Not that I believe my efforts can alleviate all the worlds ills. I know I'm just a piece of the puzzle, a small cog in a very big wheel, a rung on the ladder, a link in the chain. But I try. I'm a fixer by profession; helping people tape together broken pasts and disconnected relationships. I'm a fixer by avocation; renewing old furniture, making curtains and cushions for tatty looking rooms. I'm a fixer by designation, having been assigned that role within my family. Let me tell you, it is a hard role to relinquish.
As a member of the Sandwich Generation, I find myself squeezed between responsibilities to young and old.. My elderly mother, now in a senior's residence, is ill and her state of mind and her bodily health are a daily concern. My children, both girls, treat me as a best friend, and I rejoice over that, but it doesn't mean I don't worry when they are ill, or their spouses are ill or stressed, or their children suffer in some way. I want to fix it all. I want to make it better. And the raw truth is that I can't. I can't alter the fact that my mother is 86 and frail. I can't change the fact that my children and grandchildren are living in a world which is more complex socially, morally and politically than the world in which I grew up. I can't fix it.
It is a relief to write this out. To say it to myself and to say it out loud, in a sense through this blog. It holds me accountable only for letting go. And that is distinctly what I am called to do.
Recently at a retreat at Linwood House I developed a mission statement: