Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
I have been in Houston helping my Mom pack up the house. Going through years of paperwork, boxes strewn about, the space is beginning to look sparse even as the memories remain. The house is a container for so many experiences, all the way back to when Herb & I got married in 1997, to giving birth to my first baby girl, to the days immediately after when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, to 18 months later when he passed away at home. So many images, some vivid, some blurry, some sweet, some still raw. Even as old memories drift away even further, it’s grounding to know that new ones are still being created as Sonia and Sophia run around the house.
The girls and I spent a few minutes in the morning meditating overlooking the garden. The garden where my Dad spent a lot of his time. I believe it may have been his way of being connected to something beyond what the physical world could provide. He wasn’t religious, but the garden, I believe, was his spiritual abode.
I read through some of his old papers. Performance reviews at work, descriptions of him in his college year book. I came across his application for disability, when he knew he would no longer continue to work. One question read “Are you receiving or eligible to receive pension benefits”. My dad answered, “In future, upon death”. I can’t imagine how it felt to go through those eighteen months knowing afterlife was coming. Seeing your kids, your spouse, your friends, your first grandchild, while knowing the second was on the way. All I know is that even thinking about it makes my throat feel tight, my forehead heavy, my heart as if it could come apart. We all know death is in our future, but what if we knew it was in our near future, just months away. What would have mattered? What might have been done differently?
It’s funny how we so easily cling to life, when life can so easily slip out of our hands. Everything can change in just moments. Life can come, life can go, as it should. The memories and the history make us who we are today. But what we choose today will cultivate our tomorrow.
I am glad to have had some time and space to reminisce about the past. But I hope to remain present to today more than anything. I hope to take it in for all that is good, all that is bad, and really the full spectrum in between.