Yesterday, I noticed the bright haziness of the day, the way the clouds filled up the sky like water or pebbles in a vase, and the utter quiet when you just closed your eyes and imagined that all was perfect in the world.
It was a day for saying goodbye to someone I only met once, Jackie Grekin. A lifetime friend of my father, whose son and daughter-in-law, and grandchildren have been friends of my family for the past seven years. I sat between my parents on the Kaufman chapel pews, my hand on my father in reassurance for what I can only assume he was thinking and feeling.
Funerals transport us to the core of being. The very notion of having an end to this life is terrifying and humbling and perplexing all at once. At funerals, unless we were so close to the departed, we weep for the symbolic loss, the idea that we will lose our loved ones, that our lives are finite, that one day we will be dust as well.
The notion of being alone and being powerless to stop it all, it’s terrifying. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just the acceptance of what is, without question, without fight.
This morning, I couldn’t wait to get to work, a whole morning laid out ahead of me to get so much done. And it was right then that I realized I could not find the title to my car, which I am to sell tonight to a willing buyer.
No title, no sale.
And just before I realized the seriousness of it all, I uttered these words: “I wish I had the time to read all of these work-related publications piled on my desk.”
Asked, and answered. The Law of Attraction in full play – I uttered the words and then I had no choice but to drive to the Secretary of State office, take number 60, and wait – with reading material – for my turn.
I’d had a plan for the day and then the plan changed. And I had to go along with the way life presents itself because that is how we are supposed to walk this earth. What is given to us is what we accept and receive. No questions asked. No bargaining with the devil.
It was a humbling moment. I had no choice but to surrender.
In his lovely, heartfelt eulogy, Steven Grekin spoke of his mother’s journey on this earth, and Rabbi Harold Loss echoed his words, as full and rich and devoted to family and meaning and helping others. She was a teacher and a psychologist whom so many people turned to.
And yet, when this brilliant woman was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at too young an age, she set about living her life to the fullest for as long as she had left. Knowing her grandchildren would only know her a short time, she prepared stories and videos for them to have always.
Steven recounted how, in any gathering of family and friends, his mother could be found in his children’s rooms, playing on the floor with them, reading to them or listening to them, or just watching them sleep.
It’s the way we live our moments that matters – not how many of them we get.
In that light, can you imagine whining about not having enough, not achieving some imagined goal, not being as happy as someone else? Really?
I for one fill my days to overflowing and for what? It’s the quiet time at night, as the sun sets beautiful out the upstairs windows, when my children snuggle in close and the day mellows that means more than whatever goals I set.
It’s the knowing of someone’s voice, the feel of their heartbeat next to mine. It’s the smile across my daughter’s face when she sees me – and the one on mine that mirrors hers.