The past few days, the weather in my area has been warm and sunny, and held the promise that Spring had arrived, and maybe to stay. Late afternoon yesterday, the wind turned cold and today it is snowing. Winter is back, and the forecast tells me that the return of Springtime could be a ways off. So we wait out Winter once again, and we hope for another promise of Spring.
So it goes with the the seasons of nature, and so it goes with the seasons of life. Twenty-six years ago, my mother went seemingly overnight into her winter season when she developed a brain abscess that required her to have surgery. That surgery saved her life, but caused her to have a massive stroke. Our hearts broke to see our vibrant and very mobile mother unable to speak and walk. Slowly, but surely, her injuries healed and Mom regained her voice and we rejoiced when she was able to return home to the farm with our father and continue her recovery. Winter was giving way to Spring.
Then, less than a year after Mom was released from the hospital, our Dad suddenly died. That strong, fearless, brilliant man was gone in an instant, and our Winter was back. Changes had to be made. The farm that had been our family’s for over 100 years was sold — our home, our equipment, our legacy, and our tradition was auctioned off on a cold October day — mostly to strangers. Mom was going to have to move away from the home where she lived with her husband and raised her family.
Mom was resilient and, after a period of adjustment, flourished in her new home in Grand Forks, and her Springtime returned. In 2010, a broken hip and an extended hospital stay brought Winter once again, but Mom surprised her doctors and her family and recovered so well that she was able to return to her own home and live independently. Hello, sweet Springtime.
About a month ago, Winter struck again. My mother suffered another stroke, and major changes have been necessary. Mom will no longer be able to live in her jewel of a home and she will need to move in to assisted living. This change is one that we as a family had prayed would never be necessary. However, just as we can’t control the seasons of nature, we can’t control the seasons of life. I, the bluest of Blue Grasshoppers, hold close to the hope of a return of Springtime for my mother, and my heart and soul wait for nature’s promise that Winter won’t last forever.
Song of Songs 2:11-12
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.