Jackie Gingrich Cushman

But, of course, nothing does. My children, now 14 and 12, are in middle school, and I can imagine a time when they are both out of the house and at college. I know that the six years the 12-year-old has left at home will go by in a flash.

However, my awareness that life's seasons will change has not brought me patience. Instead, it has led me to understand my impatience. That, I would argue, is the first step toward improvement.

How does this understanding and acceptance of phases connect with the loss of my mother? It helps me to understand the words from the Book of Ecclesiastes that were popularized and immortalized by Pete Seeger, whose final season came last month.

"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance."

It's fine to mourn, and it's fine to dance, and it's fine to know that part of life itself is to understand that nothing lasts forever, and that even the sad times should be embraced.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.