Autumn is officially here. I woke up the morning and it was mighty chilly outside. I still did my walk in shorts, but I had a long sleeve shirt on and a light sweatshirt over that. I didn't need to unzip it even as I walked back up hill. When I got back to the house, the heat inside (even though I have yet to turn on my heat...that day is coming soon) felt good.
Fall is a time of transition; a time of change. It is obvious as the leaves start to change color. Look up; look around at the beauty of it all. It's odd to realize that all this beauty is a result of the leaves "dying" and the tree going into”hibernation" until spring comes again. But there you have it. What you might think of as an "ugly" process actually has a beauty to it.
Of course autumn is also a time of harvest. When we enjoy the bounty of what has been "sown" during the warmer months. There is even more color there: the deep orange of pumpkins, the reds and greens of fresh, crisp apples, the maroons, golds and purples of mums that dot the neighborhood lawns. The feel of the chill in the air and the smells that that crispness brings is all part of the transition to autumn.
Personally, the season brought another transition for my family. My father, after 16 days in the hospital (most of which were in ICU), was transported (transitioned) to a rehab facility last night. This is a step forward. It is another part of the healing process that will take a long time. But I will admit I am apprehensive. There was a certain "safety" to the hospital (even if it was in my own mind). Despite the fact of being "Care & Rehab" facility, it is still a "nursing home" to me. There might be nice lounges and wide screen TVs, but it's still that institutionalized place where old people go. (And in my mind, don't go anywhere after that.) As the old saying goes; you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.
Now in all fairness, I have no experience with rehab centers and I have had experience with "nursing homes." But that was a long time ago and I am hoping that the experience in the "rehab" portion of the facility is different than what I've seen in the past for "long term care." My father is very much aware that this is a short term thing and that he needs rehab to regain his strength so that he can return home. He is a hard worker and I know he wants "out." But he also has spent over 2 weeks very ill in a hospital bed and had not eaten solid foods in over 2 weeks. So the road will not be easy and it will not be short.
This move, however, is a transition. A transition from illness to completing recovery and returning home. Certainly things will not be the same as they were before; they could not be. Serious illness changes everything. But I am hopeful that this facility will give him the care that he needs to finally transition home and to good health.