High school seniors across the nation (and in all my classes...and at home) are beginning the process of applying to college.
Many of our friends whose parents are aging, especially those in declining health, are beginning the process of applying to assisted living facilities.
Some of our friends are doing both: helping their sons or daughters apply to college and applying to places like Aegis Living on behalf their parents (or, in the case of all our friends, their mothers).
One of these processes marks a beginning, a taking off; the other indicates the beginning of an ending that for many is not in sight but is nonetheless glimpsed as if "through a glass, darkly." For some, they have achieved a Zen-like absence owing to their condition that keeps them in an immediate present we all sometimes wish we could feel in the midst of our busy lives.
Of course, one is not just applying to get in but to get help paying for it or otherwise providing against certain problems. Thus there are additional applications---to banks, lawyers, the government, employers---to cover all the expenses until our seniors graduate from their school or this life.
What follows is yet another application process, one our beloved seniors must handle on their own, an application they must complete themselves prior to that next phase.
And after that? For some of us, yet more applications: for jobs, programs, or help of some sort. For others, a deeper, more demanding application of the self to their own life which they must return and devote themselves to with the same commitment they gave for so long to their high school seniors or parents.