10 years ago today, I sat holding the hand of my Mom as she breathed her last. It was a terrible and beautiful experience wrapped up in one. And ten years on I can still picture elements of that day.
And yet so much has changed since then. Countless times I’ve wished to call her, sit on her porch talking about life, or receive one of her letters or renown birthday cards. But alas it is not possible. And as time moves along certain memories fade – for me it has been the sound of her voice I struggle to remember – but her smile, the delight of seeing her family has not faded at all.
She also lives on within me. My daughter, who she never met, reminds me of her everyday. Same body shape, same deep rooted kindness for others. It is amazing to see.
Death is a marker. A cruel one, but a marker. My Mom’s death, far too early, is a significant life event for me. The good thing about life markers is that we can choose to think about all we ‘haven’t done’ or ‘haven’t become’ or we can choose to see how far we have come.
In ten years, much change has happened in my life and in yours. We have all come far, we have all gained. I remember, honour, cherish, and miss my Mom everyday. I am the person I am in part because of her. And I know she would delight in many of things I’ve done and become in these ten years. In fact, she wouldn’t even mention the things I haven’t yet become or where I have failed. Not even mention them. So why would I focus on them rather then celebrate what has been gained?
We all have a similar choice. We can choose to focus on what we have not yet become or accomplished. Or we can focus on how far we have come. Perhaps take a moment and think back to 10 years ago and then write down 10 positive changes in your life since then. You can do this individually or with a team or even an organisation.
No one goes to bed at night wishing they received a little less encouragement during the day. Encourage yourself, encourage others.
If my Mom knew you, she’d be cheering you on.
Photo by my brother – Mom delighting in her grandkids