Today I find myself in my Arizona hometown to provide some care for my 84-year-old father. It was an unplanned trip and started with a phone call that he was hospitalized at the VA. The decision was obvious…I canceled some work, packed up a few things and hopped in my car to drive the 400 miles it takes to get here. I’m glad I did.
If I had stayed in California, my thoughts would have been here in Arizona. I would have been worried about my dad, what kind of care he was getting, if he was around strangers all day long, if he was confused (he has Alzheimer’s Disease), or if he wanted someone from the family to be with him. I would have been here (in Arizona) mentally, which would serve no one.
I came here for him and I came here for me.
This “being present” thing takes effort; at least it does for me, and I can be really good at mentally “escaping.” I truly believe that we are all doing the best we can. Sometimes life can be awesome and it feels like nothing can bring you down. And sometimes life can be really challenging and it takes everything you have just to get you to show up and move forward.
If you find yourself in the first category, feel it, love it, be present with it, and absolutely enjoy it, and know that “this too shall pass.” If you find yourself in the second category, feel it, embrace it, be present with it, and know that “this too shall pass.”
Everything “passes” in life…
Every moment, every embrace, every challenge, and quickly I might add. For some reason, that has always given me hope when I’m in the shadows of my darkest moments, the moments where I have learned my greatest lessons, and the moments that I wish would move a lot quicker than they do.
These moments (I’m guessing you know exactly what I’m talking about) have taught me just how resilient the human spirit is, but absolutely not until I’ve walked through the dark tunnel to find the light. Finding that light, the one that is always there, brings a sense of peace, of freedom, and of a greater knowledge of the blessings that this life brings.
So, I sit here in the dining room of my parent’s home, watching a bird jump through every one of my mom’s plants on her deck. It’s quiet and peaceful. I’m grateful to be noticing that I’m noticing, which is one of my tools for being present. I’m thankful that my dad is doing better and I know that there are powers beyond his (and my) control that enable him to “be here.” I’m not sure where he goes off to, mentally, but I hope it’s a place that provides him happiness and peace.
Lastly friend, I’ll do my best at providing a little cheerleading.
If you find yourself in bliss, everything is rocking, and you just can’t seem to take a wrong step, let it soak in to every fiber of your body and be as absolutely present as you can be. You deserve all of the happiness and joy that your life is intended to have…every single inch of it.
And…if you find yourself in that dark place, hang on and know that you are resilient beyond your wildest imagination. Someone once told me, “If you’re walking through hell…keep walking.”
It will get better, it will pass, and you will find parts of yourself that you never knew existed. Be present and honor whatever feelings you might be experiencing. My dad agrees.
p.s. Shout-out to the Prescott VA, an amazing and dedicated team of superstars!