Honoring Her with Love and Purpose
I should have had this epiphany some time ago. But, instead, it came to me last night as I was dropping off to sleep.
I turn 60 years old this summer. My mom, JoAnn Drinkwater Young, died at the age of 61 in 1997. When she was my age, she was already carrying the colon cancer that would kill her.
Shortly after her death, I filled a glass bowl full of translucent blue glass marbles. Each marble represented a week in my life should I only live to be 61. I intended it to remind me to live my life joyfully, lovingly, and with purpose.
On a regular basis, I have thrown a handful of marbles into my garden representing the lapse of those weeks. Until this morning, I had about 120 marbles left in that bowl. Just now, I threw all but one of the remaining marbles into my colorful spring garden. The last one I put in my "treasure box."
Every week I live beyond age 61 is a gift, in my mind. If my mom had had extra weeks to live a healthy and satisfying life, what would she have done? I remember her saying she'd quit work. At the time, she served as my Dad's dental office manager, receptionist, and hygienist.
But, beyond that, I never heard her say what she would do with more days in her life. She would have spent more time with her grandchildren. I'm sure of that! She would have gardened and helped with my brother's greenhouse business. She would have caught up on her sewing projects. And, held more dinner parties. I suspect she would have planned a few exotic trips. I think she wanted to visit Hong Kong. Who knew?
So, my task is to decide how to live with my gift of many more weeks.