So a couple weeks ago I'm driving home from Denver, passing through New Castle, CO when suddenly a bright ball of fire with a very prominent green tail falls from the sky. The tail stretched and lingered across the horizon of the western sky from ground level to above the top of my windshield. Very impressive!
Also potentially kind of cosmic, considering a couple of factors involving my current state of affairs. After 17 years of teaching, I just started a new teaching position in 2 schools in New Castle. And now, after 10 years living in Rifle, we are moving to New Castle within the month.
Was this a sign? Or merely coincidence? Whatever way it is taken, it was the most remarkable meteor I have ever seen. As one who frequently takes a walk late at night, I have seen my fair share.
Tonight, I made a point to watch the presidential debate, as many people did. Supposedly, this year's theme seems to be all about 'change' with both major party candidates. I question that when they both come from inside the beltway, but I digress...
I seem to be doing my part this year in working with that theme. Enough so that as I was reflecting during my walk tonight, I began to wonder if I should maybe seek counseling to maintain some sort of sanity through all this 'change' currently taking place in my own life.?.. nah!
The year 2008 seemed to start normal enough. Aside from being voted to serve a second term as a district rep to the music educators state assembly, nothing out of the ordinary... until April.
Exactly 2 weeks after a visit with my parents in Iowa, my father's soul left his broken body from complications related to cancer. He was only 70 years old. Previously that evening, my mother & I were discussing the options she was going to have to pursue that next day as he had reached the point where extra care was becoming necessary.
During my last visit, I helped drive him to Des Moines for his daily radiation treatments for a few days. Not fully grasping that these drives would be our final moments together, I now feel blessed that we did get to spend some time alone together to visit and share. It is quite overwhelming to reflect on that time at this point and realize the life closure that was taking place over those three days we spent together in the car. Things that were both said and left unsaid keep passing through my mind, as I'm sure will continue to happen for awhile until perspective can eventually clarify as it often does once enough time & distance have taken their course.
Continuing with the 'change' theme for this year, I accepted an aforementioned job offer. Conditions beyond my control forced me to either bite the bullet financially or seek alternative avenues. Aside from a few bumps in the road, this particular change has been a very positive one for me and my family.
The next change to take place was my finally completing the masters degree program of study. The last year was devoted to preparing my thesis project and lecture demonstration recital. The process was a great learning experience, but one I don't care to repeat any time soon. The upside was my getting to spend some time with my mother as I was wrapping up the project for six weeks this summer. I think that was good for both of us, after losing Dad two months earlier. Coffee-time with Dad's friends was also therapeutic in it's own way.
Earlier in the year during a research phase of my masters project, I spent some extended time with my cousin due to his proximity to University of Colorado. As an aside, he has been experiencing his own version of change this year in the form of divorce proceedings, and is now a new Colorado resident in addition to that fracture. Back to the topic at hand, my graduation felt like a great release and I was greatly relieved to be finished! Another positive change.
At about the same time as graduation took place, we closed on an upgraded summer home in Lake Geneva, WI. During my summertime studies in Chicago the last few years, my family has resided in Lake Geneva where they could be near and with family along with a beautiful lake and upscale community. Our new place will make future stays a bit more comfortable. Again, change that is positive.
Finally, 2008 is closing with our family preparing to move after 10 years in our current residence. We have found a house that is bigger, newer and in a nicer neighborhood. It will be walking distance for my commute to work. I look forward to completing this change and am anticipating another positive.
As you can see, much significant change. Much of it positive. Losing a parent is a tough one to swallow and I only wish Dad could have stuck around long enough to see some of the other changes that we experienced. He would have appreciated many of them.
I worry about what type of 'change' our two candidates are really thinking of despite whatever it is they are saying they mean. Much seems to have gone wrong lately, but we also have a lot to be thankful for. I just hope whatever 'change' these guys are envisioning is not detrimental to our quality of life we all take for granted.
The falling star I saw on that drive home just happened to take place as I was passing through the community where my new job is and new home will be. I have made many mis-steps throughout my life, some which I have never forgiven myself for. I can only hope that this was possibly a sign being sent to me that the recent changes I've been in the midst of on a personal level are indeed positive for the long run. Time will tell, I guess. As for that counseling idea mentioned above.?.. Get real! =)