In a Moving Vehicle

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Aging, Control, Humility, Motherhood | 20 comments

carseat

 

For now, they share the back seat while I drive. A carseat and a walker. Time never stands still, but today, my personal timeline sits in my car. I hesitate to look in either direction – back or forward.

I have no recollection of ever occupying a carseat myself, in fact I remember being lined up in the backseat of a station wagon shoulder to shoulder – all four of us. Seven years separating the firstborn from the youngest.

The carseat era brought with it restraints and a need for front seat entertainment rather than management. No more playing the “she touched me” game for the thrill of watching a leg get slapped from the front. No more trying to be the one closest to the window for relief from smells, annoying tapping and endless questions.

Today is different. Today I’m the keeper of the carseat from the front. I wrestle and manipulate the wiggly little creature into it. I lock firmly and tighten for safety. I manage entertainment, but never slap.

The carseat holds hope, dreams, undiscovered galaxies. Next to it – the walker.

I remember the day we went to the Salvation Army to find an appropriate walker. She was sure she didn’t really need one even though all the health professionals told her she did. None of the gizmos seemed right. One was too short, one too bulky, they needed a basket for carrying things. They all made her look old.

I can’t say I was sympathetic, or patient. It was just one of the ten other tasks on my checklist to make my job a little easier.

Ten years later it gets thrown in the backseat like my appendage, the purse. It haunts me. I sit in front.

A stroll down our timeline is a stark reminder we’re trapped in a moving vehicle. Time progresses without our consent. We change seats and don’t even know it.

She was once a carseat dweller. Young, full of dreams. She didn’t concern herself with thoughts of walkers, purses, or days spent looking back. The world was her galaxy.

I can’t be concerned with where I sit.

One day the carseat will vacate and little one will move up front. My walker will occupy the back as she looks over her shoulder to be sure I’m properly buckled in.

Life is a vapor. Life is to be cherished, valued. Used up.

Mourning the loss of years gone by is as futile as anxious anticipation of the future. The young drink from the old. The old dry up. The driver sits in the front seat with misguided feelings of control and worth.

Life is a gift. Our value comes from the life given us, no other place.

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog — it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:14

The smudgy fingerprints on the carseat will be the same that grip the wheel and eventually the walker handles. Some things change – others remain.. Our DNA, our gifts planted from above, and the tiny lines on our fingers never change – just where they land in the grip.

 

I’m grateful to be linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee today and #imperfectprose.

 

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. This blog today gave me a lot to think about. I see that now, at age 60, life is moving along at rapid speed, full throttle. Days quickly turn into months and then years. Did I ever dream I’d be 60 and that it would arrive so quickly? We are in motion all the time and things are changing all the time. The good news is, Jesus is the CONSTANT, never changing, always available source of comfort day in and day out. HE is the one thing that we can hang onto when life changes and life just happens. I am so thankful that HE is my constant companion.

    • Jesus, ‘our CONSTANT companion and source’ is definitely with us for the duration. What a comfort. I appreciate your words, Linda.

  2. Awesome expression of the fleeting adventure called life. Thank you for the ride.

    • Thanks for joining the ride, Louis. I enjoy sharing it with you.

  3. This is my life! Just the other day as I dropped my youngest off at school, I was thinking about my mom. She’s quickly heading toward a walker and my backseat will soon look just like your picture. I’ll be sandwiched in the middle of two seasons of life. It’s kind of crazy!! Fast for sure. We do need to see each phase God has given us as a gift – not a chore. Thanks Pat.

    • It’s amazing how many similarities the very young and the very old share. Keeping a sense of humor and perspective definitely helps on the more difficult days. And you’re right – seeing it as a gift rather than a chore benefits all the players. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Thanks for a picture of life we can all relate to whether a parent, grandparent, or child – by God’s grace, we each move around the car until we see our creator, don’t we?

    • Yes we do! By His grace…

  5. Every day I climb into my car and drive to my parent’s house to help take care of them I wrestle with my own mortality. I know others watch me and someday it will be my turn to receive care. Remembering life is a gift keeps me sane in the process. And you are right – some days you just have to laugh. Thanks for sharing your heart here.

    • I believe every day you climb into your car to drive to your parent’s house someone IS watching you. And I believe you might be able to hear what He’s saying if you listen carefully. He just might say, “Truly, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” He notices.
      Bless you, Diane.

  6. I love this, thanks Pat. I’m still in the “smudgy fingerprint on the carseat phase”, but I’m sure I’ll be facing similar to you soon enough. 🙂

    • There’s nothing like the ‘smudgy fingerprint phase’, Kirsten. Relish it!

  7. No kidding, we sure do have ‘misguided feelings of worth and control’ from the front seat!!! It’s a short ride.
    Beautifully written. Thank you.

    • Thanks Terri. Hang onto the wheel and be blessed by the day God’s given you. I sure am…

  8. Beautifully written and shared, thank you.. Yes time moves forward whether we like it or not.
    Thank you for the comment on my blog too. It means a lot to know someone is being blessed by my words.

    • Your words are beautiful Sharon and they definitely blessed me. I feel like we could be friends – kindred spirits. I look forward to reading more from you.

  9. It is a ride, dynamic not constant. Thank you for the images I see, live and miss!

    • Bless your tender heart, Cindy. I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow and catching up.

  10. I’m in the moment with this post. By His grace a mother of a toddler while navigating the challenges of my mothers declining health. I’m in the front seat but oh what a ride ! You gently nudged me to fully embrace the here and now. Thank you Pat!

    • I agree – some days are just plain harder to appreciate than others, let alone ‘embrace’. But God has packaged our life together with great care. We can embrace the details a whole lot easier when we remember He sits in the middle of them.

      I’m a great fan of yours Lisha, and HIGHLY recommend my friends to hit on your name here to read some great soul challenging words from you! Bless you.

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