Gone but not forgotten

Today feels like an important day. For the first time in years, there’s no magnetic force pulling me to Ashland. Since the time that Dad starting having health problems in late 1999, there has been a constant worry about needing to be there to help him, and then later Phyllis. And “being there” in eastern KY isn’t simple. We spent at least a month in early 2020 moving them from independent living to assisted living, plus removing Dad from his opioid problem, and that lessened the urgency of the pull for a while – though complicated by the pandemic.

Then Dad’s congestive heart failure began causing complications in early 2022, and it’s been a long spiral down since then. For ten solid months this year my brothers and I did our best to be there for Dad and Phyllis during almost weekly crises, and now they’re both gone. It’s sad and weird thinking of them gone, but honestly somewhat liberating. We can stop dreading what comes next and move on.

But move on to what? That’s what I’m thinking about this morning. What do I want to do with the next 20 years, if I’m lucky enough to have that long? I know for certain that I want to experience the grandsons growing up, and that’ll require being in Louisville a lot. No problem with that.

But what else? A good friend just advised me not to make any big decisions while I’m wrung out from two deaths, a lot of travel, and two bouts of Covid. That sounds like good advice. Today I’ll just enjoy the peace and quiet, and we’ll see about all the tomorrows some other day.