I spent most of my week working on a painting that has challenged me and my abilities. It is the third painting in a series of five and trying to maintain the movement of the piece has been difficult. It’s the type of work that you know you’re growing by doing, but it’s taking me out of my comfort zone. I know, even as I become frustrated, that growth comes when you push yourself.
While I was dealing with this, a friend from high school spent this week fighting for her life. She was diagnosed with cancer in late May and by the time the diagnosis was made, it was too late. The cancer had progressed too far to treat. She passed away on Tuesday surrounded by her family. My heart hurts for my old friend, all of her many friends, and her family.
I had dinner with a good friend this week. We laughed and shared stories. There was eating and drinking and laughter that may or may not have disturbed the other diners. My friend and I shared stories and got caught up. She is one of those friends that we can go months without speaking and but when we get together we pick up like no time has passed.
While I was enjoying this, a friend who regularly attends a conditioning class I teach lost her husband this week. He had been suffering from pain for a long time, but he refused to go to the doctors. By the time she finally convinced him he had to see someone, it was too late. He passed away this week, a mere two weeks after his diagnosis.
I am spending the weekend out of town with two of my daughters and four of my grandchildren. We are all enjoying long hikes and good food. The adults have been laughing and sharing inside jokes while the four kids play and laugh at their own antics. It feels good to spend this time with family.
During this same weekend, a friend of mine who I have known professionally for over 15 years had to send an announcement this week that his 19-year old daughter had passed away. Through the years he had shared with me his concern about this daughter and the choices she was making, but how do you prepare yourself for this loss? I cannot fathom the pain of losing a child, much less having to send out an announcement to let people know of your pain.
My heart feels like it’s breaking. So many people I care about are suffering from loss and illness that I feel overwhelmed with sympathy and grief for them. Sometimes the Universe works to remind you of how short life is. We all know it, most of us say it, but too often we forget this simple truth.
No matter how discouraging the news around us feels, or how bad you feel about what’s going on in your life, please remember this simple truth. Hug those you love, do your best to deal with those who challenge you, and take a few moments every day to soak in the joys of living.
(Originally posted 8/23/19)