being a mom of young adults: having/finding good hope

hansard video good hope Who says it gets easier? While it can’t be good to mull over the struggles of others to fortify yourself, I often pull myself away from thinking too long about older parents who have disabled adult children at home. One Christmas eve, about 10 years ago, I was at a party and a woman about 60 had her daughter about 40 with her. The mom’s evening was mostly about watching her daughter. When we were chatting her comment about life was that she cherished the present, because the future could only hold uncertainty for her daughter. “When I die, no one will care like I do. I worry about who might take advantage of her, no matter what supports I try to put in place.”

This is raw. Yet, to some smaller extent we all haunted by  this worry and burden. When I am gone who will care?  Maybe it deflects us from worrying about the more personal stone fact of “being gone.” –so we substitute panicking about others for ruminating about loosing our own place in life.

My husband does not buy in to any of these worries about the children carrying on, and it can put us at odds. He says eventually, in some ways they may feel relieved to lose us. We have both lost our own parents, so have archived the ambivalence of terrible sadness, accompanied by moments of recognizing burdens lifted: “If it must come, let it come . . .”

This day, Monday the 3rd in January, is reputed to be the hardest and darkest day of the year. That means the wheel should begin turning to the light. And then in place of worries we get hope, which has become in the last few months like a magic word for me for summoning health. Do you know the Irish heartbreak singer, Glen Hansard (with a voice to move and break ice)? He ended his last CD with a Yeatsian prayer-song wish that we walk through the terror and beauty with “good hope.”

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