I haven’t written a wine country post on ‘the simple life’ for months, because life has been anything but simple.  My father has been in and out of the hospital for the past four months, battling Alzheimer’s for five years.  On May 30th, he was placed in a nursing home.

The caring for him at home became impossible.  Since he left, where he lived for over 50 years, it’s strange to carry on with life as if the days are normal.  There is a cloud hanging over my head, and a hole in my heart because my father is gone, but still here.  He remembers me on rare occasion, but lives in his own reality; and now, strangers care for him on a daily basis.  It’s killing my mother.  It’s killing all of us, slowly, because it is so hard to watch a loved one’s decline.

It is a tender time.  It is a poignant time.  And yet, it is what it is.  His fate is out of our hands, placed into God’s, Mother Nature’s, the divine spirit.

Buddha says, “Accept what is so,” but this has been hard.  This is my father, my hero, my first true love that I miss beyond words.  So, I grieve him while bottling over 21 cases of our 2010 Meritage wine; I grieve him cooking for my family, when tending the garden filled with sunflowers and birds.  Every day, by doing the simplest, most gentle acts, I mourn.

When one grieves, we go inward.  We become insightful, reflective, still. We harness our energy until we can give again, love and live again in the only way we know how.  I guess this is what I have been doing, and coming out of my well of sadness, finding solace and joy in writing, sharing my thoughts with you through the profound silence of the written word.

There is a simplicity emerging out of this experience, and that is to be with it: To not push or pull at it, but to let life unfold as designed by nature, no matter how cruel.  And it is cruel.  To accept and surrender.  This reminds me of the prayer my mother has posted above her kitchen sink, a prayer I read every day as a child and grown up woman.

May it carry all of us during impossible times: