I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

March 6th, 2010

Time Be Still

“Our parents’ old age shocks us in the same manner that our children’s growth to maturity does, but without the joy; there is only sadness.” ~ Azar Nafasi, “Things I’ve Been Silent About”

The past two weeks have made me very reflective. I want the curtain of tears to part and let me step through, but I’m standing on the backside of a waterfall and can’t help getting drenched if I want to be on the other side.

We had already planned a trip to Florida and Utah to see our children, to be with our children, to say good-bye to our children. We didn’t know we would also say good-bye to our father: not just until our return from Europe, but until our return from mortality. We are suddenly orphans. Everyone has gone and we stand like little children, holding hands in the corner of an empty room, waiting with bewilderment for mother or father to appear and take us home.

People rush to fill up the space. We wrap around their necks while they speak soothingly and pat our backs. Their faces seem so unreal: so long ago, so present, so altered, so unchanged. Some are people from our past and others are people of our heritage. It hurts to look at them. I want their immediacy forever, but I know they are temporary, and that is what I cannot bear right now, as an orphan. Moments hence, time will enter the room and lead either them or I away.

Is it possible to have a bi-polar heart? Who is responsible for our abundant and destitute state? Who is to blame for making me so grand and so tiny? Who gave so much and left so little? Who filled a calendar of years with children and parents and friends and love and then handed me a drying pen and a pathetically small diary?  TIME. He is unruly and wild. I’ve tried to put him in my lap and make him hold still. Look! I say, let’s just sit together; please–for just a second–let’s not move. But he refuses, jumping down and running in circles until I am dizzy trying to keep an eye on him. I give up. There is nothing else to do. No one has ever tamed time.

And so I say good-bye—to family, friends, grandson, children, and to our father. I walk straight into the waterfall, but not all the way through it.  Do you mind, Mr. Time, if I stand here? Stop waving me on, beckoning me into the sun. I want to get wet.

Muse with me: Our father was very good and and was loved – deeply. I am not grieving in the way one would grieve a life partially-or-poorly lived. Instead, his passing, corresponding with my own transition–that is, moving from from one stage of life to another, from known to unknown–has made me thoughtful, and yes, sad. Can I make my transition, a little relocation to the other side of the world (not the other side of the veil) with as much grace as he did? How best to absorb and handle change?

He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.  ~Harold Wilson

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  ~Mary Engelbreit

It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.  ~W. Edwards Deming  (Thank you, Michelle.)

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.  ~Anatole France

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  ~Victor Frankl

Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure.  But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it.  Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.  ~Shunryu Suzuki

The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.  ~Henry Miller

Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.  ~Robert C. Gallagher

If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change.  If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.  ~John A. Simone, Sr.

There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse!  As I have often found in travelling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position, and be bruised in a new place.  ~Washington Irving

When you are through changing, you are through.  ~Bruce Barton

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.  ~John Kenneth Galbraith

What can we take on trust
in this uncertain life? Happiness, greatness,
pride – nothing is secure, nothing keeps.
~Euripides, Hecuba

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.  ~Confucius

Change always comes bearing gifts.  ~Price Pritchett

The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.  ~Ellen Glasgow

Life is its own journey, presupposes its own change and movement, and one tries to arrest them at one’s eternal peril.  ~Laurens van der Post

Hint of Romance

“Life is its own journey, presupposes its own change and movement, and one tries to arrest them at one’s eternal peril.” ~ Laurens van der Post

What did you think of this musing?

Join the discussion!


  1. Heidi says:

    A bi-polar heart. I knew there was a term to describe the emotional confusion I go through. May peace find you and yours very soon!

  2. Mona that was so beautiful. You are a very touching writer. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope heaven is with you during these transitions. We are praying for you. Love you!

  3. Lois Brown says:

    you do have a gift of writing! I believe you have expressed many of the things I have been feeling as well! You can do it….I have not ever seen a time where you didn’t face what needed to be faced and then pass through it with flying colors! You are so many colors Ramona and will bless the lives of all the new people you will meet on this new adventure with your one and only true love! I know having the children and grandchildren far away will be hard….but what an adventure and your adventuring heart will take over and you will soar my friend…I know it.

    My bi-polar heart (love that expression) is so happy for my father and yet since we are just coming up on 6 months of my mothers death, I cried a little too! And I thought, Why am I craying, I know (becuase the holy ghost told me before he ever told my Dad) that Barbara was who he was going to marry and I loved her as my friend and sister in the Gospel before I loved her as my father’s future wife. But yes, there were still tears, maybe because of the finality of it all…..yes, Lois, it is real, she is gone for this life only, but still gone!

    Soar my dearest friend, and change others lives for the best as you have changed mine and will be forever dear to me because of it. I am so very happy to know that we will still be connected by your website!

    Love to you and Dale! Lois

  4. renee says:

    Endless love sent to you, Dale and the whole family.

  5. Mona,

    Any of these new stages brings fear. While you do pass through all of these scary times with such grace and success, it doesn’t lessen the fear. However, looking back at how well you have done so far can give you some of those faith building “objective evidences” upon which you can base and grow your testimony (see Elder Hafen’s book “Spiritually Anchored in Uncertain Times”).

    We love you so much and will miss you greatly. I hope we can see you before you depart.


    The Carey’s

  6. Colleen Tolva says:

    Dearest Ramona,
    What a traumatic journey you are experiencing! As painful as this is, you have enough courage, just like the towering fir trees in the painting of “Northwest Majesty” to conquer. Even though you feel tiny now, you will stand tall, walk through the water fall and find yourself amongst new trees, new life, new smells and tastes and even though for a time you are feeling loss and sadness it will be replaced with a new kind of adventure. Let go, move on, and let Heavenly Father wrap you in His loving arms of protection and warmth. May he heal you and strengthen you
    my dear friend. Love, Colleen
    I am feeling your emotion, too, because I love you and care about you.

  7. kathy says:

    Mona: your words are my words. Having lost two dads this past year, feeling the emptiness of being an “orphan” now, missing their wisdom and their presence. At the same time feeling the emptiness of an empty home void of the children that once filled my time. Now left to ponder my own destiny and my own journey. It is still something to celebrate!

  8. Sarah E. says:

    My heart hurts and aches for you. Your expressions are so penetrating. How I mourn and grieve knowing you do.
    Thinking of you dear loved one.
    Sarah Elliott

  9. Lynnett says:

    May you find comfort in the words of the Lord given to Sarah as she was 90 yrs old and going to bear a son. “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” Gen 18:14 In my primary lesson it said that all we need to do is “TRUST HIM”…”Thy will be done”. May you find comfort and may the Lord bear you up in your season of life, in my own way I just wanted to share because I too am facing change. May You be blessed with the sweet comfort of the Spirit to guide and bless you. May you have enough “trust” in him to allow his healing balm. I love you and you are beautiful inside and out!

  10. Trina says:

    I’ve called myself an orphan since my mom passed away also. Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we feel any differently about our parents. I’m so grateful for the peace that comes from knowing we’re only separated for a smidgen of Eternity, but I sure do miss her now. What I wouldn’t give to cuddle with her like I did when I was young. I’m sorry for your loss. I’ll say prayers for you and your family.

    We share a fear. Change. Stability means peace to me, whether it’s staying put in the same home or my kids moving on in their own lives (my oldest just moved out 2 weeks ago). I want change to stop so badly that I’m fighting my husband on changing the living room furniture around again.

    I guess this is how we become stronger right? It reminds me of Elenor Roosevelt’s quote “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” Thank you for your post. I needed it now. I think I’ll go catch a glimpse of fear and change my living room furniture around. My husband will be so happy and I’ll be a bit closer to the bulwark of strength I know I should be.


  11. Bri Z says:

    At a different stage of life, I see Time not as an unruly Two-year old too impatient to sit still, but as a stoic Taskmaster placing fetters on my wrists and ankles and then prodding me on at a horrific pace and ironicly not fast enough. What I wouldn’t give to shake the shackles and freely fly to the place where I will long for him to still! I think how painfully the water, more like a leaky faucet to me, drips on my head until I cannot be restrained there anymore and shout, “Enough!”

    How can I comfort you with no empathy for what you feel? I long to step into the sun so badly, but perhaps the waterfall distorts the picturesque pasture beyond and only tricks me into thinking it will be greener. I admire your gratitude for the abundance around you and your desire to remain. I feel like each future moment can only be better than the present. I am so eager to race forward to a promised land while presently being driven forth before the wind. How differently we all experience the same events?

    I love you Momsie. I cannot comfort you in the change you’re going through. I wouldn’t know where to start. I can only tell you how time did stand still while you and dad were here and how I ache to be together again. That eternal promise of forever family with all of us: Dad, Chris, You, Grant, Hannah, Taylor, Me, and future loves we have yet to meet supplies sweet solace to my heart.

  12. Kristy d says:

    Your tender experience was so well written & something all of us will face. Life as an orphan as u stated is something no one really knows or understands until you face it head-on. I loved your honesty Mona. thank u for opening your heart so deeply so we can all learn a little more about the realities of life &live it more fully.

  13. Kim Anderson says:

    Ramona, your words are so touching with so much meaning. One cannot read it without absorbing advice from what you are going through. Time marches on, its like reading a book chapter to chapter. Now your life is in a new chapter. Try to understand it, and look for something new and good that will embrace you through it and onto the next chapter. As you step through the waterfall I pray the lord will shower you with peace, and the ability to live through this difficult time with a new found happy and healthy heart.

    Kim Anderson

  14. Angie Davis says:

    Your fan, daughter and obvious supporter, sent me your blog information. What a godsend. Your writings regarding Uncle Ken’s passing certainly add clarity. I feel truly blessed to have an amazing extended family and look forward to an eternity of “get to know you moments”. Bless you & Dale.

    • mona says:

      Angie: I’m so delighted that you found Musings! It means so much to me — I admire you very much. Thank you for coming with your dad to the funeral. You were such a support to us and your very presence was such a tribute to Dad. I love you!

Share your thoughts!

Hide responses