Journey Mercies . . . Leaving Home

Journey Mercies . . . Leaving Home

The thought of leaving home wasn’t something I wanted to think about, nor was it something I figured I would ever have to do.  I was 60 years old and had lived in the same house for 28 years.  It was my home and I didn’t want to leave it or my family. What was I doing?  I was on another journey . . . moving closer to work.

Journey Mercies . . . Leaving Home

Do you remember the first time you left home – really left home?  Were you young, and just moving into your first apartment, excited for your new beginning?  Were you accepted into the college of your dreams and getting to move across the nation?  Did you enlist in the Military, feeling you wanted to be part of the greater good and then scared to death of what you had just committed to?

Now it seems many more people are making big moves.  You can be forced to leave because you’ve lost your job and your home is up-side down. Maybe your adult children are moving back in, or maybe you have made the decision to care for your parents in your home. The “sandwich generation” is more prevalent now than ever before.

Perhaps you now find yourself in a season of life where you are faced with the difficult and most often heartbreaking task of talking to your parents about moving out of their lifelong residence to a place where they will receive better care.

We may move many times in the course of a lifetime, but for our older parents, this can mean not only leaving their physical home, but maybe leaving family and friends.  They may be forced to give up their independence by losing their driving privileges. It may mean they are leaving home for good.  How then, can we help them transition comfortably and more importantly, with their dignity in tact?

In my comings and goings with healthcare and senior care professionals, I have realized that there are many wonderful resources to help us manage and care for ourselves, as well as our parents. This has given me such an appreciation for those who are in the trenches helping our aging parents live better, live longer, and live with dignity.

Here are three well known resources that are excellent beginnings for finding the right care for your parents:

•  The Council on Aging Orange County a non-profit provides Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy (HICAP) Friendly Visitor programs and training; Case Management for disabled adults and the frail elderly, Ombudsman services, professional education for seniors and those who care for them and many other services.

•  The Alzheimer’s Association of Orange County provides a comprehensive suite of programs and services – at no charge – to meet the myriad and evolving needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other related illnesses. They are there for the patient, families, caregivers, and the larger community. It’s a remarkable program.

•  Age Well Senior Services based in Laguna Woods provides critical programs, services and resources to seniors primarily in South Orange County.

Being 60 and making this move was scary but my daughters were there supporting and encouraging me and we even visited the “active seniors” apartment complex together.  It was 620 square feet of what I called “nothing”.  They called it “downsizing”. My transition was heartbreaking. I left three of my four children and 7 of my 9 grandchildren when I packed my things.  Instead of coming home to a house full of life and laughter, I came home to silence.  It was only 40 miles away, but it might as well have been 400.  I remember thinking as I sat in my apartment, “ if I don’t call someone, I won’t have another conversation until I get to work in the morning.”

But I survived that transition. In fact, I’m thriving.

For someone who never thought they would live alone, much less make Orange County their permanent residence, I surprised myself by purchasing a home in the Laguna Woods Village, and I’m thrilled.  It’s more than I could have imagined, and perfect for this next season of my life.

In the beginning, leaving home was not what I wanted, but it turned out to be just what I needed. It gave me the opportunity to live independently and nurture some wonderful friendships. It also gave me the strength and wisdom to decide exactly what I wanted in a home, how safe I wanted to be, and what activities I could enjoy over the next decade or two.   Right now, I’m living my best life!

I’d love to hear your story . . .what season of life are you “moving” into or “leaving”?

 

• At what stage of your move are you in?

•  What do you suppose your conversation might  be like with your parent(s)?

•  What move brought you or your parent the most joy?

•  What move would be the most difficult?

Patricia

About Patricia

I’m a native Californian, born and raised in Long Beach. I raised 4 great kids and now have 9 grandchildren. I’m experiencing the greatest chapter of my life right now. I’m blessed beyond words, and so grateful for each day.

I’ve been with the O’Connor Family for the past 19 years and have counted it one of my deepest joys and greatest accomplishments. Never did I realize that a passion could become a profession.

I have come to believe that serving others, in whatever capacity, gives me a sense of purpose. It has also given me the opportunity to meet incredible healthcare professionals as well as myriads of selfless volunteers. And out of those relationships have come deep, meaningful friendships.

We all have an opportunity to do good work. My goal is to create trusting relationships. My desire is to know that what I have done matters. I sum this up with a quote by

Norm Henderson . . . “I want to plant trees under whose shade I may not sit”.

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  • Karilyn Leslie

    Hey Mom,
    I’m so proud of you!! You’ve come a long way baby, and the future is BRIGHT!! I remember how much you struggled with making your transition out of our family home and down to Ladera. It feels like so long ago, and it was only a blink of the eye. Did you ever imagine you’d own two homes? WOW!!

    I love you Momma!!

    Kari

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Dear Daughter
      It has gone by in a blink, hasn’t it? We move through this life sometimes never knowing what our next adventure will be. Then you are challenged to make a decision based on some really great advice, and you become overwhelmed. I remember exactly how I felt. I didn’t want to do it at all, but got caught up in you and your 2 sister’s excitement for me. You helped me to see the many benefits it would give me. And it did! So I thank you for your support in that decision. I know it led me to where I am now . . independent, secure, and exactly where I need to be at this time in my life! Thank You!
      I love you!
      Momma

  • Marilyn Sechler

    Wow Pat!

    Good for you to make that move! It’s perfect for you in so many ways. Laguna Woods is a fantastic place to reside. You can be as busy or as sedentary as you like. Knowing you, everyone will know who you are and fall in love with you in no time at all! You can become the Mayor!

    Moving ‘out’ and away from my family was a HUGE decision and it has probably saved my life. Never in my wildest dreams did I picture myself living out on my own or in a place that wasn’t extremely comfortable, large, modern and upscale.

    Life happens. Sometimes all the best laid plans in the world get lost in the shuffle and you end up heading in a different direction. The way you choose to look at it and react to those changes make all the difference in your happiness. Re-evaluating the keys to happiness at any age in our lives gives us the opportunity to change our course.

    I’ve had the 6,000 sq. ft. home with an indoor pool in the Country Club that was paid for. I now live in a rented 10′ X 10′ bedroom with my own bathroom and walk-in closet. There have been many different living arrangements in between. I can’t remember ever being happier than I am right now, other than when I was working for O’Connor (truly).

    My new lifestyle is giving me the freedom to focus on ME first! I have never had that opportunity before now.

    Great blog issue! I miss your wonderful smile and all the fun we had working together and enjoying the occasional martini. I still can’t make a martini without thinking of you and remembering the look on your face as you took your first sip with the salt around the rim of your glass. AAaaarrrrughhh!

    Hugs to you and the rest of the team,
    Marilyn

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Hello dear friend!
      Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt story! You have amazed me as I have read of YOUR JOURNEY, and the newfound strength, wisdom, and peace that it has brought you. I do believe that we, as women, are truly Steel Magnolia’s. Sensitive and caring when the time demands, and yet strong and determined, willing to persevere through our darkest days when we feel we cannot. It is women like you who are willing to take the risk, the challenge, the “leap of faith” so to speak, and become all that we never knew we could be. I do hope you will continue to share your thoughts and revelations. I sense that this is as cathartic for you as it has been for me. Love and miss you, take care and I look forward to hearing from you again!

  • GREG FORSTER

    Pat,

    Your thoughts on this subject are important and necessary.

    In my family’s case, my parents, for various reasons, did not move. They stayed in the house my father built in 1955 in Encino, Calif. and that I and my brother spent most of our growing up years in. This was not good for them. It was not a “neighborly” street and they had no friends there. They were content with their situation, though, and would not move. However, the lack of outside stimulus created over time a “co-dependency” situation that was unhealthful and lasted until their passing.

    What I took away from this is that socialization and life long learning are not goals to be worked towards, they are absolute necessities that must, fully, be part of one’s life as long as one lives…period.

    You are a person who knows this lesson.

    I am glad for you that your move was not only successful, but that you are open to new growth and to new adventures. I see you as a ringleader promoting new activities and new ideas with new people in Laguna Woods. I wouldn’t be surprised if you started a new club or group there for something that hasn’t been thought of before…and I wish you every bit of luck in this. But then again, I don’t think you need luck, you already have tons of “life momentum” on your side.

    Have a good life in Laguna Woods!

    Greg

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Hi Greg:
      Thank you so much for your wisdom and sharing your observations regarding your parents. I know the polarization that living alone can cause elderly adults. My mother rarely stepped out of her home after her husband died, and 2 years later she was gone. She didn’t have friends and would not move from her home to be closer to family. I have been blessed by children who support me and a circle of friends that I have to call on and be around when I’m having those “not so good” days. I never in my life thought I would be so independent. I always thought that I would be one half of a whole. To my surprise, I am the whole . . . and I’m better for it. I don’t know about being a new “ringleader”, but I do know that if the opportunity came, I would really ponder the possibilities and not run from the opportunities. It’s living your best life. We all have that choice. I believe I’m living mine!

      • Karilyn Leslie

        I think Greg’s right!! What an exciting possibility, to build something that never existed before, kinda like what you’ve done here at O’Connor’s!! Go for it Mom!!

        Your cheering section,
        Kari, Kori, Kristen, Bruce
        and all our Kids!!

        • Patricia Kolstad

          You are amazingly supportive, and wouldn’t that be a kick? You just never know what may lie around the next corner or the next sunrise, for that matter. I’m learning that life is what you make it, that joy is not something you work for, and that love begets love. Thank you for being the strong woman you are . . . and hey, why not share your story of leaving your first “home” to your beautiful new home. There’s a story to be told, my sweet daughter!

          Momma

  • Amy

    What an inspiration you are to other woman who have had to face difficult situations. You did it and look how wonderful and blessed it turned out. No matter how far you are from your family you are still a family. What you have given them, how you have raised them and the example you are for them are things that you should be so proud of. Thanks for sharing your story and being an inspiration to us all.

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Amy . . thank you so much for your thoughts. We all have the opportunity to share our life experiences, and in doing so, I think we can offer some insight to other women who may be going through the same situation. I have been helped so much by my daughters. And my son, well, you know the story . . . Mom! Stop crying! I hate it when you cry! He’s been supportive in his own special way. Some of my strength has come from watching my daughters traverse through life. Each has grown through adversity. In fact, we use to say “We are strong, like bull!” And it’s really been true. You are what you think!

  • Tom

    Thank you for sharing . . .

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Thanks, Tom for reading my post.

  • Hi Pat –

    I was blessed to be kicked out of my parent house when I was 18. Well that is not completely true, the gave me a choice to pay rent for $500 and live under their rules, or I could find an apartment for $750 and start living my own life. Well for $250 dollars more that was the best deal I could think of, I never looked back. I love being independent and learning about life on my own. My parents must have been thrilled when I left, being the youngest of seven children, they are probably still celebrating their freedom from us.

    The biggest move I really have was when I joined the US Navy, every time I got a new duty station I had a new adventure to look forward to. I guess as much as I love change I like things to stay the same after all these years.

    It has been great to see you embrace all your changes and challenges over these years.

    Cheers to you my friend!!!

    Neil

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Neil:
      I’m sure that leaving home for the first time was an amazing decision for you. I remember moving out when I was 18, right after high school. Got my first teller job and moved in with 2 of my girlfriends from school. We rented a brand new 2 bedroom furnished apartment. Wow . . . free at last. It didn’t take long, however, to realize that moving out was more than moving clothes and staying out all night. There was rent, food, utilities, car payments, gas and making sure you made it to work on time after staying up til midnight. After 9 months, one moved out and the other decided she couldn’t afford it. I went back home and started over. Luckily, I still had a room. As I look back now, I sense that our lives are filled with “leaving home’s”. Whether that home is a place to lay your head, a job that you love and have to leave, a marriage that didn’t work, or a time when someone else has to make a decision that you can no longer handle. We need to be cognizant of how “leaving home’ affects the lives of those who are in the center of it. It can be a world of fun and adventure, or it can be a heartbreaking. I know some of these changed my life in wonderful ways, but going through it was tough. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I’ll look forward to hearing from you in another 10 years!

  • Lori Bristol

    Pat,

    This is such a great post. I went on an emotional roller coaster ride while reading it.

    I thought of the excitement of moving to my first apartment when I was twenty-one. It was so fun to have a space I could decorate as I wanted, clean if and when I felt like and stock the fridge with my choices.

    I also thought about my Grandma and how difficult the transition was of taking her out of her own home eleven years ago and bringing her to Orange County so she could be in an Assisted Living facility. When people asked her how she liked her apartment she would refer to it as jail. It is very difficult to strip a senior of their independence, however, it was crucial that she move closer to me.

    As my mother edges closer to the age of 70 I know the time will be here before I know it to have the difficult conversation and move with her and my stepfather. Fortunately they are both healthy and able to travel now. I do not want to think of the time when that changes.

    I love learning about your life through these posts!
    Love you,
    Lori

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Dear Lori
      Your story is one that is told a thousand times a day. We are truly in a season of caring for our children, our parents and our grandparents. You, my friend, are a treasure to your family. As a caregiver, you know first hand the struggle you face making sure that your grandmother is well and getting the care she deserves. You know first hand the hurt she felt as she was taken from her home. The anger she has is a secondary response to the heartache she feels. Your wisdom will be so valuable to others as you move through this time in your life. I want you to know that I respect you for what you are doing, and know that you will be able to come along side your mom in that same, gentle way. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

      • Lori Bristol

        I love you MP!!!!!

  • Carrie Bayer

    Pat, this is a great reminder that even if we do leave the place we call home, we can make our new place home as well. I remember moving to Huntington Beach after living in the same house with my parents for 25 years. It was scary & exciting at the same time. It felt so far from my family though it was only 50 miles. Now, my whole family lives in Norther California- an 8 hour drive. But, when I go visit them I feel like I’m at home. When I was facing losing my condo, the thought of moving scared me to death. Being forced to move is not a fun feeling but thankfully, I’m no longer in that position. I do think that one day I will end up in Nor Cal but until then, I’m going to enjoy every day I have in HB. Thank you for your insight! Carrie

  • Patricia Kolstad

    Carrie:
    We both know that “home” really is where the heart resides! But the getting there is tough sometimes. You are a prime example of how we can transition during tough times and create a new place filled with joy – a place where we can create new memories and new lives. I know you have had to make hard decisions for yourself, but I am proud of the way you have mustarded up the courage to move forward and begin again. Thank you for sharing a small part of your “big picture.” Live Well!
    Pat

  • Pat,
    I enjoyed reading about your moves. I knew about them, but seeing it in print brought it all back. All those years of that long, long drive you made to work and just assuming it would always be that way. I was so proud of you when you got your first place in OC, because I knew the “growing independent you” that had emerged to bring you to that point. And then when you bought your place in the Village on your own, I totally knew it was right for you. It was just plain smart! And you made a great choice at a great price.
    We have moves and decisions in our future as well. Sooner or later, it will be the right time and we will go with it. I remember planning my move 3 months before I graduated from high school. My situation was not tenable and I knew I had the power to make the change and I did. I got the place, a job lined up and moved out the day after graduation. It was a tiny studio above a kind couple. I walked 2 miles to work in all weather (MI) and I was happy and safe. 3 months later I bought my first car, again totally on my own. It was cool, too. A 1960 black Chevy Impala with the neat fins! Ha!
    Later after we married, Lou and I moved to CA in that car with clothes on a roof rack and 3 months worth of food in the trunk with no jobs to come to, just a dream. Lou got a job the second day and we gave most of that survival type food to less fortunate. I have found that moves stretch you, reshape your dreams and goals, which can become stagnant and create reasons for a lot of action, paring down to the basics, and starting fresh… Every single one of these could become a blog in itself! I love reading about your seasons. Thank you for sharing them. Love you.

    • Patricia Kolstad

      My dear friend, Annie
      We’ve come a long way, baby, both here at work and in our relationship. We’ve watched each other struggle and celebrated when something great happened. We’ve had great talks and great moments of prayer. We have had many “mirror” life stories to share, and for that I am so grateful.

      Thank you for your perspective on my moves, but more than that, thanks so much for sharing your own story. Isn’t it great when we are given the opportunity to grow, even when we feel we are exactly where we need to be? Who would have thought that I would be here permanently? I sure didn’t a few short months ago. But life is changing, and I’m thrilled for the opportunities it offers. I’m no longer afraid of new beginnings or new adventures. In fact, I’m really looking forward to this new season of my life. I know that there will be moments when I will wonder if leaving home again was a wise move, but my future looks bright . . and I’m moving toward it with great abandon!

      Thank you so much for your friendship and your insight. You are a gift!

      Pat

  • Shayna Mallik

    Pat,

    Thank you for sharing your journey. You are a strong woman and I am blessed to work with you. You give everyone around you the strength and encouragement to go forward with their life and enjoy every moment. Thank you again for your blog.

    Shayna

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Shayna
      Thank you so much for responding. Our strength as women comes from within us, and more so as we age. Your journey is just beginning and I’m excited for you. Keep your heart, mind and soul open to all life has to offer and learn from others. You will see how much it helps!

      Keep moving forward!

      Pat

  • Sharon Watkins

    Hi Pat

    As I read these blogs and responses, I realize that I am one of the newest “kids” to move into the “O’Connor Family”block! So many of you have such wonderful history and go back so many years with memories and fun times. I look forward to making new friends and being accepted into “the family” here.

    I could hardly wait to move out of my parents home when I turned 18 and go off to college. I was SURE that I was NOT going to ever feel homesick! I was ready for a new adventure and new sights! But the longer I was away and the fewer familiar faces I saw – the more that little bit of homesickness entered into my heart and mind. But it was time to move on and establish my own independence. I remember at that time, an older and wiser friend told me that my homesickness would go away when I could say, remember when….and I was telling about an experience that took place in my new location! She was right!

    That was the first of MANY MANY moves I have made throughout my life so far….. each one has been a learning experience and allowed me to meet a new me and new friends. Just this past year alone I have been through 3 moves!!! I am loving my newest “home” in South Orange County and the new friends that have welcomed me. I truly believe that “home is where the heart (and love) is” – not the structure you reside in.

    Thank you to everyone in the O’Connor family business who have made me feel so welcome in this latest “job move”. I look forward to many good times and caring relationships.

    With love,
    Sharon

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Hi Sharon . . . thanks so much for your comments.
      I truly agree that with each step we take away from what is familiar and safe, we actually do find a new “me” inside. And, if we are bold enough, we find that things that stretch and pull us our of our comfort zone, can really be a blessing. I’m always concerned about folks that would be our parents age, having to leave a home they may have been in for 40 or more years. All those memories . . . I try and put myself in their place, but it really is difficult. We are such a transient society now, that we tend to move to suit our job, our finances, our children. Someone who has worked, had children, raised children, sent children off to college and retired, all the while living in the same house. . . I think it would be devastating to have to leave.

      Thank you again, and welcome to the family and the neighborhood!

      Pat

  • Patty,

    I love your question “What move brought you or your parent the most joy?’ Often that is the move that didn’t happen! What I really mean is, sometimes when a parent is widowed, or falls ill or in need, our response is moving mom or dad near to us. We see this as an opportunity to do the right thing and care for our parents the way they cared for us so many years ago. But first, lets look at the reality. Once mom is now living across the state, or country from her previous home, how much time do we really have to offer her? Out intentions are good, but if an adult child is working full time and grandkids have school and activities, how much time is really left to spend with that parent? Is it quality time or now just doctors visits and chores? Are you still the daughter you hoped to be, or a multi tasking caregiver? Plus, seniors are at a higher risk for depression, and a move on top of another loss can be difficult to cope with. Remember to always assess what support systems your aging parents already have where they are living. Friends and a church that visit? Healthcare professionals who have known them for years? Neighbors who visit in passing, bringing little joys each day? Sometimes all those supports combined are even more important than having a family member nearby. Explore what supplemntal care and support are available in the area your parents live. If it’s an affordable option for your family, consider engaging a professional geriatric care manager to help navigate your path. You can find one at http://www.caremanager.org. You can also reach out to your county Office on Aging. Then, make an informed decision and love on those parents as they loved on us when we were in need! Aging parents can be a challenge, but msotly, they are a gift!

    My Best,
    Monica

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Monica
      Thank you so much for your insight and wisdom with regard to our aging parents. Truly, we are a community who needs resources as the “boomers” become caregivers for their parents as well as their children. I have appreciated your depth of knowledge many times before on various levels, but you really have a sense for what folks are up against when the “move” becomes apparent for our seniors. How do we best care for our parents, and not feel guilty because we cannot be there each and everyday. I agree with your perspective on support systems that may already be in place, and the heartbreak the senior may feel as they are moved from what is familiar to a “new” environment. There are so many questions to be answered on so many levels. We need help and your offering of resources is well taken.

      I look forward to your comments on my next blog, as well as on the various blogs our staff submits.
      All the best . . .
      Patty

  • Mary Dedic

    Great Blog Patty O. Loved reading about your experiences and the responses you received from others.
    This is better than watching the Reality programs on TV!
    I promise to actually contribute something from my life adventures in the future.
    Hugs,
    Me

    • Patricia Kolstad

      Hi Mare!
      Thanks so much for reading my blogs. I’m so glad that I don’t have to compete with the Bachelorette and
      the Kardashian’s, and that I’m right up there with National Geographic and PBS!

      I look forward to hearing from you on my next post. I know you have many life experiences that we all could benefit from and I’ve been privileged to hear a few of them. So don’t forget to tune in next month for my next post!
      All the best,
      Patty O’

  • Pat,

    You always amaze me! You blossom in any soil that life provides to you. I love how you have become such a “hero” to so many people who have the opportunity to experience and embrace the “sweet, wonderful you!” Peace Always! Chris

    • Patricia Kolstad

      HI Chris:
      Thank you for the sweet comments.

      I know life’s journey’s take us to places that most of the time, are unknown to us. They may not be in miles, but often times in joy, heartache, anticipation, and sometimes fear. It’s great to share the many experiences we all have. Who knows how you will lift up and support another person?

  • Jeff Turner

    Pat,

    My departure from my childhood home came the summer after my sophomore year of High School. My parents sold the house that summer and bought a 40 foot sailboat. We gave our two family dogs away the day before I left for drum major camp. I left from the only house I had known and returned a week later to the aft cabin of the boat with no permanent slip. Before you feel too bad for me, let me tell you that I was very excited about living on the boat.

    The difficulty of the loss of family pets, toys, house, familiar routines were felt but were quickly replaced with the new adventures of living 15 days at a time in one location and then moving. Then there were the adventures of dinghy rides at 6:00 AM into shore with school clothes and toiletries in the rain. I recall one night after a late field show rehearsal at school driving “home” to Long Beach only to find my “house” was not there. No cell phones back then either. So, I guess I’ll start in Newport and hope they are in one of the four possible places we may have moved to. If they aren’t there, its on to Dana Point. Oh yeah.

    I guess the point is, as difficult as it is to leave the familiar, the new adventure is at hand. Like so much of life, it’s how you choose to look at it and it is almost always a mixed bag you have to draw from.

    Carpe diem Pat,

    Jeff

  • Patricia Kolstad

    Jeff:

    Although I didn’t know you “way back then”, I certainly remember your stories of life on the Thesis, and wondered how on earth you managed. I would have been so freaked out! The great thing about your stories, is that it gave me a whole new perspective on living life as an adventure and doing things so much different that I would have ever imagined.

    You are such an inspiration to me on how to move through this life of ours with the expectation of “what’s next?”. It’s taken me the last 20 years to believe that I could do things I would have never thought or realized were possible. But now, I feel that I am living my best life. I’m still looking for the next great thing – the next installment of the book. Of turning the page and starting the next chapter.

    Thank you . . my friend. We are “seizing the day!”.

    Pat

  • Kristen

    Mom,

    You are indeed living your best life! I can see you working hard at making yourself more accessible to others, and that is such a rare gift given our age of technology and the ease of faceless communication. You have really grown personally as a result of your difficult decisions and ability to navigate life’s winding roads. I can see it! If you’re looking for ways to fill up your next decade (other than by being “Grammy Extraordinaire “, you know I think you could find ways to express your incredible talents of landscaping, toll-painting, and gardening. And don’t forget that REI weekend photography excursion I told you about!
    A virtual move is one that I am in. Indeed, when you are a parent of young children, it feels like they are constantly moving and changing, and you have to adapt to that (sometimes with great difficulty!). My girls are almost always challenging the person I am, for the person I strive to be. It can be so rewarding and gratifying, yet also filled with shattered expectations and frustration. I’m trying to ride this journey with grace, as you have.

    I know I’m late to the party, Mom. I’ll do better next time!

    Love,
    Kris

    • patricia kolstad

      Kristen:
      You are exceptional! Someday you will look back on the life you have now and remember the days when just getting your kids from one place to the next was all you could accomplish in a day! We are all leaving home in different ways. Home not only means our physical address, but our emotional and spiritual home as well. Leaving means your headed someplace new. Leaving means a new adventure with wonderful opportunities for growth and renewal. I believe your journey, no matter how life shattering it has been, will be one that we will all look back on and be grateful that you were the chosen one to walk this path. Your patience, tenderness, and perseverance has shown all of us a way to rethink our lives. You are the one who will lead us down a new and different road that will open our hearts and minds to the specialness of children like Sofia. If not for you, I would have never know the joy of her life and how she has touched mine. Infinite love!
      I bless you, my daughter . . .

      Momma