I wrote a post about hearing a story from Babu that she has talked about, and I have written about, many times. After a post about how many times I’ve heard it, comment from fellow blogger got me thinking. She said: “Just because you’ve heard them once doesn’t mean you don’t need to hear them again.” My response was: “I always need to hear them again.”
I think often of the gifts I am given being a part of the village that takes care of this woman. Sometimes it’s so easy to think about the hardships and the things I can’t do or have or the stress my husband and I live under and what it does to us. I also find it easy to be grateful, and to really see what gifts I’m being given. Besides getting time with a wonderful, supportive woman, the matriarch of this family, getting great laughs and even better advice, I have learned to really appreciate moments I have. When you take care of and love someone who is 98, knowing your days, moments, are limited, makes it unavoidable that you will appreciate every drop. Sometimes I think about the members of this family that decided to walk away from this responsibility, to feel fine with leaving it, mostly all, on our shoulders, and I feel bad for them. They are missing out, they go off, live their lives free, going on vacations, having their own families, coming and going in their own house as they please, free to chase any employment opportunities they want to and it some ways we are so limited. But they miss out.
I am a deeply introspective person and by learning to appreciate every moment with her, I’m learning it in the rest of my life. To tell my husband I love him as much as I can and stare at him, sitting in profile in the TV light for longer than he’d like. To tell my sister I appreciate the things she does to help, to laugh with my students and be remembering those moments as they happen, knowing they are important. I keep all of the selfies they sneak onto my phone. I text my nephew all day about Pokemon Go and leave everything else behind when I am spending time with him. I spend time every day on the phone with my mom, even days I see her, knowing one of us wont be there anymore one day. I laugh a lot, in order to take those moments and shrink wrap them so that they are preserved and appreciated.
I was obsessed with the movie The Crow when I was younger and I still feel deeply mournful about Brandon Lee’s passing, as if I knew him and it was a personal loss. There was an interview at the end of the movie, a movie he died making, where he says these words:
Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think about life as an inexhaustible well. And yet, everything happens only a certain number of times. And a very small number, really. How many times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood? An afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life with out it. Perhaps four, five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20, and yet it all seems limitless…
It always stuck with me, (partially because I always felt somehow he knew), and I’m glad it did because it’s important.
This is how I feel about the “same ole stories” Babu tells again and again. I’m not impatient about it. It’s comforting. I know there is a finite number of times I will hear that story. I know someday I will hear that story, and all the others, for the last time. I’m trying to live now in a way that I’ll have no regrets, only love and loss, when that happens. Ibeth1950, I know you meant nothing negative when you sent that comment. I feel you understood and were sharing in agreement with me, but I still got me thinking about both her and this interview I’ve always remembered word for word. So thank you.