Best Things


My Window is open again, and although I usually welcome these open windows of awareness and insight, and unanticipated opportunity, today I’m shivering in this breeze.

Have you ever suddenly cried when you meant to laugh? Or rolled your eyes in aggravation over something not the least little bit really significant? What about being so tired that all you can think of is sleep, but then sleep plays hide and seek until morning?

A very wise friend told me that all of these things…and more…are the shared experiences of some exclusive “clubs”.  The common denominator is Loss. In my case, it’s the serious illness club  of a parent.  My dad.

Despite evidence to the contrary, these kinds of things can bring out the best in families that have best things.

My sisters are “best things”.  Each of us brings ourselves to this, and it is awe-inspiring to see the gifts offered.  Organization, compassion, culinary genius, stubbornness, flexibility, devotion, prayer, laughter.  Oh, and lots and lots and lots of text messages.

My mom is a “best thing”.  57 years of in-love with her husband, and entirely, completely, without a doubt in her soul committed to for better or worse. All she has to do is walk in the room and he smiles. Wow.

My dad is the best thing. He knows he’s sick, but he is a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other kind of guy. Its amazing how sweetly comforting that is to the rest of us.  One amazing realization that I have recently had (at the hand of a very good friend) is that I know my dad.  I mean really, really know him.  He is available to be known, which I think is an incredible gift.

Well, and now not, his gift to us is his presence.

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