Life is full of changes as graduates realized last week

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2007

Last week, hundreds of graduates from across the county marched down aisles and across stadium fields to receive their high school diplomas.

Some will head for college or technical school this fall, while others will enter the world of work. Some of those fresh faces will soon be serving our country as members of the armed forces.

Summer jobs will be juggled with family vacations; moms and dads will prepare to encounter &#8220empty nest syndrome.”

Life is certainly full of changes, and change isn't always easy.

 That never ends. Graduations, marriages, new babies, new jobs, new homes, illnesses, leaving old friends, making new ones, losing those we love - all a part of the ebb and flow.

My mom is 82 and she is still dealing with transitions. A few months ago, it was dealing with adjusting to the nursing home after breaking her hip; now, she is settling in to her new home at Pine Needle Place in Greenville.

She is physically stronger now; stronger, I believe, than before the accident. The regular physical and occupational therapy has done wonders for her, thanks to the diligence of the therapists at Crowne.

She no longer needs the round-the-clock skilled nursing care offered there and she looks amazing.

But Mama is at a place in her life where living alone is no longer an option.

The chances of finding someone reliable and trustworthy to sit with her seemed slim to none.

Long gone are the days when multiple generations lived in big houses and there was always someone available to look after an aging relative.

My sisters and I are very close emotionally, but physically, we are scattered around the state, dealing with jobs and family. In my sister Sara's case, she has a husband facing treatment for prostate cancer.

So we had hard decisions to make. We talked, we emailed, we researched; we prayed.

We all agreed on one thing: we wanted Mama to be in a safe, comfortable place – somewhere she could socialize with other seniors when she wanted to, and simply go in her room and enjoy a quiet read or a nap when that was preferred.

Today will mark Mama's first week at Pine Needle, in Room 2. It is as we hoped - quiet and comfortable and as home-like as a place away from &#8220home” can be. She loves the food and staff and is enjoying meeting new friends.

 We believe we've made the right choice, at least for now.

Life is full of changes, and you never know what is around that corner.

n n n

I must admit, I am thankful grad season is over - and I wasn't one of the ones stifling in a polyester cap and gown! One of this year's crop of graduates is someone near and dear to us at The Greenville Advocate, Amie Wesley.

Amie came to us last fall as part of Greenville High School's OJT program.

Amie is bright, talented, caring, extremely capable and, I must add, cute as a button (sorry, guys, she's got a boyfriend).

She's been a veritable breath of fresh air in our office.

While Amie is currently enjoying a much-deserved week at the beach, I am happy to say she will be coming back to work for us this summer.

Every so often, I meet a young person and they make me think: now that's someone I would be proud to claim as my son or daughter.

Amie, you are one of my &#8220kids.”

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at