I had an amazing moment with my dad, today.
Although I'm not Jewish, I accompany him to temple every year on this day. During the service, they take an hour to remember those who have passed on with a special focus on parents. I had a WAKE UP moment. Instead of waiting to remember him, I decided to do it today. He showed me where he grew up, he told me about his childhood, his elementary school, the day I was born. I did the one thing I could do to "remember" him today: I listened. I paid attention. I let him know I love him by being with him today--really being with him completely in every moment. I let him know his life matters to me by giving him my full attention. I realized that I don't know when our last Yom Kippur together will be so today, I let him know with my actions that I see him and I love him. With that, I thought, "This might be what it's really all about--letting the people we love know that we love them and that the fact that they were born matters to us." I think that may just be the gift inherent in witnessing a life.....
Friday, May 4, 2012
Today it’s a year since the last time I held your hand although I have been holding you in
my heart every day since. You spoke to me in a dream for the first time last week, and
we looked at each other and in unison, we both said what’s true: “I miss you”.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you—but you know that.
I feel you with me, a part of me. I want you to know that in your death I was changed.
In life, you taught me what it was like to be unconditionally loved. It’s so sad that I never understood that until you were gone—until there was no where to turn when I needed that experience on one of the harder days. I miss the sound of your voice and our every day conversations--that “Hi honey” that was ALWAYS happy to hear from me no matter what. Thank you for loving me so well—for demonstrating to me that that kind of love is possible here. While I have not been able to replace it, I strive to be it now for others, for myself when I can and someday for my own children…
In death, you taught me what a good life really consists of and what matters the most. On that bed in the last few hours of your life, it certainly didn’t matter how much money you had, how many houses, or what anybody thought of you. All that mattered on that bed was that the people you loved knew that you loved them. And what I saw in those last few hours was a very successful life: a life filled with people who both loved and respected you for how your life made a difference in theirs and how your life served as an example of what it truly means to be of service.
That has been one of your many gifts to me, mom. Living into your example:
That will be my gift to you………
I love you now and always.