or Encountering another major change along life’s path.
There is a phrase commonly used today that starts, “We enter life kicking and screaming…”. To my surprise I found that this phrase has many different prefaces and closures. My minor research effort revealed that it is a very old saying that has been used for centuries. For example, Shakespeare quoted it in his Richard I play, linking it to mankind’s unfortunate tendency towards conflict and violence.
Be that as it may, the form I learned bears a different life lesson or truism. To quote: “We enter this world kicking and screaming, and tend to react to any subsequent major changes in the same way!” As with most such sayings or proverbs, there is a modicum of truth that rings true and catches our attention. So it was that this saying kept returning to my consciousness as I worked my way through my personal life-changing events of January 2012.
Born and bred and a life-long resident of the prairies, at the age of 90 these familiar surroundings are to be replaced. They will be exchanged for the sea coast climate, the lush flora and fauna not known inland, and the fascinating characteristics of urban Vancouver. The question of course is, “Why the move?”. The answer is simple. The years march on and take their toll, and despite a familiar, comfortable and satisfactory life in Calgary, one vital part was missing – family! The welcome flag was waved and with gratitude I accepted – and here I am – embarked on yet another new segment of life’s path. With loving and dedicated help from all four of my offspring, the move was accomplished.
Returning to the business of “Kicking and screaming”, I find this has not been part of my reaction. No real trauma has accompanied my decision – but to say the move was easy would be untrue. There is no avoiding the sorrow of parting with loved friends, dearly familiar places, and meaningful activities. Of course there were times when part of me wanted to kick and scream, but never to change my decision. There was only one good option. With all the family support, how can it be anything but good?
So how does one acknowledge the sorrow, but not let it take over? I fall back on an insight which came to my attention in this past year as I slowly learned to live without Sheldon: “Someone or something that has been truly loved can never be lost”. When spring comes again I will remember with love the blue Alberta skies with white puffy clouds, the song of the meadow lark as he announces his return, and the chirping of the crickets as they noisily crawl out of their winter refuge. The crocuses will be poking up through brown grass, and the breezes blowing warm. My beloved prairie will be welcoming the return of spring.
Meanwhile – everything around me will be new! The air smells differently. I am searching for a new bird book to help me identify all those little winged strangers. The grass is so green, and so many flowers blooming everywhere – and the cherry blossoms are still to come! Even the ocean looks warmer (perhaps an illusion), but the walks along the shore are inviting. This spring will be very busy with so much to see and learn – and with family to guide me!
I must be careful to save time to return to my usual blog topics. The path marches on and there is much to remember and recount. I wish the very best for my readers as we plunge into the New Year – 2012. Perhaps our world will find more peace this time around. May it be so.
16 Responses to We Enter Life Kicking and Screaming
All the best in your new home surrounded by family love. Love is also with you from afar. Isabel is so lucky to have you as her mum and tells me she knows it! Good luck finding your way in a new, sea-bordered, land. And get out your umbrella…:)
I have thought of you often and will continue to do so, remembering your kindness and sensible sensibilities. Onward and westward-ho!
Barbara – I was out of touch for a bit until they got my computer hooked up, but glad you are still aboard! My kids have been essential in this move, and I am off (not quite running) but confident that the decision was correct!
Congratulations, Marjorie! Perhaps you don’t have much kicking and screaming left, after the trauma of Sheldon’s death. I keep reminding myself that one day I will have to move too, and I hope I have the wisdom and sensibility to do it voluntarily, before the kicking/screaming phase kicks in (oops, unintended word play, sorry).
Jim – For some things there are no options – and growing old is one! I am sure you will decide when you are down to one!!
Marjorie, I just wanted to say “Happy New Home”. I hope the coast is treating you well and you are enjoying all the moisture! I feel a deep love for the prairies although I know it does not compare to the connection people who are born here, like you and Leigh, feel for this land with beautiful wide open skies and lots of room to breathe. It must be noted that the very day I drove out here to go to college the prairies had me. I always tell people I loved the prairies before I knew I had to, before I knew I would be staying! I often wonder if my retirement years will find me back on the west coast. Will I return to my roots after having the privilege of raising our family surrounded by the family history, restoring an old farm house and working the land beside my husband? I love the coast, I love the flora and fauna and the moisture, but if I do return to B.C. a large part of me will be left behind in this land that has treated me so well and taught me so much. Thank you for your sharing and your wisdom. Yvonne
Yvonne – Thank you for a response which I can understand very well. My love of my roots I will never lose – but I already know that I will also love the coast. My age, needs, and presence of loving family members all make the transition possible. Take care of the prairies for me until I get out for a visit!
Yvonne: I know something of what you write about: losing a singular sense of home is both a blessing and a curse, I feel. I grew up in Alberta and it is home to me in a way no other place can be. Yet I raised my children in Saskatoon and it pulls at me. And after 10 years in Ottawa, it too has become home. Now, no matter which of these places I choose to live in, I would be both ‘at home’ and bereft at the same time. I guess we ‘expatriates’ carry our various homes in our hearts. I wonder what it is like for those who live where they have always lived. Do they even think about home in the same way, or do they take it for granted?
Isabel – Another interesting comment! Perhaps it is similar to many things in life – we often seem not to think about our “usual or common” life routine or experiences, until circumstances force us to. What both you and Yvonne say resonates with me strongly. Oddly enough, I am now living in a residence where the majority here have lived in Vancouver all their lives, and many in the immediate area around the lodge. Their outlooks are different, and reflect what their lives has taught them to expect. I am surprised, and then wonder why I am!!
I see the move has been accomplished, I do wish we had had the chance to meet before you left! Oh, well, I will continue to get to know you by reading your blog! I wish you all the best in your new surroundings!
Traci – Glad you caught up with me! Move to be near some family became a priority, and things are good. Keep in touch
Today Mary sent me pictures of your new place. I am very impressed. I think you have adjusted remarkably. You are truly missed by the residents at the Lodge at Valley Ridge but more by me. I came to see you as a very dear friend, one who sure knows how to write in her blogs…
Keep writing and let us all know what is going on.
Love Doreen Tischer
Thanks Doreen. I guess it is nice to be missed, but from my point of view it is nice (if hard) to have had good friends that I have to leave behind.
I write from the island of Kauai where Bruce and I arrived yesterday for two weeks. And at this very moment we are enjoying a deusie of a rainstorm and it is WARM rain!! We are here for a dose of Vitamin D and other good things. It was lovely to see Marjorie Remembers pop up on my email and know that you were already online. Good luck with the Vancouver adjustment and the making of new friends. “the sooner you have new friends, the sooner you will have old friends.” I miss you.
Yes, my adjustment will not be too hard! Miss the old, but am enjoying the new.
Just wanted to say how happy Wayne and I were to hear your voice on the phone tonight! Thanks so much for letting us know that you are settling in and adjusting so well. We are very happy that you are close to family who love you so much. Know that Monday nights are just not the same …we miss you very much. We will say hello to the group for you….they have all been asking about you. Thanks for your wonderful blog and for staying in touch!
Marlene and Wayne – Glad to be in touch! I would be pleased to have you greet the study group for me, and you might tell them that Monday nights are not the same for me either. I have contacted a church here, the Canadian Memorial United Church and will duly report on my experiences there. Take care.