Tag Archives: aging

Musings on the Eve of My 40th Birthday

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I turn 40 tomorrow.
I’ve been met with
expressions of sympathy
and knowing looks–
I’ve been asked,
How do you feel about that?
Are you okay with that?
Of course I am!
Whether I want it to or not
the sun rises and sets,
Whether I’m ready for it or not
the weather is constantly changing
and
Whether I like it or not
I’m getting older every day,
It is a privilege to be here,
to have a family,
work I love,
the ability to create something
out of thin air,
to learn,
to have this life.
And one more thing…
As I’ve aged
I have discovered
what a gift it is
to be able to give to others,
to have the energy
to act in concrete ways
that will benefit others.
I’m happy to work tomorrow,
to teach a yoga class
and help my students relax.
Their appearing in the room
is a wonderful gift.
Offering me the opportunity
to share the best of myself
with them is even better.
It’s a blessing to leave behind
the preoccupations
of my earlier years
and dive into the joy
of what is right there
in front of me.
Happy Birthday to Me!
I was given this life
and I am so grateful.

A Visit With Mom-Mom

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I visited my grandmother today…
her birthday is tomorrow,
she’ll be 94 years old.
She had a stroke in November,
and her mind doesn’t compute
like it used to.
It touched me deeply
to see her there in the nursing home,
asleep when I arrived,
her mouth slightly open,
with her hospital gown
falling off of her shoulders.
Her face lit up when she saw me,
and I presented her with a tiny poinsettia
and a home made birthday card.
I brought a small Blue Tooth speaker
and played her some Christmas music
like what she would hear in church
if she could still go.
As I hummed along with
O Come Emmanuel,
I felt the tears well up.
I first heard the song
in her church when I was a child.
Because my parents weren’t churchgoers,
she felt it was her duty
to bring some religion into
the lives of me and my sisters–
and so every time
we spent the night at Mom-Mom’s
she would take us to mass the next morning.
I was never baptized,
but I didn’t need to be baptized
to understand the sense of belonging,
how soothing the ritual can be,
how strong the community.
We attended a few Christmas Eve masses.
As I child I thought mass was boring
but I appreciated the music
and the beautiful stained glass windows.
As I got older I came to look forward
to the times I sat with Mom-Mom
in the beautifully polished oak pews.
Today I looked at my Mom-Mom,
so small and frail,
and felt grateful for the love
she showed our family.
I was moved thinking
I would probably never see her
kneeling in her church again,
hand to her forehead,
holding her rosary,
eyes closed.
This life is so precious
and so short
and our loved ones
are changing all the time.
Hold them, kiss them,
love them with your whole heart.
Life slips through our hands
like grains of sand…
here in this moment,
gone in the next.