Between 0500 and 0700, my mind has been racing with a multitude of swirling and whirling thoughts. Inside my mind, there is a cacophony of noise. If I were to picture the inner workings of my mind in the style of a cartoon, the image would be comprised of disembodied words tangled in a tornado – just an absolute ruckus.
My Gma is going blind. We (“we” = my family), not even a year ago, moved Gma into an apartment closer to Mum and I. My parents and I live across the street from one another, and Nana’s apartment is only a mile or so away from either of our homes. My Mum is now faced with the prospect of placing her. We, as a family unit, were confident that Nana would thrive living alone and independently, especially where she has assistance with showers and housework, for a few hours, Monday – Friday. Mum cooks meals, and I drop them off. I pick up and wash the laundry, take the trash out as needed, and we stop in and visit as we can; I oftentimes pop in during a run. Between my parents, myself, her hired help, and my Aunt Nancy, we have been able to work together to make this arrangement successful. However, Nana is still currently alone for the majority of the time. Gma’s 82 and has a smorgasbord of health issues; her losing her vision entirely will make it unsafe for her to continue living independently. My heart goes out to my Gma, but my heart breaks for my Mum. With all issues between my Gma and I aside, it’s my Mum’s mother, and I know it must be painful for Mum to experience her sole living parent’s decline in health, especially at this magnitude. What makes it even more difficult for Mum is that she has been groomed, for (literally) the past 30 years, to feel guilty with any decision she makes, even when it is the best one for Gma. “You only have one mother.” Couple this statement with years of reminders from Nana that placing her will break her heart and kill her. Pair those reminders with the promise that she will haunt my mother when she (Gma) dies. My mind and heart are currently at odds and duking it out because characteristically, I’m a compassionate and sensitive person, but I am also filled with anger at the way my Mum has been set up to feel as though she has failed her parents. I volcalized a painful yet truthful observation, indicating that if roles were reversed, Nana would place my Mum in a heartbeat and not think twice about it. Nana placed her own mother, my Gramps, and two women she was POA for. This outline of events is by no means an attempt to paint my Nana in a negative light because she has wonderful qualities too. I have shared these dynamics as a means to pictate the complexities of an already difficult situation and decision to be made.
It was with aforementioned swirling and whirling thoughts that I idled in the Dunkin’ drive-thru this morning anxiously anticipating that blessed first sip of my iced, caramel swirl, black; the woman in front of me paid for my coffee. Most days, because I witness and am exposed to the underbelly of society as a whole, I forget how poignant the gesture of a cup of coffee can truly be. Now, I am not so jaded that I will claim that my faith in humanity has been restored due to a cup of java, for my faith in humanity has never been lost. The world is indeed a brutal place to reside, but there does exist goodness, there are kindnesses. Perhaps we spend so much time searching for the grand gestures, that we miss out on the small ones (and those add up!). If you are reading this, do something kind today for someone else, no matter how small it may seem to you. This morning, paying for a stranger’s cup of coffee was likely just a blip on that woman’s radar, but it wasn’t just a blip to me. Her gesture made my heart swell, when mere moments before, I was arduously trying to calm my thoughts and keep my tears from spilling over. Stop for the pedestrian trying to cross the street, let a car ahead of you in traffic, send happy mail to a stranger . . . the possibilities are infinite! Seek the kindness you desire with not only open eyes but with an open heart. In turn, sprinkle kindness around like glitter. There is much truth in the adage, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” The universe will put those people, who need your kindness the most, in your path . . .
COMMIT TO BLIP