Treasuring My Life
My life has been hectic for a few years now. Lately, with my mother’s health declining on a daily basis and me being her full time caregiver, the days have felt unbearable at times. I have recently learned to breathe in slowly and breathe out even slower to calm myself and help me to appreciate the blessings I have in my life. It does not totally alleviate the stress but it does help me to relax.
I do these deep breathing exercises at the end of the evening when I want to sit at my computer and ease my weary soul by tapping away at the keyboard until my thoughts and feelings are neatly bundled into a journal entry or an essay. It is at that moment, when a sense of accomplishment envelopes me, that I feel thankful for being safe, warm, and capable.
As I look back at my day I can almost always find a few moments that make me smile, some that make me think about my past, and still others that make me wonder what the future might hold. A special moment from today was my mother telling me that her father had been in the living room praying with the sailor on the wall. My grandfather passed away thirty-six years ago and the sailor on the wall is my late father who passed away twenty-one years ago. Still, my mother was adamant about their presence in our living room and she described the scene in great detail. It brought her comfort and peace. Who am I to tell her that it is beyond possibility? I listened quietly and smiled at her when she was done talking.
I have been complaining about having cabin fever but tonight I feel no negativity in my heart or mind. I am grateful for the home that is warm and sturdy as the snow continues to pile up on the lawn. I am grateful for the love of my children, family, and friends. I appreciate each and every blessing that comes to me including being able to care for my mother during her fragile days. While life has given me many challenges and a lot of heartbreak I have also been given many small joys in everyday life.
Over the last few days I have cried over deaths, I rejoiced for a birth, and I have prayed for people all over the world who have been through upheavals and devastating natural disasters. The blessing I find in this is being able to pray for them. I am living to see these events unfold and I am able to reach out to others in some small way to make a difference. I am here to see the outpouring of love and faith that is given to people in need without regard to location, race, or beliefs. I am blessed to finally understand that we are all the same no matter where we live, how much or how little money we make, and no matter what color our skin might be. We can band together. We can work together. We can make a difference in the world together.
I don’t know what tomorrow might bring. It could bring a storm that unleashes the Heavens in a way no one has ever seen or it could bring a rainbow with colors so magnificent people will take photographs of the rainbow until it dissipates. No matter what tomorrow brings, I will be grateful just to be a part of it and have the chance to record the journey as I travel toward my final destination.
I think we all have miracles in our lives but we don’t always see them. My mother has an open mind now. Her interactions with life are not limited by her fears or her beliefs. She sees things the rest of us are unable to see. This is her miracle. This is her blessing. I think I was blessed to share a small part of that miracle with her today. It was one more reason for me to treasure my life.
© Dianna Doles-Petry 2/16/2010