Yesterday I visited my 91 year old mom as I do every few days. Immediately I could see that it was one of those days when she seemed almost not of this world anymore. Not in a bad way, but as a gentle reminder that her human life is waning. I sat with her in her dark living room sometimes reminiscing about so many memories that we have together, sometimes basking in the silence and love.
At one point, I looked at her shelf full of books that were once so dear to her and asked if she wanted me to read something. She’s almost blind now and even with a magnifying glass, can barely make out print and pictures. She took her time to answer, and when she finally did, she talked about how she had loved her books because they had opened up such knowledge and so many new worlds for her.
“But now, they aren’t important to me,” she said. “I can’t see and also my mind doesn’t understand them anymore. Soon I will be gone, and the world will go on without me. What is most meaningful is love and family and kindness.”
Yes, oh how we know this in our very core. In our deepest heart. But with the clamoring of the world and our busy lives, we often forget. But what if we listened deeper? What if we lived as if we were at the far edge of this human life staring into our own passing? What if we listened and felt deeper into what is showing up now? What then becomes truly important?
In this beautiful cycle of life, my mother nurtured me when I was young, and now, she offers me simple wisdom. In between, as mother and daughter we had many experiences, both difficult and rich, that offered great opportunities for us to grow. Now our gift to each other is simply to love. It is the greatest gift of all.