Tuesday, March 3, 2015

     A friend of mine brought up the question, “What specific moments of your life stand out?” Well, for a seven-year-old, that might be easy, but for a 71-year-old, that’s a challenging question. There were so many, and yet the ones that jump out at me wouldn’t translate into engaging-blog material. What about you? Narrow it down to the past year: what stands out? Your baby’s first step? A grand-parent’s last words? A milestone birthday phone call?

     I have a friend who is very ill. She told me that her grown daughter came to visit, and they both went to the hair salon and had their hair highlighted together. She had her stylist take photos. Soon she will lose her hair. When my friend told me that story, I immediately thought to myself, “Am I going to wait for a crisis to have photos like that taken?” I’m poised to book a couple of flights first thing tomorrow.

     When Mr. Wonderful and I were walking through the magnificent cathedral in Strasbourg, France in 2013, we were both humbled by the massiveness, the quiet, the stunning intricacy of gilded ceilings and graceful pews. At one point, we were standing in a ray of sunlight as it shone through the stained glass. We caught each other in the silence. We embraced without a word. I will never forget that moment. 

      I remember, in 1971, bouncing my first daughter on my lap after I nursed her in my rocking chair in the middle of the night. She squealed as she balanced each pudgy little foot on each of my knees. At that moment, time stood still, and to this day, it remains a jewel in my memory.

     When my youngest daughter lay on a hospital bed ready to give birth to twins, she held my hand tightly, and said, “I love you, Mom.” I will cherish that moment forever, and when I watch two little six-year-olds running down a soccer field, it feels like that moment was centuries ago.

      As I sang to my 93-year-old father on his deathbed, I prayed that he would hear the songs he taught me. Although he was not conscious, I told myself that he was harmonizing, and I want to believe he’s still singing somewhere in the sunshine.

     The thrill of signing my first books, the excitement of applause after winning a contest for an outstanding speech, the pride in performing on my beautiful grand piano for my friends--all of these pale in comparison to the intimate moments with loved ones.

     What stands out in your life? Maybe if we stop and think, it will change how we look at tomorrow. Maybe.