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Bittersweet Changes Hitting Us All At Once

July 14, 2010

A couple of years ago, my sweet hubby and I set our sites on a piece of land near the edge of town. It’s a place where horses and chickens can roam without bothering anyone, yet where we can have access to everything except a mailbox. It’s a place where kids can roam and feel like they are in the country, yet walk a block to school.

It’s a pretty cool space.

In a way, tragedy brought us the first piece of the puzzle. My hubby’s younger brother had a dream to build a small golf course on part of the land. He did a fabulous job in so many ways. He poured his heart and soul into it. Then on Thanksgiving Day 2001….after being called up for duty in support of the 9/11 operations, at age 38, he went to bed and never woke up.

Seven years later, as my kids began to fall in love with animals….larger than are allowable or practical in our “citified” back yard….we began to discuss the possibilities of the almost-wide-open-space that remained unused, unenjoyed for so long.

And in a ceremony of tears and symbolic letting go of the past, our sister-in-law graciously handed it over to us. It was and continues to be Cox’s Acres.

And as we looked around Cox’s Acre’s, we dreamed of moving in a house so we could live on the almost 9 acres full time.

Then some of my truth-telling made that appear to be an unwise decision, so we shifted the focus a bit towards a reality we could believe.

And a few years later we bought a small two bedroom house near the property and next door to my hubby’s elderly parents….mostly to protect them from what could be.

And we considered the possibility of eventually living on the properties we’d come to see as our refuge…our summer retreat.

Then thought occurred to us that his parents were not likely to be able to stay in the house forever and if we built our own, there would eventually be an extra house on the property that would require upkeep. We began to discuss the possibility of postponing our dream until the inevitable time that no one wants to discuss.

It sucks to think of his parents not being there.

It sucks more to feel like a vulture just waiting for life to take its course.

Then, in the midst of my own personal change (career, income, etc.), it happened. The time came. Quite suddenly, it seemed. Another health setback. Another fall. Another scare of what could have happened. Much discussion of the advantages of living in a space where the beds help lift a person up, the hallways are clear, doorways wide, breakfast, lunch, and dinner served on schedule with someone else doing the cooking and the cleaning 24/7. Where weekly beauty shop time meets wheel chairs and silver streaks of aged wisdom. Where there is more to do than sit in front of a TV 16 hours a day watching the mind-numbing crap on Fox News.

Where there once was fear, there is acceptance, recognition of a safer environment, and possibilities for a few more happy years.

And there’s a house. A part of our dream. A bittersweet moment when the generations pass the torch and there is both sadness for what was before and anticipation of what lies ahead. I’m not sure yet how it will all work out, and yet things are shifting.

It’s definitely been a summer of bittersweet changes. Releasing the security of a long-held job, writing about and releasing my spiritual baggage, sending my oldest across the ocean and soon to another state for school, and now this. All tinged with sadness, yet all pointing toward the next great adventure.

It makes me wonder what lies in store for next week.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2010 2:30 PM


    This is a poignant piece that captures the paradox and ambiguity so well. I don’t think we ever get to live our dreams without letting go of our illusions. With every gain there is also loss. The sadness serves to sweeten the joy I think. Keep going, my friend – I can’t wait to see what the dream realized looks like for you.

    • July 14, 2010 9:18 PM

      Such beautiful words of encouragement. Thank you for sharing this with me.

  2. July 15, 2010 7:11 AM

    I can’t wait to see what NEXT week holds for you. Wow. Isn’t it amazing how life changes so quickly…and not, necessarily, in the way we thought it would?

    • July 15, 2010 9:26 PM

      Mmmm…..I’m hoping next week brings me some income! đŸ™‚

      All I can say is it ought to be interesting.

  3. July 20, 2010 7:15 AM

    Girl – you have a way with words. The line – “A bittersweet moment when the generations pass the torch and there is both sadness for what was before and anticipation of what lies ahead…” – touched something deep in me. It made me want to cry.

    • July 20, 2010 1:56 PM

      I’m not gonna lie, Melinda…I think it’s very cool and the ultimate compliment that I almost made you cry with my writing. Seems like real life makes for the best material. Have a blessed day.

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