Change is in the air

The winds of change swirl around me as I enter the fall season of my life pushing me towards something new and different.

Over the last few days I’ve had to prepare myself for a lot of change.

I am preparing for my son to graduate from high school and leave home within the next year.

Yesterday Angel told me that she is not planning on coming home from college next summer. Then when she graduates, she wants to go to graduate school in Boston. Her time at home has come to an end. I am happy that she knows what she wants to do with her life, but I am sad that she is leaving.

Then a couple of days ago, our youngest daughter Arabella told us that she wants to be a foreign exchange student. She wants to spend her whole junior year of high school in a foreign country.

By next year at this time, we might have an empty nest. I am excited, yet nervous of the change.

Something else changed too. My mom is starting to have health issues. She has to go to the hospital this week for tests. It is very likely that she is going to need surgery. She might need to move in with us for awhile if she has surgery. My dad is not in the greatest health, so he wouldn’t be able to take care of her since she takes care of him.

Everything and everyone is changing all around me. Yet here I am taking it all in. Letting go of summer and preparing for the winter. My house full of teenagers might soon be a geriatric ward.

I don’t like change very much, but I don’t have much control over the seasons.

I always thought that autumn is beautiful though. Its crisp cool air hits me like the truth. A warm blanket, a hot flash of flame, a crackling fire takes away the chill. The trees shine in brilliant color the beginning of fall, full of experience and nutrients. It is a time to sort and prepare. The end of the beginning, the beginning of the end. No longer volatile and stormy. No longer sunny and bright. But comfortable.

A noticeable change of seasons is in the air. The leaves are starting to change color. But as of right now, none of the leaves have fallen totally from the branches of my tree.


Winds of change..

IMG_1988It has been very windy around here the past couple of days. It hasn’t been the kind and gentle whistling wind that reminds me of my grandparents…the wind that whistled through the back window of my grandpa’s pick up truck.

No, it has been the harsh destructive kind of wind. It’s the kind that bends us without breaking us.

As many of you know, this past month hasn’t been the easiest one for us. A month has come and gone since the passing of my MIL from cancer. Over this month, several others have gently slipped away…parents of acquaintances…someone I knew my whole life but wasn’t close to…gone….swept away by the winds of time…loved ones mourned..

The wind blew away the dead leaves..yet left behind the empty nests..

Sickness swept through the house…even the pets had fleas…sometimes I want to burn the house down and start over…cleansing fires…(If the dryer starts my house on fire, I never mentioned this)…

Junk, plastic bags, dirt covered receipts, a mysterious sock, and things unwanted blew away when the whirls of wind billowed by.

My mom called a few days ago. My dad has gout (probably from his birthday dinner) and can’t get around. He missed a doctor’s appointment..

Bows and party streamers wrap around the empty branches. When did we have fun last?

My autistic brother Matt has been removed from all of his medications..after long term use, his liver is showing signs of strain…his numbers are reaching toxic levels…The first few days were rough. He slept only 4 hours the first three days…All of the symptoms the medications were controlling came back…his anxiety…his insomnia…his Tourette’s…the tics….the gagging…throwing up..

Sometimes the wind is so cold that it seems to blow right into my very soul. I have to bundle up to stay warm. I don’t let people see the layers beneath..

All of his symptoms are taking me back to the late 90’s…he was very ill then…he also has GERD, like me…Tourette’s caused gagging…extreme weight loss…vomiting meals, at the table or all over the bathroom floor…or somewhere on the way…usually only in the morning…until his valve closed between his stomach and intestines…then he kept no food down…plus having Celiac…not absorbing nutrients…his body starving…emaciated…yet he had no understanding of what was happening to him..but we did..

Sometimes the winters can be so lonely, dark, and cold. Why can’t it be a breeze? How did we ever make it through?

Yet, while this was happening to his body physically, his mind was attacking his body as well….he heard voices…he became agitated and randomly attacked people…he was violently autistic…the main people he attacked were family members….my mom…myself…as he was kept out of public as much as possible…for awhile, he wasn’t allowed in the public school because of his violence..

Why is it that the season before spring is so desolate and devoid of the hope of the warmth to come??

My wedding day in 1997…I told my mother I didn’t want my brother there…It was hard…Mother, I would be crushed if Matt attacked a wedding guest…It would ruin MY special day…I felt horrible about it…We took time away on our wedding day to have photos taken with Matt in a hotel room…Matt was so sick, my mom thought he would die…I said he couldn’t go to my wedding…Matt didn’t go to my brother Luke’s wedding either in 2002…he stayed in a hotel room…I asked a friend to be his caregiver so my parents could attend the wedding…when my brother Mark got married a little over a year ago, Matt attended and was fine…Now will this medicated stability go away??

I saw a decaying leaf fly away in the wind. Are all leaves different like snowflakes, I wonder…

Last weekend my mom told me that I need to write the story of Matt. I almost told her about this and all of the kind folks here, but didn’t. I couldn’t be honest anymore. I would have to protect her. Maybe I will drag out another diary soon…It’s been awhile..

Sometimes the wind is cleansing. It dries up our collective tears that puddle on the ground from the winter thaw. It removes the death and decay from the cold barren soil preparing it for new life.

Even though I can’t see it right now, I have hope that life will be better for us.

The winds are blowing the last few harsh remnants of winter away. Soon it will be spring..



My brother’s wedding

I feel like I travelled around the whole world in one week. Technically, I could say that I went from the southern end of our country to the far northern end this week. I am exhausted and feel a cold coming on. 

When I said that I live in rural WI, my brother Mark lives in extreme remote rural WI. An area so remote that sometimes no service appeared on our cell phones, gas stations were at times hard to come by, and the largest of towns consisted of a bar, a church, and 2 houses. A majority of people at the wedding never thought that Mark would marry. He lived as a hermit in this remote area for a long time. But just like the seasons change, sometimes our lives takes us on unexpected paths. 

Yesterday was a perfect day for a wedding. It went without a hitch, figuratively anyway. It was an unseasonably warm day. The leaves were starting to change color. My daughter sang a solo for the wedding. My son was an usher. Mark and Carla did not have any attendants. They just got engaged 4 months ago. Mark took Carla out on the lake, pulled out a ring, and dropped it in the water seemingly accidental. He made it seem like the plan was foiled, then pulled out the real ring. They had a small wedding. Carla bought her wedding dress from Goodwill for $25. It was beautiful. I am glad she is tight with money because Mark sure is. 

The reception was at a saloon. They had a bonfire and their DJ also served as their photographer. I have never seen my brother so happy, or dressed up for that matter. We had a great time and are very happy for them. This morning they drove off in their Jaguar for their honeymoon. I am excited to see what the future holds for them.