Today I make wedding cakes. Today I look toward the next generation and the good things in their lives. This weekend my son marries a girl who is so very much the match to his soul. I am proud and happy and filled with hope. Life moves in its circle of love and grace.
The honesty of living with a grief that comes when that cycle is cut short is real. On Saturday, I will think about my mom and miss her. It will only be a fleeting thought as I share this day as a witness to my son's vows—the promise of a life spent together. But for that moment my mom's face will fill my thoughts—not with regret, but with awareness.
I will wish for a moment that she could be there—that he could know her. And I will wonder for a moment what she would say to this new grand-daughter.
Her presence in their lives will be missed—perhaps only by me. But certainly by me. I will notice and then I will move on into a day of celebration.
But make no mistake. Her absence will be real to me. It is a part of how I live my life—with the awareness that every day is precious, that every child is a treasure, that every single celebration is a privilege, a gift.
We gain our values from the shadows of our losses. Because we know that growing old and living all the seasons of life is not something to take for granted, we celebrate the good times with extra gratitude. Sometimes with a hidden dread that the seasons might be snatched from us.
But generally, we celebrate with the vision that has created deep awareness. Life is precious. People are our treasures. Time is a wisp of opportunity—if we want to love our people well, we had better do it now. Today.
I write on how humans develop and grow through challenges we face. I've divided this into three categories--Growing Love is about relationships and how we create conditions for growth despite the inevitable challenges. Cloudburst is about grief, specifically—which is a tricky topic. We need to keep growing but pushing is the opposite of helpful. And in Dancing on Hot Sand I talk about personal inner growth in hard places—spiritual growth, without sounding religious, I hope.