The Long Goodbye

               Death came too close last week. A team member was in the hospital doing well and getting ready to be discharged the next day when fate took a turn. The call came late on a Friday night. Two days later her family and friends walked to the cemetery in a solemn single file line with crying in our hearts.

               How can someone be here one day with hopes and dreams of the future and gone the next? We are never ready. And she was so young, only in her 30s, doing good work, raising her kids, helping her family, preparing to be in her sister’s wedding.

               The call came on the eve of the anniversary of my Mom’s death. I’m not sure how 14 years have passed already. She stays in my heart and thoughts, and I look down and see my hands have become like her hands, worn from hard work and raising a family, staying busy with life’s endless tasks.

               I am also pulled back to the week after my arrival here, getting the news of a long-time friend who also passed away so suddenly. My last words with her were “I’ll see you when I get back”, but the universe had other plans and we never spoke again. We had more adventures planned. We met in college and were growing old together, always able to pick up a conversation or go out for a bite.

               Life takes sudden turns. One minute someone is there and the next they are not. Every now and then you forget and think about calling them or just sending a quick text. Something you want to share, to quickly reconnect, but then you realize that although their number is still in your phone they are aren’t going to answer, no longer on the other end.

Forever is a long time to miss someone.

Gifts of the Day

Written Dec 25, 2021

Today has gifts that a box can’t contain and don’t come with a bow or a card. They are there for all to enjoy if we just take the time. Otherwise, they fade away to be replaced by another day of things to be discovered. Each day is much the same, but small differences make each one special. A different cloud and air current can give a day of rain, one where the clouds shield you from the sun or a day when the clouds are too thin, and the rays come down full force.

A soft breeze is encouraging the plants to dance to the symphony of birds and crickets. The bass voices of the frogs are in the background. Together they create a jazz ensemble without sheet music.

The light perfume wafts by as the flowers drop their petals like confetti for the parades of ants on their way to where they are going.

Finding a seed pod full of potential of growing into branches that reach the sky as the roots hold it firmly in place with the ability to create another generation of potential and so on and so on.

The graceful flight of an egret as it effortlessly glides from the treetop to land silently on the grass. Sometimes they fly solo, sometimes in pairs or sometimes they travel in a larger flock, flying separately, yet together.

The sun shares its light and warmth throughout the day. Starting gently, peaking over the horizon to full strength in mid-day to share energy. The plants store it away or use it to transform into food. The light and warmth slowly fade from the sky, encouraging rest to process today and prepare for whatever tomorrow brings.

The gifts are there each day waiting. Some days they will go unnoticed, others they will share with you their boundless joy as life continues to unfold.

It is quiet. There u\is peace in my world. I am practicing to manage my breath and my thoughts. Nature is reminding me to slow down and enjoy the gifts of each day.