Mom had a special calendar that was put out every Thursday by a special friend. It would have all of the available time spots to spend with her for the upcoming week so Dad could go to work and allowed her tight knit group of friends to sign up for 2 1/2 hour chunks of time to spend with her. If I was going to be in town, I would request people to come to either relieve Dad at 8am so I could sleep in a bit and work out, or to come at 10:30 if I was spending the night so I could run out and grab breakfast and lunch at PCC. And people would negotiate with me, asking if they could just come anyway, not wanting to miss their shift.
Today was the first Thursday in almost 8 months that there wasn't a calendar attached.
But there was an email. Instead of reminding friends of a chemo appointment or a special visit, there was this request: "pull out your calendars, take a look at the week ahead, and create your own block of time to do something loving for yourself or for another friend who could use a hug"
Another special person who reached out to me very early on to tell me stories of hope, love and heartbreak reminds me on a consistent basis to "rock myself gently."
And everyone who I've been saying goodbye to in the past few days has been reminding me to take care of myself and my family.
But these are good reminders for you, too. To anyone who has been following this blog since the beginning or anytime up until now: I hope you realize that no matter your situation, it is precious and temporary. This has been a trying and heartbreaking year for so many of us, for so many different reasons. We've lost so much. And yet, we've gained, too. I have had moments of sheer joy. I have come to Gary on numerous occasions, scared that we're never going to be as happy as we are at this exact moment. I had conversations with Mom that never would have taken place. I would never have realized the strength of my parent's marriage, their devotion to each other and to my brother and me.
What I'm trying to say is that I hope that you'll take some time in the next few hours or days or weeks and honor Mom's memory by doing something loving for yourself. And by doing something loving for someone else. Whatever it is, make it a priority and make it special. And if it feels good and right, make it a habit.