Every now and again I get a little taste of what life is truly about. I want to figure out how to bottle up the essence of life, because those little bottles would be potent and hold great capacity for change.
Recently when I lived in a home of sickies, I put some essential peppermint oil in our humidifier. I usually function on the mentality of "some is good and more is better", so one drop surely wouldn't be enough. So I load my humidifier with what will surely clear out my nasal passages and help me to breathe better and turn that sucker on. Within a half hour I could no longer enter that room or my eyes would tear up as if I was chopping a bushel of onions and now my wall has an oil stain on it. That little bit off peppermint essence was some potent stuff and forever changed my bedroom wall which I have no desire to repaint. Maybe in this case more was just stronger.
Of course there are the obvious things that we wish we could bottle up and keep forever. Weddings and births. My wedding will forever be seared into my mind as one of the most amazing days of my life. Grayson's birth as well. Grayson's birth went beyond what I expected in so many ways. It rocked me to my core because of the other situations surrounding that day on top of the fact that I was meeting my son for the first time. I did not want to admit to myself that I was in labor, and I think I ignored the fact that I was pregnant for a good number of months while trying to sleep in hospital chairs next to my mom. In my planners heart, that was not what my pregnancy experience was going to look like, and I surely would have given birth with my momma there.
Inevitably things do not always go according to our plans. And regardless of my plan it was good none the less. I was surrounded by love and cared for by people who care deeply about me. Everyone knew the circumstances beyond those four walls and realized the magnitude of this event in my life. While I was mourning the fact that my mom couldn't physically be there that night, others helped me to remember that it was a miracle she could be there at all. Those first moments meeting your baby, and even more so, that first night where it is just the three of you is a perfect example of radical love and the essence of life.
The other day my mom finally mailed a project she she had worked on for a long time. She had a friend she met through blogging who truly inspired her. This woman walked with radical faith and had adopted many, many kiddos. For some time my mom wrote down ways in which this woman's words made a difference in her life and how her story mattered to my mom and she made a scrap book out of it. I looked at my mom the other day sobbing happy tears in bed as she was reading on her phone. Her friend had received the scrap book and was blown away. My mom didn't have to take the time to do that. She could have just sent a little quick email. But instead she created a memory that was an example of the essence of life. As my mom's tears once again streamed down her cheeks, I was reminded how important it is to slow down and support each other in little and small ways.
My sister called me the other day. She received her electric bill. It was way beyond what she had estimated and in the moment she was completely overwhelmed. The next piece of mail she opened had a note from a family that she recently nannied for, but hasn't been able to since needing to stay with my mom more. It just said that they loved her and missed her, and it included a check for just a little more than that heating bill. That family didn't owe my sister anything, but that gesture had my sister, mom, and cousin in tears for a good long time. Another example of the essence of life and the power of love and people.
Maybe I am more keenly aware and in touch with these moments because I am holding onto every last morsel of goodness that I can experience with my mom, but I don't want to lose this appreciation for love and the essence of life when she is gone. I want to teach my son to experience it sooner and to help create it for others. I want to be a vessel that can bless people. I want my life to be about more than just myself, my family, and my career. I want to be fully engaged and present in the big and small moments, because I want to truly experience the essence of life on a daily basis.
My mom is doing pretty well. She is holding steady. She is only able to get up to use the bathroom, otherwise we hang with her in bed. The food network has been our entertainment as of late, and my mom has actually been able to eat a decent amount. Unfortunately she still isn't really able to swallow pills and we have not been able to manage the pain in her foot. Prayers for the pain to decrease, and for her to be able to sleep and be comfortable would be greatly appreciated.