Overdraft charges due to a deposit to the wrong account, a car that I owe a small fortune on and can’t afford, my sister in need of a very invasive surgery, my niece recooperating from child birth, soon to undergo a hysterectomy, bills that are behind, a To Do list as long as my striped knee socks. A snowblower destroyed by a well meaning friend, aging parents, on and on and on. I was feeling weighed down, worried, stressed…and then I heard the very sad news of the passing of my cousin’s 32 year old daughter in law, a young mom, wife, daughter…cancer. I haven’t a problem in the world. With the exception of health issues, most of which I have no control but I CAN and DO pray for all… My mind shifts to what it was like when my kid sister took ill and passed at the young age of 38.
There is nothing you can do, nothing you can say to take away their pain. They are in the throws of exhaustion, sadness, even a bit of relief and disbelief. Life is forever changed. A son will no longer have his mother, a husband his best friend and wife. Parents stripped of a daughter (and inlaw). I feel powerless, sad, wishing there was something, anything I can do… and then I remembered the power of prayer. I can pray!
The purpose of my sharing this is not the sadness of such, but to share that hearing of her passing, remembering the excruciating pain involved with the loss of someone, particularly someone young and full of life. Also remembering that these are the very things, the very times that are of the highest significance. You realize, the unpaid bills, the stresses of everyday life are only as significant as we make them. With the exception of my sister and nieces health, the rest are “luxury problems” compared to what this family is facing and has been facing for months. This family who, without a doubt, are the closest, most loving and appreciative of each other, than all of my family. There is nothing they wouldn’t do for each other, for any of us, they know what is important in life, they continue to inspire me and make me proud to be able to call them family.
The difficult challenging times of our life gift us with character, experience, making us better people if we are open to the lessons, The helping hand of a friend, offering assistance to someone in need of help can seem like a huge bother if we are weighted down by the stresses of everyday life. Yet it isn’t the bills getting paid, or grandeous gifts we give that mean the most. It very well IS the smaller acts that we do to help others. Sacrificing an hour of your day to take your mom shopping or sacrificing, gladly, with love months of your life taking care of an ill loved one, working exhausted, on empty, while trying to carry strength in front of the dying, in an effort and success in making their last wishes come true. Daunting, challenging, frustrating… times are hard for so many right now, we never have to look very far or too hard to find someone worse off than ourselves. Giving of ourselves, to help another, even a simple smile at a stranger can and does make a difference. We are not just giving to those we love or helping others but living purposeful, wealthy in love, drowning in sadness yet in doing for others we have in fact given ourselves the greatest gift of all…. These are the times, the things, the actions that really matter. These are the beautiful moments of our lives that we poo poo or sometimes wish away due to our schedules, responsibilities, stresses of every day life, and yet… these are what matters most.
I hugged my dad very closely when he left today. How fortunate I am that I got to visit with him today, to tell him I loved him, to spend an hour with this man who gave me life.
Rest in peace Christie, and when you meet my grandparents, and see Uncle Len, my sister, my aunt… give them a huge hug for me. You lived amongst the wealthiest of families when it came to love.