Welcome back to SOLO AT SIXTY!
Thank you all for the wonderful comments on last month’s resurrection of the blog! It was great to be back and y’all inspired me to keep writing when something big happens. And something big happened… I have turned into my mom, y’all. And so have my sisters… It was inevitable. And not necessarily a bad thing. Mom is definitely here among us, saying “I told you so!” When Mom was still living independently, she would drive to Charlottesville to visit us, go to the kids’ soccer games, band concerts, and tour Monticello with me. On one of those visits, when she left my house on a Monday morning, she had an accident in the intersection of our neighborhood and Route 29. A very busy intersection. She had detoured to get a cup of coffee at McDonalds (I don’t drink coffee and therefore I make horrible coffee – thank heavens for Keurigs now!), and as she turned onto the road leading out of our neighborhood, she turned in the wrong lane. In all fairness, it is 6 lanes – 3 coming in, 3 going out. Anyway, someone was letting her move into their lane when another car approached and hit Mom, still making it Mom’s fault. No one was injured. Did she call me? Or my older sister who was living up here then? Nope. She did not tell any of us. She did not want to worry us or have us think she might be losing it. Mom knew where we took our “fleet” of cars to be serviced, so she drove there and had them check her car to make sure she could make it home to Winston-Salem. They said yes, that she just needed body work (which my high school boyfriend fixed for her when she got home!). We only found out when she was without her car for a bit!
“In every conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, and the bridge to our future.”
Well… I did the same thing. No, I did NOT have a car accident (thank heavens!), but I stepped off my curb backwards and “broke” my fall with my left wrist. Broke being the operative word here. I am no stranger to a broken wrist, in fact both have been broken before. Fortunately, this was my left wrist (better than the right one!). I finally understood why Mom did not share her accident with us. I did not tell anyone, not even the neighbors who had seen me fall! Didn’t want to worry my kids or my sisters till I knew the outcome… plus I was a bit embarrassed! Didn’t want my kids worrying their mom was losing it either! I was hoping it was just a sprain, but when I realized that was not the case, I had an x-ray taken and reached out to an orthopedist I know, who confirmed the bad news. Yep, it was broken. After he scheduled an appointment with a surgeon, I finally told my kids and my sisters, who read me the riot act! I won’t delay telling them next time. Actually, let’s hope there is not a next time!
Timing worked out well for my surgery. I was able to schedule it after my busy time at work, though I worked with a broken wrist that was useless for a week! And my younger daughter and my granddawg Ruby (her sweet rescue) were already coming up to visit for a week. She and I (and Ruby) were still able to do all the fun things we had planned with the exception of one event the day after my surgery. My caregiver once again! And once I had surgery with plates and screws put in, my wrist was useful again. I could tie my shoes! But I was not allowed to drive just yet. And we had a big event to celebrate…
“Take care of the people you love, but take even better care of the people who love you.”
My sweet son and daughter-in-law share the same birthday. How lucky… they will never forget the other’s birthday! We had planned a family birthday weekend in Charlotte way before my broken wrist, and my original plan was to head to the beach for a week after that, but that plan was derailed since it was only 2 days after surgery and I was not allowed to drive yet. Luckily, it all worked out – I rode with my younger daughter to Charlotte and my older daughter and son-in-law drove me back to Charlottesville Sunday. I got to ride down with my daughter chatting and home beside my sweet grandson. So worth it!
“Nothing in life… even a few broken bones, is without its rewards.” – John le Carre
We had so much fun in Charlotte – ate at great restaurants, visited breweries, and had the biggest pizza I have ever seen in my life for lunch one day! 28 inches in diameter! We couldn’t eat it all. We celebrated birthdays and just being together. Between my adorable grandson smiling at everyone who looked at him, and my cute granddawgs, we were the hit wherever we went! My sweet granddawg Cooper (my son’s black lab) is growing like a weed! He had gotten so much bigger since I kept him Memorial Day weekend while my son and daughter-in-law attended a wedding in Annapolis, Maryland. I felt privileged they let me keep their fur baby! And he was so good. I had to keep reminding myself he really was just a baby – he would tire out easily after walks and playing. He destroyed several toys until I found the perfect one – an empty water bottle. Pulled one out of my recycle bin and tossed it down my entrance hall for Cooper to “fetch”. He LOVED it! Forget expensive toys, just go with a simple water bottle. It was a bit bigger than his mouth, so every time he tried to pick it up, it scooted away. This game really tired him out! (me too!)
“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.” – Robert Wagner
My surgeon took pity on me when I got back from Charlotte and let me transition from my beautiful Carolina Blue “cast” to a brace a week early, just in time to head to the beach for Sisters’ Weekend! We Holcomb sisters share a special weekend at the beach each Father’s Day weekend, since our daddy is no longer with us. He loved the beach as much as we do, so it just seemed the right weekend for us. And this year, we were spreading the remainder of Mom’s ashes at the beach. Said our final goodbye to her on Friday night at dusk when the sky was a beautiful shade of pink that she would have loved. We each took a red solo cup and individually said goodbye and watched the tide take her out. We felt we followed what she would have wanted – to be in God’s Acre at New Philadelphia Moravian Church and also at the beach. It was special. We miss her so much. We knew she was smiling down at us enjoying being together at the beach. We had a wonderful time with great weather. Of course we had dinner at Franks, but we also went to Brookgreen Gardens and enjoyed the Summer Light: Art by Night which was spectacular! Other than that, we ate in, drank wine, stayed on the beach all day long, and read books. Heavenly! Plus, I was allowed to take the brace off while sitting on the beach. Doctor-approved to avoid some awkward tan lines… plus it was so hot he said the brace could melt!
“A sister is God’s way of proving He doesn’t want us to walk alone.”
Goodbye June, Hello July! The first half of this year has flown by y’all! Summer is in full swing. Life as we once knew it has finally opened up again and is slowly returning to normal. My sweet grandson celebrated being 6 months old this past Sunday! He brings such joy to our lives with all the smiles, giggles, and hugs he gives. I can’t remember life without him. And I can’t go long without snuggling him!
“In family relationships, love is really spelled T.I.M.E.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This past year has taught me a lot about myself and life in general and has given me opportunities I would never not have experienced otherwise. I am much more “present” in my life. I am striving to do what makes me happy. Neither life nor our health should be taken for granted. So many people (including me) have lost loved ones. Several of my friends are facing very serious health challenges. One sweet friend is walking as much as possible because she will be wheelchair bound in the near future. Because of this, weather permitting and if I have no plans, I walk 5 miles each evening, no matter what I have done that day. I have learned to appreciate all the little things in life, including keeping in touch with “old” friends. While wishing an “old” friend from high school happy birthday on Facebook recently, I told her to let me know when she was in my area visiting wineries again and well, she happened to be coming that day. I was visiting my sweet grandson, but timed it so I could surprise my friend at Early Mountain Vineyards and surprise her I did! It was wonderful to catch up with someone who shared those special fun high school years. Looking forward to catching up again soon. And… my 45th high school reunion has now been scheduled and it is on my calendar. I cannot wait to see my high school friends again. The older I get, (and with the name of my blog plus my reunion year, my age is no secret!) the more I realize that we all need to make the most of each and every day, and live a life that makes us happy, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
“Life is short, don’t take one day for granted, everything can change in a moment. Be grateful for all you have and all that you are. Remember who is most important to you and always cherish them. Life is a gift and we are Blessed.”
PS – When I walk, I listen to podcasts, especially all of the Carolina podcasts and now I know more about the recruits for football and basketball than most! But I also listen to other podcasts – newest one is Drama Queens, which is all about One Tree Hill, a show that was filmed in Wilmington, NC from 2003-2012. I watched this show with my daughter way back! If you have any recommendations for podcasts, please send them my way!