Time waits for no man even when he desperately wants a particular moment to stop.
We are passengers on board this journey we call life that travels on the river of time.
The flow of the river is dictated by ourselves, how we feel and how we perceive.
There may be moments where the river runs quick and we see life speeding by.
There are those other moments when the river slows and we get a chance to look around us. A chance to reflect and appreciate the journey we are on.
And there are those moments when the journey takes a pause and life is its most true self because we are in the moment.
While our journey and destination are ultimately our own we are not solo passengers.
We must interact with others, changing them sometimes as much they change us.
What we take and how we change are our choices.
We can simply accept that the meeting happened and let it drift away forever.
But we can also learn from that person and take what they show us to grow and hopefully better ourselves.
It’s a choice. One we face every moment of every day.
Since my father passed away i have had ample opportunity to reflect on how his life has made me a better person. It was a wake-up call and i tried to appreciate my mother all the more knowing she too would one day also be gone.
Now there is one less passenger on my journey.
My mother was caring. If you were passing through it was no problem to crash for the night and have some tea and dinner on arrival and breakfast in the morning. She gave to family, friends and children selflessly, always ready with an open home and if we would do so, with open arms for a hug.
My mother was strong. She handled my father, which wasn’t always easy, and fought for herself and her kids. She could become angry even if others never saw it. She might let you make a mistake for your own good. That’s tough love.
After my father died she wasn’t sure she’d be able to handle things. We reminded her that she was strong and that just because she didn’t have a fancy degree didn’t mean she wasn’t intelligent and wise. She learned to pay her bills, take care of the house, navigate bureaucracy and manage her stocks. When she didn’t know, she asked. She learned and continued to grow. She wanted to be shown and taught so she could do it herself, not have someone do it for her. I was proud of her.
My mother was definitely a great cook. I can’t think of anyone that had anything other than thanks and praise for her cooking. Her tea had too much sugar for my preference but it still tasted good. Food that’s cooked with love is always best.
My mother was independent. She refused to move in with or near one of her kids so she could have her own life, with her friends and her community. That’s not to say she wouldn’t have wanted us to move home or come home more often.
She didn’t have any regrets that I know of. Maybe just wishing that her body could keep up with her mind and all the things that she wanted to do. She couldn’t take care of her plants as well and she couldn’t keep the house as clean as she wanted. She still have swadthia on sundays. Water exercise at the YMCA on monday, wednesday and friday. She had dinners and functions. She had lunches and errands. She had bills to pay and stocks to watch. She was not idle and until she got sick, she enjoyed an active life.
Death shines a light upon us and forces us to face the truth of reality. I hope to be able to slow my journey down so that I can focus on and appreciate the things I learned from her. This mortality when shoved in your face can be quite painful to come to terms with. One day i too shall leave others to continue on their journeys. Will I be able to live so well that such things will be said about me. I can also hope that with the good life she lived has moved to another higher plane for her next life.
Others will start their journeys and my presence will fade over time. The mark of someone special is that even though they fade, they are never truly gone. Mom will always be there, in my DNA, in my heart and in my mind. She had a hand in making me and making who I am today. Some gifts can never be paid back. But like mom, I can try and pay it forward.