Family... wow, the changes and the stuff that is still the same.
Mama. She's an ever constant. At the same time, she's getting older and it shows. I see such changes this visit that tell me those things we don't want to face. Oh her health is still good, surprisingly good for a woman just a few days away from 75. At the same time, visually she looks a lot older this trip. I notice that she has a bit of difficulty walking... the old "hitch in my git-along". Doctor tells her it is probably a pinched nerve and may be there for the rest of her life. She says it just will not be. I notice also that she is a little more forgetful, but that it's not an overly bad amount. She doesn't get confused, her mind is still sharp... thank God.
While I don't like to see her getting older, and when she does go it will rip a portion of my heart out... her aging process is actually normal and I am okay with that.
Big Brother. Wow... now this is the biggest change and the hardest for me to see. He's always been physically the strong one of the family. His body's betrayal in how it has changed makes me fight to hide tears from him. Thank heaven I have some good acting skills here. He has trouble turning his neck, his right arm won't lift past chest height, he walks with some difficulty - especially when tired. And he tires easily, actually taking a nap right now, mid-afternoon on his day off. In spite of it all, he fights hard and last week finally got cleared to go back to work. When he comes home, he is beyond exhausted. We used to have eating contests where we would make ourselves sick... and to see him eat only about 1/4 of what he normally eats (without a contest) is striking. Big brother is only 3 weeks older than my sweet husband... but now looks like he could be my husband's father. It's hard for me to see him this way, but at the same time, I am so very grateful to see him at all.
Brother #2. Haven't seen him yet because he lives in Los Angeles. He will be down tomorrow. Talked to him on the phone... he sounds the same as always and that makes me smile.
Brother #3. Our King of Drama. Yep, some things never change. He is still full of drama and a terrible con man. But his eyes are clear and he is drug free. That's really all I care about.
Little Sister. She turns 45 today. Her body has changed so much since her gastric bypass surgery. Of course the loss of 160 pounds will show dramatic changes on anyone, eh? The changes that concern me for her are the ones of the heart and spirit. Her last husband (divorce was final on 11/5) managed to kill any confidence she had. She gives the public appearance of confidence, but I see where it's an act. growing up in the same bedroom and having all those connections of being sisters will let me see what many will not. But... she is overwhelmed and thrilled with the quilt that I made for her. And we are talking much more than we have in the last 2 years since her now ex-husband is out of the picture.
Those are the difficult changes I see in my family. At the same time, we have been having a blast laughing and talking every moment I have been here. So much is good about this trip. But that is for another post. Mama is waking up from her nap and I am going to go soak up more of her.
...may there be mercy in the soaking up.