I leave 2010 behind me on the black top, pushing the Prius accelerator to 80 as I cross the state line into North Carolina, my home turf. It’s my second trip in as many weeks, but they feel worlds apart. Last week, five days before Christmas, I drove the 5 hours from Charleston to High Point in quiet sadness, listening to Dave Grisman’s acoustic Christmas songs in perpetual somber repeat.  We were in crisis mode, my mother fighting for breath with pneumonia, my sisters and I unsure of what each day would bring, and if Christmas would happen at all.  Today’s drive was so very different. Hopeful and mundane. Just ticking down the miles, absorbed in a book on tape rather than worry.

My mother has once again shown her steely resolve: She’s rebounded unbelievably well from pneumonia, and rallied through a fabulous Christmas. And now I find myself spending  the last hours of the first decade of a new century, appropriately, on the road. Watching for what’s ahead and checking my mirror for all that trails behind. Staying alert, ready. Making no assumptions about what might come at me from unexpected angles. Prepared for lane changes and hard turns, but  buckled in, with eyes wide open — taking in the scenery, the tacky signs, the sun breaking through December clouds. 

I welcome the New Year with a renewed sense of journey, and I’m grateful to begin it with this trip “home.”

~ by Stephanie on 12/31/2010.

7 Responses to “anticipating.lane.shifts”

  1. Stephanie, We’ve never met, but I am friends with Bill and Wyladine Hull from Southern Seminary days when we were all in L’ville. In addition I grew up in NC..Charlotte, Wilmington, Caroline Beach and graduated from Guilford College. How dear of you to take such good care of your Mother. She’s showing you how to manage both life and death. I am with you in spirit as you carry this burden, and I read the blog to see about you and Susan. Thank you for letting me do that. Ina Sims

  2. so glad your mother is doing better. just remember the optimist has a better time on the trip. love you for loving her so.


  3. You’re an incredible driver, Steph. I’m praying for you and her. I’m glad to hear that Christmas turned out well and, ironically, got your Christmas card today! Those girls are gorgeous! But they’re too old.

  4. So glad you are able to spend time with your mom. “This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”

  5. Dear Stephanie,
    I have been with you since getting word from Bill and Caroline just before Christmas. Your note this time is most heartfelt. Please allow me to share with you the miracle of your mother’s survival. Tell her hello for me.
    By the way, your father would have cautioned you at driving at 80mph.
    Fondly, Frank

  6. A Happy New Year to you. Best, Harriet

  7. So glad your mom recovered from the pneumonia, Stephanie. Hope 2011 has gotten off to a good start for all.

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