Over the past year of travel, we have had our share of trials and tribulations – problems if you may. An airport security issue in Delhi, India left us standing at our airport gate for a half hour while we watched everyone else board the plane that it looked like we were going to miss; multi pickpockets in Argentina which left Marty without a drivers license, credit cards, an ATM card and cash; wandering the streets of Dubrovnik, Croatia with our luggage, lost and no one able to direct us to our apartment; traffic in Delhi which almost caused us to miss the train that we had reserved months before and might have to wait days before we could rebook... At the time they all seemed like problems. But having spent the last 12 days in Florida with my Mother, it is now so easy to see that those were not problems, they were merely trivial inconveniences of life .
A problem is a 78 year old woman who at one moment is traveling though Europe on her own and the next moment is blind. A problem is a person who needs a lot of assistance but who is still quite vital so she doesn't really belong in a nursing home or even an assisted living facility. A problem is a loved one who wants to keep her independence which means living more than 1000 miles from any of her family members. These are REAL problems. For almost two weeks now I have been trying to rearrange my Mother's life to try to make it work for her. This is one of the hardest things I have ever done: emotionally, physically, mentally and even spiritually. It has left me feeling sad, angry, frustrated, trapped and hopeless. If I feel all these feelings, I can't imagine what my Mother feels – yet she keeps plugging along, trying endlessly to recapture some of her previous life.
All those day to day encounters we have that seem so troubling, aggravating and impossible, they are simple blips on the radar screen of life. They will pass, often without any significant consequence. Losing one's health, now that's a real problem.