Sometimes, life gets in the way of living.
We spend our days working or taking care of household chores; generally dealing with day-to-day minutiae, often to the point of letting life pass us by. I was painfully reminded of this recently by the sudden loss of a loved one.
My mother was my role model. A smart, committed educator who set the bar high and encouraged those around her to exceed her expectations. She also liked to laugh and would express an almost childlike delight about things that pleased her. Sadly, illness stole some of her vitality later in life. She was less talkative, becoming slightly withdrawn from others.
As I processed my grief these past few months, I found myself becoming withdrawn at times, trying to work through something personal and private. And yet, life was still moving along. My friends and family had new experiences; the grandchildren were growing up.
Life does go on, as they say, after we pass. This unfortunate fact of life has always made me sad. But maybe it’s an important lesson we all need to face. If we are constantly reminded how fleeting it all is, and how short our time is to reach out and connect with each other, perhaps we can be more appreciative of each other and more understanding of our differences.
I had no intention of writing about my personal loss, but I was inspired today by a story that moved me to tears. A newspaper article described the journey of an autistic young man and his family who founded the Golden Hat Foundation. Like many people with autism he is unable to communicate verbally; however, the young man has found ways to express himself, including through poetry and even composing music.
There are many reasons that people often fail to connect with each other. Sometimes they are too shy or sad; other times it might be due to illness or disability, or simply a lack of mutual understanding. It’s really encouraging to see someone triumph over obstacles that prevent them from sharing their thoughts and feelings, and develop an ability to make the personal connections that are so fundamental to the human condition.Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net