April 5, 2010 |  Category:   family growing up half holidays life



It was nice to spend Easter with family members we don’t see often, this being Mark’s Russian side of the family.

The girls were into the Easter egg hunt. So much so that they decided to hide the goodies themselves and look for them again.

I’ve never had peeps before until today. Meh.

While being dropped off again at the park while Mark and his sister visited their dad at the hospital, I met another woman who was in town for the same reason as we were. She came up to me to comment how cute the girls were. We watched Claudine and Mia as they skipped, twirled and played house between a gazebo and a couple of huge trees. About 30 feet away, I saw an elderly man in a wheelchair covered under a blanket. That was her father in law. He was 97. He miraculously pulled through an illness while in hospice and is still hanging on. Similar stories, except Mark’s dad is 30 years younger. This woman was at the end of this particular chapter as her father in law is the last remaining parent. We’re just at the beginning.

I kept thinking about that this weekend and my head can’t quite grasp this, especially since our other 3 parents are active and healthy, but it’s overwhelming to think that we might be dealing with this 3 more times. It’s also made me think about what we need to do to prepare for the future 30, 40 years down the line.

I know that this is so obvious, but it’s poignant how we revert back to the needs of a child when we grow older and are unable to care for ourselves. Help with being fed, changing clothes, walking…the most basic of needs, a reversal of roles. It’s sad, but also quite…poetic.

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  • Kwil April 5, 2010 at 9:54 am

    it is awkward to think about. i lost my father when i was only 14 years old. i have yet to hit thirty and i no longer have one living grandparent left. it is weird to watch the family shrink… makes me long for some family history. i loathed their stories before, but now i am at the age when i would love to know what life back then was like for them and get an idea of where i come from.
    let us hope his father pulls through. all the best.

  • Maggie April 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

    It’s amazing how that circle works, isn’t it? Heartbreaking and fortifying at the same time. I’m glad to see you had such a nice holiday in the midst of this difficulty; when the big issues are front and center, you need a little lightness in the mix for good measure.

  • mrs boo radley April 5, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I, too, am grateful that you enjoyed your holiday despite the tough cirucmstances. My husband lost his father before we even met…so I have no idea what losing a parent is like.

    And “meh” to the Peeps–my sentiments exactly.

    Wishing you a beautiful week.

  • bronwyn April 5, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Besides my daughter and some distant cousins, my mother is the only blood relative I have. I can’t even fathom what I’ll have to go through someday. She’s in her 60’s but you’d never know it, so I’ve got time but I can’t bear to think about it. My father in law just turned 80 and that is something to think about. He still works 6-7 days a week in his restaurant but is slowing down a bit. Again, I think we have time. I am not looking forward to starting that chapter. I’m glad you enjoyed the holiday. And Peeps – They were the great love of my life for many years – seriously. Once I had my daughter, my tolerance for sugar and my taste for sweets changed drastically and I just can’t eat them any more – WAY too sweet. And my daughter won’t touch them. She won’t eat anything that might change her tongue color. It totally feels like something is missing from Easter without them. 🙂

  • Lani April 5, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Oh, Jenna. You have such a potent way of distilling big life issues into a few poignant, cogent phrases. This whole issue of P. being “the first” is strange for me as well. I have been thinking constantly of all those things you mentioned and feel better to read your words. Thank you.

  • janet April 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    my husband’s dad, who we thought was relatively healthy, had a stroke recently. it was the first time we had something like that happen to a parent of ours. the sad part is that his parents are in cuba and it’s not so easy to just jump on a plane to be there by his side. it’s been difficult for him but thankfully, his father is much better and we do hope to visit soon. however, it got me thinking about my own parents. even though their in their 60’s, i can already see how much they need me. i’m the only daughter of 4, so they turn to me for everything. i realize that i’ll have to be their guidance and support as they grow older and are unable to understand or do certain things. even as simple as paying their bills. you know what i mean? anyway, my best to you and mark. and i hope his dad pulls through this…

  • joanna goddard April 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    your photos are always so sweet. and i agree, it’s so poignant how the circle of life makes the child the caretaker. when my grandfather was dying, he seemed like a child, but in the sweetest way, and still very much like himself. we’re thinking of you all. xoxo