Not only am I not the person I was 90 days ago, there have been countless iterations within that span. It's happened to of all of us in some way at some time, hasn't it? You go to bed not even knowing what your lacking and wake in its fullness. An epiphany. A humbling death met with a swift resuscitation where the air itself feels different, tastes different. Sure we can revert and go back to our old way of looking at life, but we're not really returning. We're bringing something entirely new with us, regret. Regret is a fertile creature too: Depression, Shame, Contempt, Self-Deprecation, Doubt, Cowardice. Though growing pains can be unbearably severe, the slow creep of death has a far greater sting.
We all change and in many ways. But, it seems the time-bending changes happen more often when change is thrust upon us by some unforeseen event. So, I am new today. Today I am not reading the story of my life, it is being written as we speak. Each new loved one who asks, how are you doing, summons me to search this new person for an answer. It's good that they ask, because I'm neglecting that interview with myself all too often these days. My answers are different every time.
Sometimes I even find myself answering with how Mom is doing, which seems inextricable from my own feelings. Yesterday Mom explained quite lucidly and with great fervor that she wants to be more a part of her own house: daily tasks, menu planning, various projects, etc. Things with which we did not want to burden her. But, as it is my mother, it is more a burden for her to be on the outside and feeling useless. She still has something to give in the midst of all this and she won't be robbed of that opportunity - not even by me.
Today change comes to me more as a challenge than a violent force. Do I have the courage to watch Mom use what little life she has left taking care of all of us? Do I have a choice? Not really (she's a Seufert woman), but I can choose how I respond, how I listen and whether I learn.