The Wonder of Words
Today I want to write about something that is both acutely personal and inherently universal. This is the profound truth that amidst all of the conversation we have, all of the words we speak, eventually, some collection of words will be the last ones we share with different folks in our lives. Last week I received the hard news that my Grandma, who has had heart health trouble recently, was being moved from the hospital to a hospice center.
My Grandma Gloria is one of my most treasured relationships on this planet. We have been gifted a particularly connected and sweet relationship and if you know me, you've certainly heard stories about her. There are countless things I could share about her. For now, I will simply saw Grandma Glo has been one of my primary teachers in the art of caring for others and living a devoted life.
Upon hearing the news that her health was not recovering, I swirled into a frenzy of thoughts. My mind displayed an ecstatic slideshow of memories. 29 years of love, cookies, hugs, laughs, holidays, grandma-grandaughter dates and so much more in the blink of an eye. I felt the imprint of her on my heart as I remembered so many mundane or ordinary moments that were now so obviously precious. I found myself thinking about all of things I had not said to her. All of things I had not asked her.
It has been a few days now since the news arrived. As I sit here writing, Grandma is still with us. In the last few days I feel a new depth of presence in each interaction. From this perspective, I've found my surprised by what I think to ask and what we've talked about. I asked her what falling in love with my Grandpa was like, what her favorite birthdays and trips were, what she hopes for me, my mother, our planet. And in the moments where she doesn't have the energy to talk I shower her with "I love yous" and sing her songs.
As I steep in the gift of these conscious interactions, I am reflecting on how these conversations -where I am aware the words I say could well be the last- are utterly distinct from my usual communication. I am left wondering, why should they be? Could I slow down each time I find myself in connection with another. Could I tell them what I appreciate about them, ask them meaningful questions, and say I love you more freely? For now, this is my aim; to witness each shared word as the precious gift it is.
So to you, in this moment, I want to let you know how spectacular you are. Even if I do not know you, I trust that you have imprinted a great deal of love and good onto this planet one way or another. I believe that you have tried, succeeded, failed, laughed, cried, and listened. I want to tell you that I believe that as sure as your heart is beating you have a boundless capacity to care for yourself and for others and that is magic. I want to tell you that I appreciate your efforts to learn and grow and I hope you always remember that in each moment, you are wholly enough. I want to ask you if there is anyone who may not know how much you love and appreciate them. Is there anything you have been wanting to express to a loved one? If the answer is yes, would you give them a call, write them a letter, or send them a prayer?