It has been said, and I have even uttered the words that the older I got, the more intelligent my parents became. And now as a mother and grandmother, I understand the hope and pain that our parents quietly (and sometimes not so quietly in my case) endured. We work hard to raise our children with the tools to go out and live honest, productive, and loving lives. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Then we have to sit and watch their lives unfold from the sidelines.
It is in times like these however, that we find out what kind of relationship we have with our family members. Will they talk with us about their decisions? Do they trust us enough to do that? Can we allow them to make their decisions without getting in their way? Can we love them through our own pain? And if it doesn't work out for them, do we have the strength to NOT say "I told you so."? Will the worry ever go away? I don't know the answer to that last question.
I find it another paradox in my life that while at my age I am looking forward to having my life back; to have a sense of freedom that those with family at home to take care of do not have. On the other hand I find that I long to have my family close. I want to be able to tuck my grandbabies in at night and talk with my children.
So for now, I will look for those small, bright colored desert flowers surrounded by thorns. I will learn to enjoy the beauty, the color, and the courage it takes for them to appear in such harsh conditions.