Precious few things truly matter in this life. I’d like to think the biggies are universal—love, family, friends, kindness, support, inspiration, health. I’m not sure that’s the case for everyone. I know plenty of people for whom material success, promotions and recognition matter more.
But I also like to think life hands the very wise or lucky among us opportunities to figure out what is truly important. And I think the group that values what we leave behind—material success, recognition, etc.—misses the boat.
I sat in a church last night. I haven’t sat in a church for quite some time, being a lapsed Catholic. Spirituality resonates. A church besmudged by man’s rules? Not so much. But last night, I smelled the incense. Soaked in the trumpets, the choir, the candles. Watched as my youngest son was confirmed, with my oldest sister’s hand on his shoulder. There is some beautiful symmetry in that scene.
I heard a hymn that was played at just about every family funeral I’ve attended. My eyes welled up with tears, because—sentimental sap that I am—I took it as a sign from my parents and grandparents that they were in attendance in spirit. Applauding from the celestial bleachers.
What mattered, more than anything, was that my son knew he was loved and supported. That is something I sometimes struggle with as a divorced mom. At each school function, it’s usually just me. I show up to be the entire cheering section. Given that I grew up with an army of family around, this makes me sad for him.
But last night wasn’t sad. We were a small army, but there we were.
We were there. Not only that, we were fully present for him—no distractions.
I think we make it too hard, people. We chase the cars and the homes and the jobs. I’ve seen those bring satisfaction, but not usually peace. Or love. Or health.
Sometimes, all it takes is a sacred place, some quiet, those we love, to calm our restless spirit.
At the end of the night, my son came to me in the kitchen. “Thanks, Mom,” he said. “For what?” I asked. “For always being there,” he replied. “You’re always there. No matter what.”
I think he’s already figuring out his precious few. At the ripe old age of 13.
Takes some of us years to do the same.
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It is a feeling that takes you to the empyrean heights, when your child acknowledges that which you’ve done out of sheer adoration and duty!
He and I definitely have a special bond-and events like this just cement it. Thank you for the kind words.
Presence is such a gift.
Ah, the words from your precious son! That must have made your heart swell indeed.
Amen! To a Beautiful post 💕💚
Thank you! Kind words:).
Well said. We also shouldn’t underestimate the power of rituals. They connect past, present and hope for the future.
They absolutely do. And they’re a constant in a world of constant change . . .
Oh, Kay, what a lovely moment with your perceptive and appreciative son. I soaked up your words because though I am far from the church that nurtured me when young, I still have an appreciation of its ceremonies, music, and feeling of fellowship. When I attend for family affairs, I feel at home and comfortable in the structure, though I no longer share the beliefs nor see the importance of the man-made rules.
Exactly:). The ritual is beautiful to me.
I love this post!
In our busy culture we have given up some of the significant for the temporary and in the end we lose. I am thankful for these slower days, where I’m learning to take the moments as they come. And when I’m too busy, pulling out the stops to slow it down as to not miss these important moments with those I love.
Thanks for this reminder.
Good for you! If more of us consciously slowed down, I think the world would be a much happier place.
You have truly expressed some of my feelings. A few years ago I took up photography and found myself writing small bits with my photos. I found that I wanted my work to inspire people to be more interested in those things that really matter like you described. I share your perspective on life. One of my pieces, that I have not yet posted is about exactly that.
My hope is to inspire others to come to the conclusion that what matters is loving other living things, decency, honesty, integrity etc. etc.
Thank you! For the kind words and for stopping by my blog. I checked out your photos and they are really good :-).
Very beautiful. As a single Mother as well, I hear you.
Right? We show up. Again and again and again. And we do it because it’s just the right thing to do and we love our children. But it warms my heart to know that they, at times, realize it :-). Keep on trucking, mama.
Reblogged this on healthy bodies happy life and commented:
Thank you so much! I truly appreciate that.
Aww, I love every bit of this post. There are some people in my life I wish would learn that before it is too late. Your children are so lucky to have you, and your attitude and perspective are being passed down to them…what a blessing that is. Your heart never ceases to amaze me. It’s beautiful. xo
Thank you! I am not sure my children always feel lucky to have me :-). But they do have their moments.
This resonates for so many reasons, in so many ways. Incense, candles, harmony and warmth … The light, the sounds, the past, the future. I love this for so many reasons, in so many ways.
Aw, thank you, Kathy:). Kind words. Glad this one meant something to you.
Wise words young lady, and he has grown rather quickly but obviously his teacher has passed on the important bits 😀
All except one…you did have a message passed on in that hymn, that is how subtle spirit is. All those things that come up and we brush off as consequence. Just how many consequences have you had in your life, the odds blow out each time it happens. And it touched your heart for a reason. For you.
All you have to do is let your spirit/higher self know that you are now listening, aware of that connection…and then let it go. Get on with your life. That switch (your awareness of it), you have now opened will bring some surprising touches…and some very beautiful ones as well ❤
Oh, trust me:). I’m listening alright. And my youngest is logical to a fault. Am trying to help him see the magic also. Thanks, as always, for the kind words, Mark. Much appreciated.
Your son indeed passed to you sacred words heavy with spirituality, Kay. How fortunate for you both!
It was a good night, all in all, Mark. Love those. I know you know the importance of a tribe:).
Such a beautiful feeling to be surrounded by those we love both physically and spiritually. That’s really all we can to is be there and walk with them but it so hard to watch them learn how to navigate their own path.
Amen, friend. And yet, the walking with each other is the magic. So simple but so necessary.
I love those moments! They are too few and far between in the rush of life. But for those of us that look, they are there in “the sacred places, some quiet, those we love, to calm our restless spirit”.<3 Congrats to your son! Peace be with you both…
Thank you:). I love those moments too! Now, if we could just carry them with us throughout our hectic days, right?
Being a divorced mother as well this really resonated with me. I worried (and still sometimes do) about how my kids were affected by the divorce and the emotional times that followed. My son recently told me that he was happy that I was honest with him about my turmoil because it helped him to feel it was okay to feel things. I had always thought it would have been better if I could have shielded him but he disagreed. Love heal a lot of failures!
Ah, yes. That conundrum. And it does not help that the eyes of the world are upon you (and by the world, I mean the other parents wherever you live). Turmoil is par for the course, no matter how solid you try to be. I have one son that has said and done things that make me cringe–and I blame it on turmoil. I’m glad your son saw you come through the craziness in one piece–I think that helps make our kids more resilient than anything!