Circles: Around and Around We Go

Once I told a friend that in art, I circled back around to old ideas or techniques, but they were different because of the experiences that were between then and now. She responded that life is more like a circular staircase that we climb, rather than a circle.

There is much truth in that analogy! If we learn, we ascend and grow. If not, we circle around and around and around until we get it, if we get it. The Israelites wandered around the desert for 40 years, because they didn’t get it.

Maybe I didn’t either? Here I go again.

Am I going in circles or ascending?

My home has turned into a rehab facility. I don’t mind. At all. However, sometimes I feel as if I do. Why? Because caring for my 17 year old, who just had hip surgery, reminds me of caring for my dad. 

With every story, there is more to the story. Much more. Our family room is full of medical equipment: a CPM machine, an ice machine, a pair of crutches, a walker, a makeshift table close to the blow up mattress, that is my daughter’s bed, next to the couch, that is my bed. She is doing great overall and we are doing great overall.

But as I wrote in my last post, I’m in the middle of a painful renovation.

There is too much to tell and my heart only understands a little of it anyway. Here we go again feels like a true statement. My home environment feels like a dark shadow of a year ago, when I near-daily took care of my dad and his oxygen equipment, picked up things that he physically was unable to, and tended to his needs. There was too much stuff in too little space. But, all of it was needed. Now, in my own home, our living room is burping over with stuff. All needed. Or wanted, close.

Today, January 15th is my dad’s birthday. Happy birthday!

Dad and Me

Last year, when we threw him a party, we didn’t know it would be his last. We had our suspicions, but couldn’t know for sure. Now here we are one year later and he is gone. And here I am living in a parallel universe. Can I tell you how bizarre it is to see your seventeen year old using a walker?!

My dad is gone. My girl will live. She will heal and have a full life in front of her. 

The circle of life spares none. We are born. We die. After a rocky childhood, my dad and I ended well. Because of his complex health issues, it was a challenging end, but we did it together. He gave me life. I gave mine to care for him. And I give my life to the daughter that I love so much! 

Dad gave me life. I give myself to another. Isn’t that what Jesus did for us? He gave himself for us. We give ourselves for others. It is a beautiful circle of life.

I’m sure some of the recent sorrow has been the undercurrent of the loss of my dad, his birthday, and the situation that we and our girl find ourselves in. In this circle of life, I thank God for the experience of caring for my dad. It has helped me better navigate caring for my girl. We are ascending. We are gaining ground. There is higher ground to be had.

Dad, you are in the Highest Ground. I cannot, yet, imagine what your new life is like. I am glad that you no longer have to deal with all the challenges you had this side of heaven. Happy birthday Dad.

Daughter, I will fight for you, and sometimes with you, to help you have your best life, this side of heaven.

I love circles. They are one of the most satisfying shapes. No beginning, no end. Perfect. Yet in the circle of life, there is a beginning and an end. One end supposedly gives way to the next new beginning. Even more, I love the concept of the circular staircase. As we ascend, we continually come around to the same place: but are now at a higher vantage point, where the view is clearer. The thought of ascending is comforting. The idea of seeing more clearly after a lap or two is comforting. The idea of circling around again, is more familiar, like the trial I now find myself in. The familiarity helps me ascend: helps me have my best life this side of heaven.

I hope you ascend!

I’ll circle back soon, and share some of My January Rest victories and fails. 

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