Shifting gears

You may have noticed that my twice-a-week blog posts are down to once a week, more or less.  My plan is to get on a stable schedule that gives me the flexibility of posting to my business site once a week also.  My sabbatical is not over yet, I don’t think… but it’s clear that my world is turning and the shifting gears keep me in motion quite a bit.

Bad news

There has been a little personal drama in the past week that has set me back just a bit.  My stepmother, the last link to a parent in our family, is in declining health. She fell back in early June and fractured her hip.  She had a partial replacement, but within days fell again and had to have it reset. Then she fell again and got a brace as a result. And the next time after that, she broke her nose. It’s not just the physical healing she is dealing with; it’s the after-effects of the anesthesia each time that continues to be problematic for her. She is 86 and she hasn’t been as able to get back on her feet (no pun intended) as if she was 76 or 66.  She has now been showing signs of her body shutting down, and Hospice care has been arranged. It has us all wondering if she is giving up, as we know she has been lonely and unhappy for a while since my dad died a bit over 2 years ago.  So prayers for her to be comfortable and have her pain managed during this last transition phase are asked for.




When I got the message two days ago that she was “not good,” I felt myself start to crumble.  I think I even got a little angry that she may be making a choice to give up, which was an option that Kevin didn’t have -or if he did, I didn’t recognize. That then got me to wondering if we all have this choice and assuming we do, why anyone else thinks they have the right to insist we make the choice to stay here on this earth at this time. How very arrogant of us. So I quickly offered up a prayer for forgiveness for when I have done that.

I also got sad because she is one that keeps me still connected to my dad. When I have to let go of her, things change again even in subtle ways. Then I will be truly orphaned. Even at the age of 58 now, that just seems too much to think about.  And I know I’ve started my grieving already, although she is still here. Why is it so hard to remember that she will still be with me? Grief sure does make you think!!

There’s been a lot of death lately – Mary Jo’s dog, Rosanne’s nephew, Lorie’s dad, that I can’t help but be reminded how temporary life is.  And that thought has me impatient to make up for a lost time – all the things I haven’t done yet, the places I want to go, the books I want to read.  Now I have fleeting thoughts that I should stay on my sabbatical forever (which would now likely be termed retirement).

Good work

But it’s the work I’m now starting to do that has me meeting new people and keeping me stimulated. This week already I have gone for ice cream with a new neighbor and had lunch with a new friend Karen. Sunday I went to a meeting and got to know 6 fellow Toastmasters better as we start a year of being officers for our club together.  I went to lunch in Richmond last week with Karine to the eWomen’s Network gathering, where we both met new people – like us, women engaged in business, who want to make a difference, who are helping each other figure out the things we need to know and do. Next week I’ll be speaking at a luncheon of the Solopreneur Success Circle.  No, I’m not just keeping myself busy so I don’t have to think.  I recognize that this is my time, this is what I do to keep being me.  I’m having a kind of fun.  And yes, I know there are other kinds of fun to be had,  but for me, for now, this is pretty great.

My path

So even though the world keeps turning and I’m shifting gears along with it, I step back now and then to appreciate what I have had, what I do have, the people I’ve known and will know, the path I have been on that has to lead me here and wherever I’m going. I know that Kevin and Delores have done their parts along the way, and I thank them. It’s not always easy stepping back into an active grief when you think you’re moving on, but in the Big Picture of Life, I have been so fortunate.  Even Delores’ failing health now has me exploring my thoughts and beliefs again about the meaning of life and death.  I guess I need to be reminded every now and then.  We all do, so we can make the most of what we have left, whatever that is.   Rest in comfort, Delores, until it is your time to go on to The Next Place.



  1. Debbie Olson

    Very sorry to hear that Dolores’s health is declining. I will let dad know I think sometimes he feels removed because he doesn’t hear about anyone You dad and my dad sort of had a connection… I close my eyes and I see the pictures and I think of them as they used to be it seems like yesterday but it’s not … Pat you write beautifully it’s always good to see what you have in your heart and on your mind

  2. Pat

    Thanks, Deb. Your Kettle blog was the one that inspired me. I appreciate the compliment. And yes, I will be happy for you to let your dad know about Delores. I’m glad we have the pictures.

  3. Such a bittersweet blog entry. But you always do a nice job of trying to find the lesson in it all and ways to keep moving forward. You’re a good example for the rest of us.

  4. Deborah Schaefer

    Thank you for sharing, Pat. I’ll be praying for Delores and you. You continue to have a positive impact on others as you share your very real thoughts and emotions. It makes the rest of us know we’re not alone when we have similar experiences. You are a testament that we can have heartache and joy at the same time. God bless you!

  5. You make me think, Pat…life and death are going on all the time. Being brought closer to one brings us closer to the other. I guess that’s not a bad thing. Thank you for sharing your big heart.

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