Paradise Found – Lost – and Rediscovered
Life here on the island is paradise! Nestled between the Strait of Georgia and the west coast rain-forest, the weather is mild, the air is fresh and sweet, and good friends abound. Life couldn’t be better!
For 14 ½ years we have enjoyed this wonderful place and have been richly blessed. But now, as health issues become a significant concern, we realize – reluctantly, that this dream is coming to an end. At first part of me tried to deny that it was true. And yet, during recent personal health challenges, I realized just how tenuous things really were. If I was out of commission for any length of time, the structure I provide would disappear and my husband would need some kind of alternate support in a hurry.
For a while I felt anger – why was this happening? And what did we do to deserve this? Quickly though I moved into a “fix it” mode – bargaining and denying the reality by building an impressive support network that would, in theory, be there for my husband if I became ill or incapacitated. These friends and family members were ready to do what they could to help. But then, some of these friends got sick and some even passed away!
Reality started to get through to me and gradually I began to accept the truth of the matter. Our younger daughter had been encouraging me to consider moving closer to her so that she could support me for several years. She spends considerable time with us each year and understands the stresses and challenges we face. I, however, was not ready to see the truth as clearly as she did from her vantage point. This fall, however, I got an email from our other daughter who is a geriatrician and deals with situations like this all the time. In clear black and white she laid out all the reasons why she believed that we need to move back to family and why we needed to do this sooner rather than later.
One of the things she said that really hit me was that my husband could outlive me. I know if that happened he would need to be close to family support. I believe it was at that moment I knew what the right action was. I really had no choice. My husband had to be my first priority and we had to make plans to return.
Fortunately, we have three talented children who are willing to provide the kind of support we need. They are all strong individuals with divergent skills and ways of looking at things. So, when our son and daughter who live in Winnipeg jointly endorsed a new condo for us, we listened and proceeded to finalize.
We have offers of help with packing, and in deciding what to take and what to leave behind. We have a line of credit and a lawyer to handle our legal affair. We have the assurance that we will have a good medical doctor and other supports when we arrive. And we even have confidence that our car will somehow find a way to its new home.
So many things are falling into place, and now the ball is back in our park. How will we move forward into our new life? For me personally, I know I will be moving back with a new inner reality – a new found ability to be present for myself and others. This allows me to accept, and yes, even embrace whatever is – whatever is already here, and whatever we will find there. In a way, I am beginning to see that paradise is not about where we are, but rather why we are here at this time – right here – right now. I have been given a very strong why; I have a burning purpose.
And so, as I move forward, the challenge will be how to fulfill my purpose. As I do that, I believe I have the option of bring paradise to our new home, and to our new community. I have an opportunity to remain the source of the calm gentle energy that I have become out here on the West Coast. I am getting a glimpse of paradise – not as a place or a destination, but rather as a state of being. The ebb and flow of the ocean tides runs deep in my veins, and the strength of the old-growth forest fills my heart. I know that this quiet, calm peace will always be part of me and paradise will not be lost; it will be discovered anew!
For those of you who have been my clients – I want to thank you – I have learned so much from you. I hope that I will be able to stay in touch with many of you via email, Skype, and the telephone. If you are interested I can refer you to another ARC Clinician – let me know.