Boulder, Colorado has mountains peaks in all directions, nature, and a piece of my family. My youngest brother and my youngest sister-in-law live there with my youngest nieces. It is an awesome (I get to visit them here) and difficult (not often enough) situation.
Their younger daughter was Bat Mitzvah-ed last weekend. In a scenic town, far from home, we got to celebrate her. And celebrate we did. Family and friends came from near and far – many (myself and my entourage included) from the east coast.
I was sick before I went, and I am sick still. Two rounds of antibiotics later, with a sinus infection that just won’t quit, I do not feel right. I feel tired, enervated, and vulnerable. I am probably over-thinking this, over-concerned about this. I am wondering why it is taking so long to feel like myself. As I age, and since I watched my parents’ age, I have a different understanding of frailty. It isn’t only ‘them’ anymore. Unequivocally, I don’t like it.
Somehow – on the proverbial wing and prayer (appropriate metaphor for the occasion) I managed to take part in all activities. And they were plentiful – a solid three day involvement – which served to bring close people even closer, solidifying the connection we all felt anyway. A reminder, a happy reminder, of who we are.
But I don’t have the head or heart for sick. It isn’t my strong suit. My parents’ end-of-life predicaments was a learning experience in compassion – for them, for me, for hospital personnel and hospice. It was a soul-searching, keep-your-heart-open-even-as-it-breaks, experience. It was powerful and frightening and enormous.
And even though I am fine (other than my congestion, clogged ears and head-and-toothaches) it brings up a feeling of surrender, of what if’s and oh my Gods. It humbles me. I am reminded I am not quite so powerful, so capable, so anything. These are the times I move from my head to my heart. The heart is harder for me; it’s fuzzier, softer, less defined. I am a head strong, analyze-the-shit-out-of-the-situation Virgo. But somehow coming from my heart connects me better, albeit not more easily, with why I am here. There is truth in: The easy way is the hard way in the end.
And celebrate we did. Though each day and each occasion took on a unique celebration and tone. There was a blessing circle Friday morning; serious, funny, filled with hugs and brunch – there was the Temple service Friday evening. Then came where my young niece turned young woman spoke in fro
There is something about the gathering of family and close friends that has the capacity to be magical. The spark, the connection, the