I remember very clearly the first time I felt like I am feeling now.
I was about 16 years old and we were at a play-day at the outdoor arena behind the fairgrounds there in Lawton.
I was lined up at the gate to go into the arena to run barrels.
Willy was dancing and prancing like he always did.
I lined him up and turned him loose and we were off.
Around the first barrel we went…nice and smooth.
As he pulled up out of the turn, he stumbled a bit and I felt something give.
A moment of sheer terror took over me as I realized that the snap on my reins had broken.
I was on a 1200 pound animal, running full speed toward a metal barrel with no control.
Luckily, Willy was well trained and finished the pattern without me to guide him.
We actually placed third that day.
But I will never forget the feeling of having no control whatsoever and barreling toward an unknown future.
That is kind of how I have been feeling lately about life in general.
Things are changing so swiftly, and I think my reins are broken.
Not that I ever really had any kind of reins on this crazy ride anyway.
But I think we all like to think we do.
I have recently been faced with a lot of change and upheaval within my life. And to be honest, it feels a little like it did when my reins broke.
I am certain that I am not the only, nor the first, person who has felt this way.
I am just constantly amazed that one day I woke up and my life was new.
Brian said it well…”I’m not ready for this”
No, honey…we aren’t ready.
We aren’t ready to watch the ones we love succumb to horrible diseases.
We aren’t ready for our parents and grandparents to get older and have major health issues.
I know I always thought they’d live forever.
I never dreamed I’d get an email about how my grandmother called my mom to have her come over to help her look for kids who weren’t there.
I never dreamed I’d see my father-in-law appear to age 10 years within the course of a month.
I never dreamed my strong, funny, amazing Uncle would be a victim of Lung cancer.
I never dreamed that my Mother-in-law would have a heart attack at such a young age.
I never thought for a second that we would, at this point in our lives, be thrown into the position of being caregivers for our parents and grandparents.
I am sharing all of this with all of you because of a program I recently had the privilege of watching on our local PBS station.
It was called “Caring for your parents“.
It was very informative, and really opened my eyes to many issues that face children as their parents age.
I strongly suggest you view it. (you can watch it online)
It is a beautifully put together program, and very informative.
It really opened my eyes to a lot of things, and also made me realize that I need to start now in preparing things for my children for when I am older.
Because someday, as much as I want to shield them and protect them from it, they will become my caregiver.
They will know how it feels when the reins break and all of the security they felt and held onto suddenly goes slack.
To quote a rather cheesy movie….Control is an illusion (you infantile ego-maniac…can ya guess which movie?) Every one of us will eventually find ourselves sitting on a speeding horse, looking down at a broken set of reins and wondering what will happen next.
But if a little preparation can make that ride a little smoother, then I am all for it.
And in the meantime, I will hold on tight, and trust that there is someone in control who knows the pattern and will finish the race with me safely aboard.