As I sat with my morning coffee, today, feeling the warmth of the sun, a few tears rolled down my face, as I reflected on 58 years of my life, and family. I openly admit, I am not perfect, I do not always say the right thing, and I most certainly have made many mistakes. However, at the same time there are so many more things that outweigh it all to make me feel so grateful to be alive, and to have witnessed, experienced, and learned from it all.
As I continued to sit there, I read the reading below, which only made me think more. Over the last few months, I have watched from a distance, and up close, the loss, and failing health of dear family members from my mother and fathers generation. While the aging process is an inevitable part of life, it doesn’t make the process any less painful to face when it’s someone you love, and a person who has impacted your life in a small or significant way. The thoughts that seem to get me through the pain is reflecting on the gifts that each one of them have given me, which have contributed to the person I have become, and who I truly am. I will always value, and cherish their gifts, their love, their teachings, and their memories.
I understand that during difficult times, emotions run high, and we are overwhelmed with confusion, pain, loss, and anxiety but I find myself thinking about a discipline we teach our children…”watch your words.” In the grand scheme of things, while I understand we are all human, is it not our responsibility to be authentic, compassionate, caring, loving and forgiving? Especially when it comes to family. Maybe we need to take a moment to think, take a step back, and look at the whole picture before we speak, and “watch our words.” If we did, we would realize that what we were about to say…more often than not, is not authentic, compassionate, caring, loving nor forgiving but judgmental, hurtful, and more than likely, inappropriate.
Idol, unimportant “chatter” has no room or place in our lives, and some things in life, while hard to do, are just this simple…we need to just let go, and begin to repair, heal, honor, respect, forgive, and love each other for who we are…family.
Family and life are gifts, and they are both too precious to throw away or take for granted. Maybe we need to learn or practice to live a life that is more authentic, compassionate, loving, and more importantly, a life that has the ability to forgive, and just let go.
How Many Berry Spoons Are There In My Life?
“I’ll never forgive him. I told him I would never forgive him.”
The elderly lady spoke softly, but with resolve, as the nurse brought her nightly medication. The lady’s expression was troubled as she turned away, focusing on the drape wrapped around her nursing home bed. This brief exchange revealed a deep, deep hurt.
She told of how her brother had approached her bed, accusing her of taking more than her share of family heirlooms following their mother’s death. He spoke of various items, ending with “the berry spoon.” He said, “I want the berry spoon.” For the forty years since the mother’s death he had hidden his feelings, and now they erupted.
She was both hurt and angered by his accusation and vowed never to forgive him. “It’s my spoon. Mother gave it to me,” she defended herself. “He’s wrong and I won’t forgive him.”
Standing at her bedside, the nurse felt her own spirit soften and grieve. A spoon – a berry spoon! In the bed lay a woman given two months to live – just sixty days – and she would face eternity and never see her brother again in this life. Her mind and spirit were in anguish, and her only remaining family ties were broken over a berry spoon.
As the nurse returned to her station she was drawn deep into thought: “How many berry spoons are there in my life? How many things, as insignificant as a spoon, in light of eternity, separate me from God – and from others? How does a lack of forgiveness keep me separated from my family?” She asked God to search her heart. “How many berry spoons are there in my life?”