Friday, August 30, 2013

Suspended Fragments of Summer

Misty fog on the Ottawa River
It’s the last weekend in August and although summer doesn’t officially end for a few more weeks, this weekend always feels like summer is over. Like when you're almost at the end of a great book, you want to know what happens, but still would like the story to linger longer. I can feel the leaves changing, the north wind sneaking up, and fall just waiting to pounce at the first chance the sun is hidden behind the clouds. But I must remain present, in the now, so to speak. 

Over the summer, I managed to learn new things about myself.
 
Dinner night before!
July 1st our 15 year old son embarked on an adventure at Laval University, in Quebec City, for five weeks of French immersion.  I knew that I’d miss him, and worried about how he would cope without us.  Particularly, since he would be immersed in a completely foreign language.  We stayed the night instead of driving back to Ottawa at a the hotel minutes from the university. I could not go to sleep until he sent me a text saying that he was in his dorm. I continued to wait for that last text of the day every night in July. 
 
August 2, in front of his residence
As the weeks went by and he seemed to be enjoying himself, I realized that letting him go this summer was the best thing for him.  I was proud of both of us, him for going without a fuss and me for following through and letting him go. It afforded him the opportunity to experience life separate from his parents.  Learning and meeting new situations directly and coming out at the end of the day surer of himself.
 
Almost immediately I was alone, I had to experience being by myself because hubby was away on business for the first week in July.  Learning to be comfortable being alone was strange.  Learning to accept that I could not control everything in my son’s life was even more difficult. That was biggest learning for me, letting go.  On August 2nd we picked him up. He looked taller, although somewhat thiner, but I could tell straight away  that he had matured. 

In mid July, I received a text from one of my sisters who was experiencing a critical health issue.  I wrote about it here. An unexpected surprise was a brief visit with my lovely island girls, who delivered the wonderful life saving cold-pressed juices from The People's Juicery. 
  
Rose & Mary Tofino, BC
The lesson from this trip was experiencing how very essential being there for someone is to their healing. The saying, laughter heals, is so true. Seeing it transform and brighten my sister's eyes was wonderfully encouraging. I am so grateful to be able to spend that time with two of my sisters.  We took a day trip to Tofino, BC. I had a great time driving the narrow and twisting highway. I mean, I REALLY, enjoyed it, what a thrill. I only wished I had my own car instead of a rental. 

Mama 
Hubby suggested that since I was already out west, I ought to go back to Alberta with my sister Mary to visit with our mom in Fort McMurray.  I did, and I am so glad that I did. My mom is living in an extended care facility. 

The most important thing I learnt about myself was that I have a bottomless cup of compassion where my mom is concerned. What a blessing to be able to visit with her. Living 2500 miles away makes it difficult to see her as often as I'd like. I don’t know what it is about an elderly parent, but they touch your soul with such pureness and wisdom And you feel that when they look at you, they SEE you. When you look into their eyes you can see all that was and all that is yet to be.  I have so much gratitude and love for my beautiful mama. 


The balance of the summer is a beautiful blur, working, reading books, Weeding Playing in the garden, meditation, swimming, and basically enjoying the serenity that comes with feeling totally blessed.   
Ottawa River

4 comments:

turquoisemoon said...

Ooh my...some awesome photos!

Angelina said...

Thank you. Living by the river gives us a new picture everyday. Love it!

kathryn said...

Beautiful photos....lovely sentiment throughout the post.
I love hearing about your son's first foray into the world...you were smart to let him go and he'll be better prepared for his future. It's not easy though, right?
I hope your sister's doing better. Love and laughter are indeed the best medicine!
And it's so much easier to understand the unconditional love of a mother once we've experienced it, right? God bless her!
Rock on, Angelina....rock on.

Angelina said...

Thank you for your comment. It was not easy, but those nightly text really helped me in July. My sister is doing well and on her way to a full recovery. Nice seeing you on facebook, Kathryn. Hope you're settling nicely after your move. :)

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