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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gray Matter: The circle goes unbroken

Monday, April 24, 2006

It is often said that "what goes around comes around", and at other times, people make reference to something "coming full circle". I'm not certain how often this does take place in real life, but the story I want to share with you today is certainly proof that it has happened to me.

A good many years ago, new neighbors moved in just two doors down the street from us. There were the parents and three small girls - the oldest, perhaps six, with twin siblings, about a year younger. They were a delightful family and we became attached to those little girls from day one. Not long after they moved, the mother decided to go back to college to earn some additional credits, so they employed our teen-aged daughter that summer to look after the girls. It worked beautifully and a real bond was formed. Our daughter became something of a role model for her little charges, as they hung on her every move.

I will never forget the evening, that following spring, when her prom date came to pick her up. When he came inside, I delayed their departure long enough to take some pictures. As the photo session was winding down, I glanced out our low front window. There, peering in, were three little faces, reminding me ever so much of the cherubs often painted by Italian Renaissance artists at the bottom of a Madonna portrait.

Some years later, after our oldest son was married, he and his wife returned here to live. When their first child, a little girl, was born, the twins, who by then were in their early teens, became their favorite baby sitters. You see that "going around and coming around" was definitely developing. By the time my granddaughter reached the sitter age, one of the twins was married and lived, with her young family, a short distance out of town. Almost automatically, the pattern was repeated.

That granddaughter is now married and living in Des Moines with her husband and my nearly three-year-old great-granddaughter. "See", I can almost hear someone saying, "things aren't coming full circle, after all". But wait, the pattern, though it has shifted a bit, is still very much in place. A few years ago, my good friend moved into town. The house she purchased is diagonally across the alley from mine, thus just across from the house where she and her sisters lived when we first knew them. And the caring still goes on!

We Seniors, the Elderly, or whatever you choose to call us, sometimes require special attention, just as the very young do. So here am I at the point where my family is a bit concerned about my living alone. Over my protests, one of those devices intended for the REALLY OLD has been installed. As many of you know, most of these systems require having three people listed as responders. My own kids live five miles out in the country, so my next-door neighbor served as the first responder. When she recently moved and I was considering a possible replacement, I approached my long-time friend now living so close-by. Her response, bless her, was, "I'd be honored!"" I do consider myself privileged to have such a fine young friend.

Now, having heard my story, wouldn't you agree that, in this case, I truly have proof that things do, indeed, COME FULL CIRCLE?