Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
1992…my son was a year old, my oldest was 7, and my middle child was 4 years old. Aladdin was their favorite movie and my younger daughter knew every word to every song, sung by every character. She still does. Last Friday she and I went to a 5th and 6th grade production of Aladdin Jr. We were there with a family we feel like we’re part of to watch and support the star – Aladdin! And he did not disappoint. Singing his solos, reciting his lines, hamming it up – he was GREAT! All of these kids far surpassed any expectation we had going in. And my younger daughter sang along under her breath the whole time! “A whole new world…a dazzling place I never knew…”
“Our” Aladdin and his special family were forced into “a whole new world” 2 years ago when they lost a beloved member. Life can be so unfair, but it does go on. We may struggle, but are filled with a faith that propels us forward, one step at a time. And this family has proven this with much love and support. So much so that we took up about 4 rows of seats at the production starring this special 5th grade soccer player and now actor. A STAR is born!
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Three years ago next week marks my own entry into “a whole new world.” After facing the reality of what my future would be, I forged ahead, concentrating on my children and myself. After all, divorce affects every member of the family. Along the way, I discovered many things, the first being that no one can make you happy but yourself. Realized that I alone would determine what my future would hold and decided that it would be fun and full (and full of fun!). That was my goal – not to waste my days crying over what might have been or what should have been, but looking forward to what might be. And I think I have succeeded pretty well.
This is my 105th blog which means we are celebrating 2 years of SOLO at SIXTY today. WOOHOO! Talk about “a whole new world”! I started this blog a year after finding myself SOLO, as an avenue of moving forward in my new world, putting my thoughts and feelings together, in hopes that others who experience a loss might feel as if they are not alone in this journey. And to share the quotes that I have collected over the years (and continue to collect). Plus it gave me a reason to write, which I have always wanted to do. And thanks to all y’all (Southern for more than just y’all), SOLO at SIXTY still appears every Wednesday afternoon.
“The hardest walk is walking alone, but it’s also the walk that makes you the strongest.”
We all have to overcome hardships in our lives. It is inevitable. No one, not a single person, will go through life without facing challenges. Part of life. Helps us grow, build character, and appreciate our lives. I feel as if I have built A LOT of character with my knee surgery. Two weeks down, 4 to go on crutches! Had my follow-up appointment this week and the doctor was very pleased with the results – meniscus reattached and “bone filler” stabilized the knee. Disappointed to learn that I will NOT be running the Women’s 4-miler as part of our Mother/Daughter team this year… first year I have missed in over 10 years! For the past 8 years, my younger daughter and I have run this in memory of my sweet childhood friend who lost her battle with cancer. But I WILL be back next year.
“You can’t make a cloudy day a sunny day, but you can embrace it and decide it’s going to be a good day after all.” Jane Lynch
A whole new world… finally, I was able to sleep in my bed instead of the recliner (which is very comfortable)! Sunday night, after struggling to fall asleep, I decided I needed a change of scenery. Luckily, I conquered the stairs in physical therapy last week, so I discovered a way to use a step while on crutches to get up in my bed. However, the real reason I could not fall asleep was because I had slept so much Saturday night… like, passed out from 5:30 pm until Sunday morning! My younger daughter and I went to the Taste of Monticello Wine Festival downtown Saturday afternoon. There were 20 wineries offering tastings, 2-3 wines per table. Yep, I was on crutches tasting wines. Asked my daughter if she thought we should get a wheelchair for me and she said, no way, you are more stable than anyone here with “4 legs” on crutches. And I was. But I hit my limit and said I could not taste one more wine (and remain upright)! My daughter put me in an Uber and I headed for home where I got in my recliner to rest my eyes before the Kentucky Derby. Slept through it. Slept through the Hallmark Movie. Slept through Adam Sandler on SNL. Slept through until 8:30 am Sunday morning. But I had a blast at the wine festival!
“Life is full of give and take, give thanks and take nothing for granted.”
I’ve made some discoveries in my new “limited-mobility” world. I took a lot for granted, especially just getting around. I mean, I can’t even buy my own groceries. My younger daughter took me to the grocery store Sunday afternoon, came home and unloaded them (not too many), unloaded my dishwasher (can’t do that either), and took my trash can to the curb (impossible task on crutches). Then she came back Monday night to bring my trash can back in, water my plants, and set my table for a dear friend bringing dinner the following night. I have figured out how to do a lot of things by myself (showering, driving, laundry) but some things are truly not safe. Patience is required. And I have a new appreciation for the little things, like conquering stairs. And accepting kindness offered not only by those close to you, but by perfect strangers. So many people have held a door for me, offered to carry something, offered to hold an umbrella over me, told me about their surgeries and how they are now better than before. Little things add up. I move slower and notice more. I appreciate it when I am able to move to the next step. Last week I rocked the Nustep – the equipment used by many of our “elder” members in the club, and this week I was able to move up to the recumbent bike, though at a low level. I’ll take it. I have to admit, I am jealous of those members coming out of cycle class sweaty, exhausted, having had a fun, hard and challenging class. I crave being sweaty! I keep telling myself… it will come… 4 more weeks.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou
Think about the hardships you have faced and conquered. What did you discover in your “whole new world”? I truly believe there is something good in the hardships we face – just have to be patient at times to discover what it is. I survived something I thought might totally defeat me, and continue to thrive. My plan is to face my whole new world with all the grace and gusto I can muster. And treasure each day I wake up, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
PS Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas and substitute mommas out there. Nobody loves you like your momma!