It really is true that when people love you and are surrounding you with support and attention,  you are motivated to live. Yesterday, 30 relatives and guests visited Gigi and it made all the difference.

She interacted. She spoke. She smiled. She blew kisses. She still didn’t want to eat the cottage cheese (which may have nothing to do with illness), but she rallied. She was better than she’s been all week. 

And for that I am grateful.

We all know that a life does not last forever. Truthfully, we wouldn’t want it to. Too much disaster and disappointment to weather while everyone else came and went.

But no one wants to say a final goodbye to those precious souls who have guided and molded and nurtured our lives. No one wants to bid farewell to love.

The end is in sight for my grandmother, but now I feel optimistic that she may see her 91st birthday on Friday. It may be weeks or months, but at least we can tell her how much we love her and savor these last moments, days, weeks to hold tightly in our grip forever after.

Finally, after a week of turmoil and heart-wrenching and sadness and what-ifs, yesterday we spent the afternoon among people we love whom we don’t get to be with often. It’s a shame that this is the reason we were drawn together like metal shards to a magnet.

But we were together and that’s what counts. And I am reminded how fortunate I am to be in a family of deep, deep love, of remarkable people, of rallying together at one another’s sides in thick and thin.

To have family you truly like and who will fly instantaneously or drive for seven hours straight on wintry roads to be there when they are most needed is a treasure. 

This is what life is all about. This coming-together, this hugging and hugging again. This free flow of I love you. Sitting beside my uncle whose warm presence I haven’t basked in for years. Hugging my younger cousin so tightly because I didn’t realize how much it mattered to have him there.

Seeing Asher’s hand grasping his great-grandmother’s and she holding onto his as if a lifeline. Except it IS a lifeline. This is what we live for – to  make a difference in someone else’s life, that our presence matters, that our voice comforts, our gaze reassures. This is the meaning of it all. And we dare not forget it.


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