Posts Tagged With: sympathy

Adopted by Love

Like Aspen groves, Kathy's extended families provide support in unprecedented ways.

Aspen groves expand through an extensive root system in a colony that gives strength and vitality to every tree in the system.

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m grateful for all the open arms, hugs, expressions of sympathy, shared tears, flowers, cards, notes, texts, messages and understanding I’ve received since Kathy passed away.

I know friends of the deceased often go unnoticed and unacknowledged, but that has definitely not been the case here. I’ve been cared for and comforted by both sides of her family and by my family, acquaintances, strangers and friends in wonderful and unexpected ways.

I’ve been included as if I were a member of her and her husband’s extended families. I should not have been surprised by all these kind relatives of Kathy, of course they’re just like her; warm, welcoming, kind, sensitive, funny, generous, perceptive, direct and filled to overflowing with love.

Every conversation with one of them, every hand or arm extended, every gesture of kindness toward me felt like her speaking, her arm, her hand, her kindness, her presence still in my life.

Just like Kathy always managed to do, they turned the situation around. Instead of me providing comfort and sympathy to them, they filled me with warmth, surrounded me with empathy and cradled my heart, gently lifting me and sending healing and strength my way.

How thankful I am for such kind people who have helped ease the sting of such a loss.

I wish them comfort and healing. I wish them moments of clarity and joy. I pray they find solace often in every day things. I hope they hear Kathy’s voice in their mind from time to time whispering words that only she would know to say to them.

I pray they occasionally hear her laughter in the wind and see her smile in the faces of the family around them. I hope they feel as much love from each other as I felt this weekend in their presence.

If that happens, I know they’ll be okay.

Categories: Cancer, Death, Family, Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Accessing My Inner Two Year-Old

Two Year-old kids get a bad rap. 

Oh sure, I’ve seen the meltdowns in the grocery store, the toy wars in the sandbox, the frazzled parents trying to get a tot cooperatively moving in the direction and speed they need to go. I also raised a few two year-old kids myself, although, admittedly that is ancient history.

I suppose it’s a case of the squeaky wheel when it comes to two year-old behavior. What most people see and experience is the negatives, of which admittedly, there exist quite a few.

There are redeeming qualities in two year-olds, apart from their general cuteness, and their adorable options in the clothing department. What is up with that anyway? How come little kids have such fun, bright, practical and comfortable pants, shirts, shoes and even sock options? Can we please just design a few of those in adult sizes? I have a particular fondness for Osh Kosh B’gosh styles which I think I’d look great in. Or not.

Sorry, I got sidetracked.

That right there is a two-year-old trait. Easily sidetracked. It’s one of those plus/minus categories. It can work for you or against you. Distraction is particularly important as you maneuver past any grocery items that might not be healthy choices. If I could distract my attention away from the donuts, soda and ice cream I’d leave the store with healthier options and a bit more cash left in my wallet. Dropping some niggling problem like a two year-old changes gears could help out my stress levels. Worry, worry, worry, oh look, something shiny, no worries. If only.

Two year-olds are usually a friendly sort. They’ll wave and smile at most people who say hello or smile at them. They’re eager to play with almost any willing playpal. I’ve seen two’s dance for an hour at a wedding reception without ever exchanging names or phone numbers. They were just happy dancing! That distraction thing then kicks in when punch and cake show up and the evening plays off as a massive success.

Double the fun with a two-year-old

Double the fun with a two-year-old

Here and Now

Two’s live in the moment. This very moment. There is no “in a few minutes.” Everything is now. That’s an enviable trait to copy. This right now takes all my attention. No yesterday haunts me as I do what I’m doing. Tomorrow doesn’t loom because I’m living the moment I’m in. Sure, that leans to the negative if taken to extremes, but so can overplanning, over scheduling and overdoing.

Empathy Abounds

One particular two year-old I know acts quickly to literally wipe away tears when her mom or sister cry. If the tears last long enough she’ll run for the tissues and bring some to help staunch the flow. Then she gives a wonderful full on hug and a kiss on the cheek. What a perfect response. Twos get it. They feel that full range of emotion loud and clear and when they hear or see it in someone else their empathy sensors kick in to high gear. “I see you’re sad. Let me help, even if I don’t understand why you’re sad, I’m gonna do what I can right now to give love, attention and solace.” Perfect. Those Two’s notice, care and respond to grief, sadness and unfairness with a quick hand.

Honest to a T

Honesty abounds in two year-old, mostly. They let you know when something is “yucky” or they “don’t like it.” There’s no fudging around, wondering what the correct response should be. Yes or no rule. Maybe doesn’t exist. Count on them for a real answer. I’d like the bravery to act and speak so definitively.

The advantages of being a house dog in a home ...

Two two-year-olds sharing with the dog. (Photo credit: EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin’ hook-y ;o))

It’s MINE! Except when I share it

Amazingly, the mine, mine, mine mindset that two year-olds often operate from can sometimes magically morph into sharing. Fairly generous sharing if you don’t mind half a mashed cookie or squishy banana bites. They don’t wonder if the gift they’re offering is good enough, measures up to your expectations and standards, or even if you want or need it. They just give and let it go at that. Good idea, I think, to apply to my life.

And surprisingly, there are times when the “mine” mentality needs implementing. Getting adequate sleep, eating well, meeting our basic emotional and physical needs so we can give from a position of strength rather than giving until we fizzle out.

Simplicity Rules

Simple things easily entertain a two year old. No need to buy elaborate toys when they’d prefer the box the toy comes in. The top of a soft drink cup can keep some kids going for a good fifteen minutes, popping and unpopping the “bubbles” for coke, diet, and other over and over and over. This is another two year-old trait I’d like to emulate. Not that I’m simple minded, but I’d like satisfaction to come by simple, pure sorts of things that require imagination and activity rather than sitting and being spoon-fed couch potato food. I don’t need or want bells and whistles and flash and bang. A great book, a walk in the woods, a discussion with friends,  music, bike riding, art, thinking. The more basic, the better.

Wall-e and Two’s

Recently, while watching “Wall-e” my daughter pointed out that little robotic dude behaves in many ways just like a two year-old. She was right. Focused, and yet easily distracted. Curious and driven. Playful and loyal. Simply entertained, generous, direct as possible, happy to help.

I’m lucky to have a two year-old in my life. She’s teaching me to be a better, calmer, generous, happier, responsive, more in the moment me. When I access those great traits I find a simple joy in life. It’s something to keep in mind. Food for thought.

Two-year-old’s: worthy of emulation.

Categories: Humor, People | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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