Here are some reflections from my trip to see my family.
This trip it was apparent how much my mother’s health has declined. Her walking is very wobbly, along with balance issues and falling lately. It it hard to accept this steady decline in her health, engagement, and aliveness. This makes me ponder my own health, mortality, and life choices, but I’ll save those for another post.
The trip was a mix of visiting, doing projects around the house and yard, and taking mom out. Overall, I had a good time, although I wore myself out and didn’t feel as peppy this year, probably due to summer heat and aging. We both took afternoon rests this year! And we had a few visits and meals with my brother.
The highlight of this trip was a visit to the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna Virginia. We both had heard of this garden but never visited. I was surprised that my mother was willing to go in a wheelchair. Although her health and walking aren’t great, she doesn’t use a wheelchair, only a walker at home, and shopping carts when she’s out for support.
The gardens were nice, but nothing special compared to others that I’ve visited. But my mother loved it and that makes me happy. I’m grateful to have this shared experience, especially since I got my love of gardens from mom.
Here are a few photos from the gardens.
With this lake and two smaller ponds, water is a key focus of the gardens. They had water lilies, turtles, geese, and koi.
I’m grateful to be able to visit and help mom each year. Living 1200 miles away isn’t easy, especially as her health declines. I have a feeling there won’t be many more trips. I know she appreciates the help, and I like being useful. She has expressed a strong desire to stay in her house until the end, and my brother and I do what we can to help toward that goal. I’m also grateful my brother is more involved in our lives lately. He seems to be placing a higher value on family, and living nearby, he is able to check on mom.
With love and gratitude,