Transitions

Last weekend Terry and I made a road trip to Lubbock, Texas. About 1,000 miles round trip. 9 hours down on Friday, 9 hours back on Monday. We had a great time. No cells phones, no computer, no Facebook, no distractions.

We went to Lubbock to hear my cousin Ed’s last sermon. He is an Episcopal priest and he has retired. He preached on transitions. He is moving on to the next stage of his life.

Ed’s dad, is my uncle Jake. Uncle Jake has had two strokes and brain bleed in the past month. He is a WWII veteran, he is mouthy, commanding of a room, of your attention, a larger than life character. Uncle Jake served the role of my grandfather in my life. Both of my grandfathers died in their forties, I never knew them. At times Jake played the role of my dad. My dad died when I was 11. You can see he was a presence in my life. As a result of the strokes, Jake is paralyzed on his right side, his speech is garbled and his prognosis is not good. He is in transition.

Over the course of the weekend, Jake went from sitting up in bed and commanding the room, to being in hospice. Ed said last rites, Terry and I were able to participate in the ritual. It was lovely. It was sad and it was time. So Saturday night we went back to Ed’s house expecting a call anytime to say Jake had passed. Here it is Thursday, almost a week later and Jake is once again holding court, he is eating, sitting up and watching TV. Though he can’t speak, he still commands the room. He is not ready to transition, yet, I guess.

When I think of transitions I think of little things and big things. A transition can be as simple as a change of season, or it can be as permanent as crossing from life to death.

It was wonderful to be with Terry, it was great to see my cousin and my uncle.

It was wonderful to be part of the transition that they are going through.

Heavenly Father, help us to embrace our transitions, we know that YOU are in them. We may not like them, but you will lead us through them. AMEN

Maureen Herzog

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