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2011 – Expecting the Unexpected

06 Jan Posted by in • Robin Lowey | Comments Off on 2011 – Expecting the Unexpected
2011 – Expecting the Unexpected

I don’t know about you, but I am a member of the ‘Sandwich Generation’. I have a kid in puberty and octogenarian, depression-era parents. I’ve learned to roll with the punches—and this past year was no exception. The good news is I’m past menopause and no longer living in the “House of Hormones”.

2011 was a year I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams. On my 53rd birthday, my son and I headed to the mountains praying for snow—lots of snow. We survived the terrifying drive through a whiteout while slipping and sliding over the summit. That night we dreamt of freshies, but awoke to find our car buried to the roof in snow. The next morning we hurried to dig the truck out only to find that all the resorts had closed—TOO MUCH SNOW! Be careful what you wish for…

Then came travel, lots of travel, to Palm Springs, San Diego, Providence, Boston, Ipswich, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Portofino, Monte Carlo, and St. Tropez—It was all about meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones.

Inexplicably, I decided that dating for the first time in 30 years might be worth a try.  A weird and interesting experience — far beyond my comfort zone. It turns out that dating is one of the top reasons people stay in relationships…

In a moment of weakness I allowed a tri-tabby kitten to adopt me. I’d been holding out after my Ex got custody of our cat a few years ago. He’s a lover and even though he does his best to tear apart my house, I’m hoping he’ll keep me out of trouble with bad dating choices

I’ve also been making lunch almost every Thursday for a group of amazing high school girls and boys including my son. And even though they eat everything in their path like locusts, they are always gracious, clear the table and thank me with sincerity. I love those damn kids, having coached several of them in soccer and baseball since kindergarten.

Taking a group of teenage boys on road trips to surf up and down the California coast this year has been an adventure. I have to suppress a giggle, listening to them sing—trying to harmonize with their newly changed voices—and deciphering their ridiculous conversations. I was moved to tears when I urged my son into his first real shoulder-high open-face wave this fall. He was stoked! After trying to get him out there for years, it was peer pressure that finally got to him. This year I also had the pleasure of teaching him to drive my car—a harrowing experience that no one should have to endure.

Everything was going well and I felt like my life was coming together at last.

Then came the grim reaper. First an old friend my age died unexpectedly. And after being diagnosed with lung Cancer, my Dad passed away on Dec 11th.

The worst part about losing my Dad was—well—losing my Dad. But the best part was that I got to be there and help him through his dying process. I spent as much time as I could with my Mom and Dad and helped them negotiate the home hospice system. I got to tell him I loved him, and thank him for the gifts he gave me—his creativity and blue eyes, among others. I assured him it was OK to let go and that he would always be with me, in my heart. I feel blessed and honored to have been there with him, by his bedside—with no regrets about things I wished I’d said or done.

It all came together for me on New Years Eve, surfing at sunset with my boys. I had been in a deep funk, feeling sad and missing my Dad when my son said “C’mon Mommy, lets go surfing.” As usual, the kids made me laugh in the car with their silliness. I forgot about my funk. I remembered all the exciting, wonderful adventures I’d had in 2011. I remembered that the pain of my loss is equal in measure to how much I have the capacity to love. I felt immense gratitude looking up into that pink and yellow sky, with the iridescent water opening up a perfect drop down a steep, glassy wall providing me with a long, smooth ride to the beach.

 

 

 

 

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