One recent weekend I had the opportunity to escort my mom on a visit to see her sister who lives in Sheridan, Wyoming. My mom is in her later 70s, her sister Grace is a decade older. This would to be the trip to bid her ailing sister farewell.
Before we left, mom had spent some time putting together a photo album of memories from their lives to bring along and share with my Aunt Grace. There were pictures from their childhood, young adulthood, middle years of raising families, and, of course, a few commemorating momentous occasions like my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary party.
For obvious reasons, as they sat paging slowly through the book, I found myself taking in the scene as we sat in Grace’s room at the nursing home. I thought about how my cousin (a decade older than I) is now experiencing the end of her mom’s life. She and her mom have always had a great relationship. And I thought about how this will someday be me and my mom. Admittedly, a few times, I had to sniff back my tears.
There are days when life feels long, and then days that life feels incredibly short. We often race through them in an effort to achieve something or level of “success” and yet, we all know, it’s not the things we acquire but the memories we build with other human beings during our physical life that provide the riches.
As I looked on, I framed the scene unfolding in front of me in the hopes of creating my own long-term memory of my mom, my aunt, my cousin and the simple, bittersweet pleasure in watching them go down memory lane.
The simple joy that can come from reliving moments in time.
My takeaway, at the end of our lives, nothing matters more than enjoying connection and heartfelt conversation with those people who have meant the most to our journey.
What a gift it was to me to be part of that trip!
Mom and I ended up encountering some unexpected travel delays on our way home, likely creating a new story we will one day reminisce about!
Question… If you knew the things you are doing today and the people you are touching right now could one day become your most treasured memories, would it change the way you greet the people you talk with and the way you are responding to the circumstances in your life right now?