Today I sit on the foot of my mother’s bed—her 97-year-old body now a mere 75 pounds. Dementia minded and almost crippled from age, she finds comfort in 5×7 photos framed on the endtable beside her. In each, black and white photographic memories of life with a husband she adored. And as I struggle to balance the love I have for her with the frustration of my family being her sole caretaker, a stranger-now-friend of lifts my heart.
Listen To Her Story
She ask to be anonomous, for that’s the kind of person she is. As in her countenance can be found no desire for fanfair, and in her heart a deep love for a departed father. She inspires us toward goodness.
Through her listening eyes and seeing mind she advocates for no self-gain or grandeur. Credits her most humble outlook to the pained past and nurturing courage of goodly parents. Her very presence blossomed from seeds planted by a father, who in his own life had first hand witness the worst of what humankind can do. She is grounded. Transparent, as welcoming me into her life, I was overwhelmed by her love for the value of human life. And as we talked of the fragility this living experience extends to each of us, she entrusted me in seeing the torch that flamed her legacy. And as she did, I re-imagined not only my own life, but saw a fire of hope that I pray burns into the hearts of us all.
In her words, “It’s the here and now that matters, and don’t spend your life wasting it away on insignificant things that aren’t going to mean anything in the end. The only thing we can be left with is the imprint we leave on someone to help them or make them feel better.”
And as we listen to her story, might we all pause to look toward the elderly, those we love, and even ourselves—and as we do, to feel past the struggles and accomplishments behind and in front of us. And from there, to distantly unifiy in recognizing the value of one another.
Yes, she asked me to keep her identity unknown—but to hide the message she has to share with us would be a great diservice to us all. So it is on this International Month of Women’s History, and in tribute to her as well as all the loving daughters out there, I give thanks to an unnamed woman who has uplifted us this day.
Talk tomorrow my good friends,
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“Sidewalk Ghosts” on your favorite podcast app.