I Will Be Stout

I stared at a line.

A simple black slash on a crisp piece of white paper.

I looked at my husband’s signature scrawled confidently on the line next to mine. He hadn’t paused. No reservations. Confident as always.

My line was empty. I needed a moment.

I would sign my name. I would be stout. I needed a moment though.

A moment to grieve.

A moment to hope.

I didn’t have to look up to notice the pause. Even though I was not stout, I signed.

The contractor whisked the paperwork out from under my hovered pen and shuffled it in the rest. I would take my moment later. I always take my moments later. Chatter began about getting permits and when we could expect the first drop of concrete to be poured. The wheels were finally in motion to build the in-law suite. From now on there will always need to be seven plates prepared for dinner. Doctor appointments will reside on the calendar next to play dates. The whirr of a oxygen machine will keep time with sounds of a cartoon. I will hold my daughter’s hand as she walks into her first day of Kindergarten just as I will hold my in-laws hands as they face surgery or a confused moment.

This is a journey in life.

We are always on a path towards the end. This is where two separate paths will converge. We will be on this path together now.

Those lines on that piece of paper are weighted down by our signatures now. The responsibility is now on us.

I will be stout.

I will still need a moment.

*I also wrote here about this for Studio 30 Plus Magazine

Categories: Caregiving, elderly parents, living with elderly

22 replies

  1. Take your moment, prepare-change. One day at a time, one moment at a time you were and are called to this. Your life will be richer for it.Cha Cha

  2. these moments – the ones we are forced to take – are the ones that lift us up into our better selves. good luck with the changes. it won't be easy. nothing saintly ever is.

  3. Oh this is so beautiful, I have goosebumps. Amazing and selfless for you and your family to do this. You are one great lady and I am lucky to know you.

  4. Besides you being funny, witty and willing to joke and play jokes, you are one tough woman. Women are always stronger than us men and you prove it once again. So giving or your time and heart. Have a drink and toast yourself

  5. This is the first time I've managed to make it over to your house…And now?I'm sad.That I didn't come over a whole lot sooner.So much depth and strength.

  6. You wrote that so beautifully! 🙂 Praying for you as you face this new part of your life's journey!

  7. I love the honesty with which you're writing about a difficult situation. i read the Studio 30 post too.I think this is a life event all of us with older parents start to have loom over us…what will happen when the tables are turned and the paretns need care.Many hugs to you.

  8. Wow.. You wrote this so beautifully (on both sites!).I would feel the same way as you do. It's an incredibly tough situation to be in – and so life altering. I have no spectacular words of wisdom – so I'll leeave it at that.xxx

  9. Oh this was so sad and true and such a portrait of a family ..one of them that is so real for our generation that my eyes filled tears. Thank u for sharing this for being who you are.

  10. You speak of a future that I know is coming all-too soon. You are a good soul, a good daughter in-law. Just think of the incredible example you are showing your own children. Respect and love.

  11. What a poignant post! You are definitely on a new journey but an honorable one. I have so much respect for you as you embark on this selfless path of helping your elderly family members maintain health, dignity and comfort while aging. You are awesome!

  12. You take all the moments you need, honey. This is a BIG–wait, no—HUGE undertaking. But if there's anyone who can handle it with grace, it's you. No, it won't always be easy. Far from it, especially with kids around…but I am here when you need me.

  13. Continue to remember that on this journey you might need to continually pause and take a moment. In that moment you will find the strength you need.I know you will.

  14. I read this one and the other one. I loved how you said this date, “a part of me has died and yet learned to live in another manner.” That is such a strong picture of what it means to undertake a change like this…one that will change everything.It is okay to take that moment. You need it. But you will be strong and stout and rock this new phase in life.

  15. This is a wonderful post. So well stated. It's a huge change, and a huge commitment. It's not the most convenient thing, but it's what we do, and who we choose to be. I face a possible similar situation w/my father in law, so I feel you on this one.

  16. so incredibly written! I can relate…bless you and your family!I went through something similar ~ in the end I look back and think “that sucked” but grateful that I was at a place in my life that I could acknowledge my own feelings about the situation and still do what needed to be done…because LOVE really is what its all about! Mostly now I just think about the final act of love!!! Remember its okay to have feelings & its even more okay to take your moments! Best wishes to you and your family! I just love your writing style.

  17. Make sure you take your moments as often as you need them. Life definitely throws curves when you least expect them.

  18. Bless you, friend. I once could only imagine how you do this…now, as we are trying to recovery from tragedy, I would take my in-laws in in a heartbeat.They are worth it. And YOU are wonderful!

  19. As I read through the comments I notice that most of what I wanted to say has been said. I'm going to say it again though. What a beautiful piece. It is such a difficult time in a families life. How brave of you to share and I wish you tremendous strength while you travel through this journey. I also wish you all the help and support you need to help you manage the roller coaster that it can be. -Laverne

  20. (I've had this sitting in the dock for ??? days! Sheesh.)You are about to embark on a journey that will impact your lives forever. It won't be easy, as you know, but it will be an incredible experience for all – in all ways. And you will be be thankful for the blessings that come with it.Of course, you'll likely have to remind yourself of those blessings on more than on occasion :)Hope you can feel the support and awe from many others!'Lucy'

  21. Ok, so I couldn't stop at just one. This was AMAZING!!!! Wow.

Most importantly...what did you think? Do you have questions and concerns or request for a certain post?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: