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judy's story

Judy FoxRecently I saw someone’s biography where they said they were born around the mid-twentieth century. That expression really struck me, not only because it applied to me, but also because I had never conceived of using that way of describing my birth date. It could only be expressed by someone who has passed the fifty year mark and is putting oneself into a historical context.  So much has changed since that time – mid-twentienth century, post world war ll - and here I am starting a blog with my dear friend Andrea about “When the table turns” which in this case means when one’s dear ones – be they mothers, fathers, older sisters, brothers – reach an age or a condition where they are no longer the person who they were; where they need a great deal of care and attention; where the long established roles are changing.

That change can happen slowly over many years or quite suddenly. Either way it’s a continual adjustment; rearranging of parts in oneself and in one’s relationship and it’s often not that easy. It requires an ongoing letting go; letting go of what was, of who they were and who you were together and responding to what is happening now with so much patience and sensitivity.

In my conversations with Andrea, we found a lot of common ground as we both have mothers who are in their nineties; both lost their husbands, medical doctors, when they were still relatively young, in their early sixties, and both never remarried.  And for both of us in different ways we are responding to that changing mother/daughter dynamic. I knew that Andrea had been thinking of starting a blog for a while now and even had consulted me on titles. Although at the time I did not think of joining her, I knew there was so much “brewing” in me that was not getting expressed. And then one morning after having coffee with Andrea and about to leave, she started talking to me again about the blog. I don’t remember now the details of our discussion, but it was clear that we both had so much to say about the subject. So when Andrea asked if I wanted to do the blog with her, it was a natural outcome of our talk together. “Yes”, I said right away and immediately started to write almost every day. That slowed down a bit, but the pathway got opened and when that happens the doorway to consciousness and creativity mysteriously open up. It’s like an engine gets going that had previously been dormant and now I find I am hardly ever at a loss for something to write about.

In some ways the core of this writing is the desire to go deeper; to go beneath the surface of things, to go to the essentials. That has been really my lifelong quest

I am sixty-five years old. From one perspective that sounds quite old, and yet I don’t feel old at all. I feel like I’m just getting started. There’s so much to learn, understand, express, and give.  And now I find myself embarking upon an exploration and journey about “when the table turns” sparked by the ongoing changes in my mom now 96 years old; changes in her physically; in her personality and in our relationship and through it all seeing a spirit and soul that will not be squashed.  In many ways this is the impetus for writing this blog; to honor the significance of that human spirit that will not be squashed; that gets knocked down at times, perhaps many times, but rises up again and again.

I feel like I’m on a journey with my mom and it’s a journey that touches on the bare bones of the soul; it goes to that ineffable heart that speaks only one language and that changes us forever.