it's been a while, and a lot has changed. my father passed in May after his brave fight of lung cancer. my mom, absorbed by dementia, lived under our roof, until it was not safe for her to be with us. she is in a lovely place nearby, with more care than we could provide.
a friend once told me that caregiving is like a freight train... it moves really fast and very furious. she was right. almost 6 years of giving back to these loving humans that brought me into this world, was a rapid lesson in humility and unconditional love, the real kind. it taught me how fragile we are, and how to surrender to the journey we travel when leaving this world.
aside from the 62 years of their shared life, they each,
in their own unique way, left lessons that have shaped my entire family.
be brave, always.
stay close to those you love.
family, 'la famiglia', first, always.
lift up those who feel invisible.
be kind to all people.
make your bed before you go to school (<-- MOM!)
take care of your tools (<--DAD!)
remember where you came from.
always have an 'out' when driving.
don't change a good recipe.
play your favorite music in the mornings.
when the music comes on, dance!
ask for advice from those older and wiser.
be willing to push the broom, even if it is way off of your job description.
be a friendly neighbor.
be a friendly neighbor that helps without being asked.
tell the truth, even when it hurts.
make the visit, even when it is hard.
let the butter run down your arms when eating fresh corn.
give to strangers anonymously.
stay home when you have a fever.
take care of your health.
make others laugh, if you can.
get to the yoga mat, even when you don't have one.
do it your way.
... and so much more.
author Peter Matthiessen once wrote,
'someone said very rightly, the purpose of our life is to help other's through it'.
I am completely honored...