In the span of the last 12 months, I lost my father, a very close family friend, and my best friend from college.
This past year has been a deeply reflective period on mortality and legacy.
Lately, I’ve been drawn to dead and dying things in nature. They, like people, are so undervalued in our eyes. Once vibrant and colorful, they continue to feed the earth with their “bodies.”
Here are a few beautiful leaves I saw while on a walk:
and my interpretation:
I believe that the more we live in presence, the less we fear “death.”
I had my 5th graders reflect upon their work and productivity now that the first semester is closing.
Here is one response I think we can all relate to on some level (replace fortnite with Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, etc).:
Today is my birthday.
I’m 51. 51 is the new 31. Look who else is 51: Will Smith, Hugh Jackman, Julia Roberts, Jimmy Kimmel, David Guetta, Kylie Minogue, and Vanilla Ice, people! I’m in good company. Jennifer Aniston is almost there and so is J. Lo.
I’ve decided to be proud of my age. It is what it is. How are we to be a society that embraces the elderly if we have shame just for living a long time? I’ve made it. I’ve had a couple close calls: a scooter accident in San Francisco….a blood clot post-labor 17 years ago…breast cancer…yet here I am. I’ve lost some loved ones this year (and in past years) and you know what? Life goes by fast. Live in a way so you won’t regret anything.
And I’m fit. I’m the strongest I’ve ever been mentally and physically. In my twenties, I thought it was most important to be thin. Now I see it’s most important to be strong.
I’m glad I’ve learned the lessons I’ve learned: Be present. Be open. Allow your children to be who they are. Love your job. Live well each day. Don’t take yourself – or anything -seriously.
Because your father and the Korean War
treated you mercilessly
you swallowed the hate, anger and resentment
with tiny grains of rice and near-clear broth
You read books and taught yourself
math – the universal language
you patched holes in your shoes and clothes
sewed extra material to your pant legs
With marriage and children, hunger multiplied
your craving for recognition and love
were bottomless pits of self-doubt
and utter darkness
You lashed out and your fears
masqueraded as control and power
launched your family away
but your heart cried
“I’m looking forward to our long drive from Georgia,” my husband says.
We will be driving from Lawrenceville, GA to Mesa, AZ (over 1,800 miles) to move my mother’s things from her old house to ours. After dad passed away in July, mom has been uprooted mentally, spiritually and physically.
But whose partner says they are looking forward to driving all day for several days? Mine. I’m fortunate to have a supportive partner who not only steps up but embraces this “adventure.” He’s excited to box things up, rent the equipment, tow mom’s car at the back of the truck and drive all the way back home for 27 hours. Thank you, William. I am grateful.