Monday, December 28, 2015

In the Blink of an Eye

"Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened."  -- Dr. Seuss

A little over a year ago, my mom's best friend Mrs. Y unexpectedly passed away. It was a sad loss for all of us as Mrs. Y had been an important part of Mom's life (and mine) for over four decades. Mom and Mrs. Y saw each other every week, spending countless hours talking, eating, laughing and going for walks. When they weren't together, they talked on the phone and even had plans for traveling together in the near future.

Me (with chocolate on my face) and my childhood BFF.
Knowing her dear friend was no longer here, Mom was lonely. She was also saddened by not having had the chance to say goodbye. Though I was concerned, Mom impressed me with her inner strength as she kept up with her daily walks, her cooking and sewing, and socializing with others. Still, there were times when Mom spent most of the day alone, and my heart ached for her as she was clearly missing Mrs. Y. As the year progressed, Mom started going for lunches and walks with her other friends who began calling and visiting more often. Thanks to her friendships, Mom seems much brighter and jollier these days.

At age 87, Mom has lost many people including Dad, six out of eight siblings, relatives, and countless friends. Her resilience is admirable. In an article written by Paula Span in the New York Times titled, Tougher Than They Look, scientists suggest that resilience is learned through adversities in early life and people scoring high on the resilience scale are better able to bounce back from difficulties. The article states that even in late life, resilience can be acquired. This is hopeful news!

Mom's experience made me reflect on the finitude of life, and has given me greater awareness that every single day matters. Taking this to heart, I feel gratitude for life, including its challenging aspects, and all the people contained within it. Would love to learn about your thoughts and experiences. Has adversity made you more resilient? Thank you for taking the time to read this post. 

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