Smiles, hugs, a helping hand, a kind word, and gentle encouragement are the things that sustain us through the many difficulties and challenges of life. Taking time to let others know that they matter, that their thoughts and feelings find significance with you. These small things settle the otherwise turbulent world that surrounds us all.
I was thinking earlier today how families endure struggles together, how none are able to navigate this world without facing their share of troubles, yet these experiences become part of the narrative that joins us, part of our common bond, the times when love proves to be the unfailing anchor that does not let us lose hope.
How simple things are when settled in a home of peace away from the strife that seems to wait not far from beyond these blessed walls. The older I get the more I think about heaven. I think of the absence of turmoil, the presence of unending joy. I watch as those near to my heart age, facing one health challenge after another, each one seeming to take a little more of them away, and I realize that this process is aging me too. It changes me to watch my parents struggle, to see them losing their friends, to know of the unease that each of them repeatedly face when a companion of over 50 years is heading back into the hospital for another test or another treatment. Its hard…
I’ve become part of the sandwich generation, raising a young child while worrying over Mama and Daddy. I’m a wife and mother (to an 8 year old and to a 26 year old), granny, and adult daughter all at the same time. Its challenging and somewhat disconcerting. Its as if each day holds a tremendous amount of weight and responsibility but also reminds me to cherish these moments as I know they are so quickly passing.
One of the gifts of loss is the lesson it teaches about the precious gift of time. So pressed to teach my young one the many important lessons needed, yet knowing the great necessity to celebrate the simple pleasures and joys of today, of now. These childhood days are so few and fleeting when measured against the demands of adulthood. I don’t want to miss the joy of youth, of days in the sunshine with little pals, burgers and fries and laughter.
When Heather grew up and left home, I determined I would not take one moment of Noah’s childhood for granted, that I would laugh more and fret less, that I would watch his young life with the intention of relishing the simple moments. I’ve done that. I well remember the many days of giggly girls, rides in the car with windows down and music playing, late nights playing in makeup and fixing hair, tents constructed in the middle of the living room floor, and the sound of joy. It just went by too quickly and I knew it the moment it was over. This time, this time, I want it to last a little longer, to embrace it more fully, and to celebrate more completely. This is my last rodeo 🙂 Noah will be my last, so as these years come and go I walk these steps in gratitude for the honor of still being a little person’s “mom.”