A New Beginning for the Young and the Old

Published June 1, 2015

Tonight is the high school graduation for grand-nephew, Austin. Austin is a good student as well as a good athlete—he kept the college and university contacts and scholarship offers secret because Austin knows what disappointments life can bring. He is wise beyond his years. Having had brushes with cancer in the fifth and again in the tenth grade make him wise! (After his experience in the fifth grade, Austin decided he did not want anyone to know of his thyroid cancer when he was sixteen. So, no one who didn’t have to know knew! Austin never wanted to be treated differently! Austin just likes to keep some things private!) Austin’s sense of humor covers for any negative thoughts he may have although one would never suspect he ever had negative thoughts. More importantly, his sense of humor speaks of Austin’s love for the gift of life and an eagerness to live life to the fullest. So, it is with this high school graduation that Austin will have a new beginning in life playing basketball and getting a major in pre-law at his chosen college and meeting new folks from all walks of life.

Austin’s great-grandmother, my mother, has been at an assisted living facility for eight months now. As the family cleans out Mother’s home, we are all well aware that this is the end to life as Mother has known it. Mother has weathered the death of my dad and raising four children on her own, losing her second husband, Norman, and having to give up her home. Mother said to me one day, “I don’t know if I should consider this move to assisted living the end of my life or the beginning of a new one!”

Well, I asked Mother to count all her new beginnings. The new beginnings numbered way past a dozen. Mother has found new friends, reconnected with old, has new things to laugh about, and is finding her new home not so bad after all!

Recently, I reminded Mother of some wisdom she imparted to me. I will pass these words of wisdom on to my grand-nephew—words about new beginnings that can only come from the experience of a 95-year-old great-grandmother: “Every day that we wake up and look forward to learning or doing something new and not be hindered by the disappointments of our past is a good way to live—the way God wants us to live.”

To New Beginnings!