I use the word ‘transmutation’ because it describes what I am going through more accurately than just “My life is changing”.
If you even recognize the word, I bet you never expected to see it used anywhere but on an SAT or a GRE (hooray, standardized testing!) It is an old and rarely used word, but for me, it just fits. Here is Dictonary.com’s definition:
[trans-myoo-tey-shuh n, tranz-]
1. the act or process of transmuting.
2.the fact or state of being transmuted.
3.change into another nature, substance, form, or condition.
4.Biology. the transformation of one species into another.
5.Physics. any process in which a nuclide is transformed into a different nuclide, usually one of a different element.
6.Alchemy. the supposed conversion of base metals into metals of greater value, especially into gold or silver.
The two definitions I prefer are numbers 3 and 6. Did my life “change into another nature, substance, form, or condition”? Yup, I’ve changed my schedule, my goals and my habits to accommodate the others in my life over my own needs. Of course, I did this with my babies but as they matured, they became more responsible, not less. I have come to accept that my parents will never become autonomous again. I’ve had to make career choices that are against my best interests but they leave me available for the needs of my parents. My husband and I have given up our privacy in order to have them move into our home full-time. Yes, the conditions have changed.
My parents have changed. They have feelings that weigh heavily on them; they question what they still have to offer or if they have become a burden. The future scares them and they fear the slow deterioration of their bodies and minds. They are not the same self-sufficient people they were even a few short years ago. None of us can stop time and no one really wants to admit that we are all getting older. We are all changing but as least my husband and I make these adjustments voluntarily, that isn’t the case for my parents or for my daughters who give up their time with us and the life they were used to. Sometimes it’s hard for all of us not to get frustrated at the sheer magnitude of the sacrifices that have to be made but I know that each day that goes by is one less that we will have to spend with them.
This is my reason for building this blog. My thought is that this time with my parents is precious, and bittersweet, difficult, confusing, and too short. Together we can make this transition If we can minimize some of the fears and the frustrations. My hope is that we can build a community, where we can offer support, suggest resources, celebrate our successes and share our difficulties. We can make our days with our loved ones become something of greater value.
Dictionary.com “transmutation,” in Online Etymology Dictionary. Source location: Douglas Harper, Historian.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/transmutation. Available: http://dictionary.reference.com/. Accessed: March 06, 2016.