For some people it’s a new job. For others its a major lifestyle change like swapping out alcohol or cigarettes for exercise. Or maybe it’s the end of a bad relationship or the start of a good one. Crossroads. From the ground up, we all come across them at different times and in different circumstances. Sometimes it’s expected. Sometimes not.
For my mom and most of her family, it happened five years ago when her father died suddenly. Everyone in the family dealt with the loss differently, in good and bad ways. If the aftermath of the experience has taught me anything, its that there is no timeline on grief. Whether you lose someone suddenly or have enough warning to say goodbye properly, it doesn’t matter. It’s hard. And everyone copes differently.
I was reminded of this today when I overheard mom on the phone telling dad about her time at this place called the spa. It’s something her and her mom and sister do every year, and this year was not an exception. While the trip was abbreviated slightly this time around (due mostly to mom not wanting to be away from dear baby Carter for long), I could hear the rested enthusiasm in mom’s voice as she recalled the events of the day to my forever dad. (Meanwhile, it should be noted I am helping him care for Carter while mom is away).
I couldn’t hear the whole story, but I gathered the point of it from dad’s reaction. Someone (or possibly all of them) had some sort of revelation today at the spa. There they were, at the place they sought emotional refuge just days after the loss of 2009, and something happened. A weight was lifted off shoulders. A deep breath was taken. And a decision was made. It’s time to turn the page.
An original thought it certainly is not, as it pays homage to Bob Segar’s ballad (which I understand was a favorite of the man who would have been my grand forever father). But it was as if he were somehow there with them today, prompting them to turn the page, which itself looks different to each of these very important ladies in my life.
As I suppose it does to everyone, but ultimately the root of things is the same. Crossroads. From the ground up, we come to them from time to time for reasons good and bad. Like anything, it’s what we do next that matters. And I say we turn the page.