, she still thinks of others and tries to take care of them by asking if they are hungry or if they need anything.
As I sat there with my Grandma Sunday evening I had to reflect on the Circle of Life. In one corner of Grandmas living room sat a walker she had used for awhile when she was still getting out some. Across the room sat a wheelchair. The living room also now holds a hospital bed where she sleeps at night. There is a sign posted titled DNR with the details below it.
Life starts with a newborn baby. 2 happy parents so eager to begin a new phase of life. A cradle. A crib. Diapers. A walker – but this one fun colors and designed for a baby to sit in. A high chair. Playpen. Infant Seat. Toys.
I had to think that the time between a house filled with the baby stuff and a house filled with stuff to care for the elderly is not a very long span of time.
Where the walker sat I could envision a baby walker. And where the wheelchair sat, a rocking chair. Over by the table a high chair. On the counter, baby food and bottles. In the not-too-distant past the floor would have been littered with toys and books.
I’m sure if you asked my Grandma she would say that in some ways it should still be the baby things and she should be rocking her babies in the rocking chair. And yet she is content and I am also sure that she would not turn the clock back even if she could. Her life has been a good one and she is still enjoying whatever time God allows her. Her children take turns staying with her. Her grandchildren visit her. She feels good. The nursing care she gets from Hospice is stellar. She is blessed.
For just a few hours on Sunday I sat with her. Chatting occasionally. Remembering. Meditating.
The Circle of Life. We are born. We grow. We live. We Love. We die. Over and over the cycle continues.
What am I doing with my short span of time in the circle? Where is the meaning? What really matters? Where am I putting my treasure?