I hope this little message finds you well and enjoying the wonder of being alive.
My Mom is like sugar in the form of a human being. She is delightful, easy to be around, and pretty much the embodiment of kindness. She had rotator cuff surgery last Monday and has been staying at my house recovering. Part of her treatment plan is immobilizing her arm for two-weeks post-surgery and keeping an electronic ice machine fed and timed so that it is on for 30 minutes and off for 60.
All of this is to say, she is down one hand and we have needed some extra. So, my brother, sister, and I called for backup support and Mom’s friends have shown up. BIG.
They have brought flowers, balloons, doughnuts, candy, pastries, cookies, pies (can you tell Mom has a sweet tooth?), meals, fruit, notes, and bags and bags of ice (Mom LOVES store bought ice and the machine is like a hungry beast that is never satisfied). But the thing that has been given most abundantly to my Mom is time.
Her friends keep showing up. And they stay. They laugh and tell stories. They talk politics and gripe about their husbands. They catch each other up on the details of their days and which Netflix series have been catching their attention (for Mom, Grace and Frankie is her fav). They listen to each other and connect over aches and pains. They empathize with one another about the burdens that age seems to shower down and the privilege of being alive.
In between each visit, Mom doesn’t talk about how good the food was or how beautiful the flowers are (though she appreciates these gifts greatly and they do bring her joy), rather she savors the specialness of each person who takes the time to simply be WITH her.
It's the little things. Like showing up and giving a little bit of the most precious gift we have to offer, our time, ourselves.
What does love look like? It looks like showing up. How do people know you love them? You spend time with them.
I am chronically busy. I thrive off of full days and the feeling of accomplishing so much within the confines of twenty-four hours. I get up early, set an intention, meditate, practice yoga, eat breakfast, take care of the chickens, and GO. Having Mom at the house has slowed me down and invited me to create a different rhythm to my days. Most importantly, it has asked of me to be fully present by soaking up the presence that keep ringing the doorbell and coming in for a visit.
When I set my intention in the morning, I ask myself ‘How do I want to show up?’ Most days, I choose to show up and be loving. Mom being here is teaching me that love looks like having the intention of showing up, sitting down, saying yes to having something to drink, and sharing a little bit of life with someone who means so much.
May we create space to intentionally share ourselves and our oh-so-precious-time with those we love.
This post was originally featured on choosingwholeness.com