The Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony is tonight. I have been thinking about this a lot recently. Yes because of the Olympics but also because of Mom. It has made me think a lot about time. Specifically the passage of 4 years. What has transpired since the last time I watched a Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony.
It was July 2008. I had just finished graduate school and moved to the same city as my boyfriend to see if our relationship would work in the same city. We had been long distance for 2 years. That boyfriend is now Husband so I think you can fill in the blanks on if we succeeded. I was moving in with my college friend L. Mom was in town helping me unpack. My mom handled the movers arrival because I had just started working at my new job. The evening of the opening ceremonies she and I were shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond for a few things I needed. We had dinner together at TGIFridays. Then Husband came over to my new apartment to assemble my bookcase and watch the opening ceremonies.
I am thinking a lot about Mom because so much has happened that I could have never predicted that evening as I walked around BB&B with her. The main difference, she was walking freely around BB&B. She was visiting me by herself. She was my fearless, independent Mom who arrived, took care of me, helped me unpack and then left.
Fast forward to today. Since then Mom has been diagnosed with MS (2009) and today is having incredible difficulty walking with her walker at home and using a wheelchair when we are out in public. I have been quitely thinking about this in the back of my mind over the past week almost in shock. In shock at how much life can change in 4 years. In good ways and bad ways. It makes me nervous for the next 4 years. I don’t know where Mom’s health is headed and it is scary. What form will life take as we watch the opening ceremonies of the next Summer Olympics.
So while the Olympics are a time of celebration and excitement together as a country, this time it has personally been a time of reflection about the past and the future as well as the present. It reiterates that I don’t know the course life will take. I cannot control the future. All I can do is prepare myself for the unexpected. I didn’t know then that I was preparing for today. The same way I don’t know how today is preparing me for 4 years from now. The future is an unknown. For all of us. But having seen how unknown it really is in comparison to 4 years ago I feel a little more nervous about it than I used to. A tough realization I am admitting to myself on this otherwise celebratory day.
Will you be watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight? Where were you 4 years ago for the Summer Oympics in Beijing? How do you handle the unknown of the future? Where do you hope to be 4 years from now?