making sense of life's directives
At 66, I continue to have many questions about the reasons behind the way life seems to work out.
As I write this, my dear friend Janet is missing her mother’s memorial, a day she and her sister Laurin have been painstakingly planning for months. Janet has come down with Covid. She is heartbroken, rightly so, as is Laurin.
These lovely ladies live a block from me. We met a few years back. Janet reminded me of my father’s sister Thelma in the nicest ways: her soft-spoken nature and the way she seemed to give thought to her words. Laurin was equally as kind and inviting. The three of us began walking in the early morning hours.
As I got to know them, I was struck by the dedication they offered their aging mother, Kathryn. Janet and her husband Glen moved into the house next door to Laurin and her husband Jerry so they could share the caregiving. Who does that? Four angels, apparently.
Kay had a bedroom in each house, staying several months at one residence, then moving next door. Kathryn was a lucky woman, but maybe not so much luck, as she was the one who taught her girls to be such kind people.
Befriending Janet and Laurin has been one of my Cool blessings. We come from different histories. Nevertheless, we all seem to understand each other. They share stories with me on our walks about growing up with their parents. I reciprocate my stories about growing up with my parents and the many horror stories while caring for Helen. We couldn’t be at more extreme ends of the spectrum.
At first, I found myself hesitating to fill them in on my history. But every time I took the chance and shared something of my past, these lovely women listened and responded as if they could relate. I grew to feel very safe telling even the worst of my stories. I learned from them that healing can still occur even in your mid-sixties when you let your guard down and expose your underbelly to your new friends.
Today I’m asking the heavens, why would Janet be precluded from attending her mom’s memorial? Gosh, that shouldn’t happen to anyone, but it seems to me that Helen and I could weather that storm a bit easier, given our history.
I always look for a way to explain, put reason to, or excuse the painful experiences we call life. It’s challenging to make rhyme or reason, but that doesn’t leave me disheartened. The ferocious game player in me just thinks I haven’t thought long or hard enough to figure it out.
And regardless of whether I come up with answers, I continue to lift my heart toward the skies, taking that deep yogini breath and believing in goodness, hope, and, as I’m known for, trying to unearth the lessons.
What could the universe’s lesson possibly be for precluding Janet from attending her mother’s memorial?
Because I know what a sweetheart Janet is, I am confident the reasons are full of love and kindness, perhaps Kay’s way of sending one last message of love to her daughter, “It’s time for you to take care of yourself, as opposed to me, sweet girl.”
And that it is.
Thank you, Kathryn, for leaving behind these remarkable women I have the privilege of calling my friends.
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