I've been thinking about my mom a lot this week. She was absolutely amazing, and if you knew her you know that. It's fascinating that events that mean so much to people have almost zero affect on other people who haven't experienced something similar first hand.
It's not surprising that we don't feel anything unless we have a personal connection- after all if we did and we read the news our hearts would probably combust. Once you lose somebody so close to you it changes the way you think about tragedy and people going through something difficult.
A close friend in our circle is going through one of these times with her dad right now, its uncertain if he will live and I noticed how much different I felt hearing about something like this now after everything with my mom last year- The strongest sense of empathy I've had thus far.
I was reminded today of something my mom wrote.
10 S E C O N D S
"Don’t we know that beyond loving the people we love, as actively as we can and giving of ourselves and our time to those people and the world if we are able - that the rest is either pretty meaningless or just the details of getting the aforementioned accomplished? Why does it often take a serious illness or some sort of near miss or miss to help us remember and change our lives to reflect what we know is true? Shouldn’t we just be hardwired that way? Why aren’t we?
After a lifetime of trial and error –of making good choices and plenty of really crummy ones - and after all the years of deliberating over life-path choices – it actually took less than 10 seconds for me to know what really mattered to me and what I wanted with life when I was diagnosed. In those 10 seconds all the other stuff I had been carrying around as either what I should aspire to, become, work hard for, hold as worry or fear, anger or old resentments became so very small – or meaningless.
Suddenly my personal bucket list became very clear. 51 years of wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up dissolved and I was left with this rather short list:
1.Actively Love my Loved Ones. It’s pretty much the whole reason I’m here at all. To articulate the love I feel within me.
2.Plant trees and Gardens. Appreciate this Earth.
3.Make Art, Beautiful Food and Write.
It seems like a very short list, I know –but consider how really time consuming appreciating the Earth is. All that appreciating going on and loving people can also be very inspiring. I foresee many paintings and Mosaics in my future… I’ll get hungry which will lead to a great deal of daily cooking and eating…. You get the idea. I’m going to have to live to at least 90 to get through my list at all!...
I want to watch my granddaughter whom I call Owl, and all those grandkids that I just know are on their way soon grow and play and give their parents the run for their money they gave me. I have plans to be the grama that says yes! more often than no –and provides books, a garden to play in and eat out of, tea -parties and space for fort-making. I want to be the grama that lets the kids get dirty and then squirts them off with the hose and sends them on their way. I want to be in a giant puppy pile of grandkids. I want to make trouble and fun so their parents about 1/2 regret bringing them to see me except that we all had such a good time."