Thursday, September 23, 2010


Tonight is one of those nights where life has offered a simple gift to me. Life sometimes is hard. Sometimes, we hurt. And sometimes, we find ourselves in rough patches that we so desparetely tried to avoid. The beauty of life though exists within those small moments where despite the pain, all feels right in the world. Tonight I write not to share with anyone. I am assured that no one will read these thoughts. I write simply because I feel the need, and the need to express the beautiful things in life that we all seem to simply forget.

To me, I measure how well my day was by how exciting I ended that night. Generally the more people I saw and the crazier stuff I do, makes me feel satisfied. I found myself tonight, realizing how selfish we all are and how much we are cheating ourselves from life by spending so much time looking towards the next party, the next fling, and the next excitement. We overlook the simple things that Heavenly Father has given us, the simple things that bring true happiness.

Tonight, I chose to spend with my grandma, mom, and aunt for dinner in celebrating my Grandma's 77th birthday. This is the closing of the first week that my grandma has gotten through without her husband of 58 years in the home. After much debate, we put Papa in a rest home a block away from grandma. This way grandma can stop taking care of him as if he were a baby, and can start to live again. This was extrememly hard for grandma, but she knew it was the right answer as she also noticed her health dwindling. Nontheless, my grandma has never given up in trying to bring my Papa back. She has never stopped loving him, and has never stopped missing him. You see, Papa's health has been bad for a long time. After his cancer, loss of eye-sight, and constant mini strokes, he now has also forgotten how to use his body. Some days he cannot walk. And somedays he cannot talk. And on the worse days, he forgets how to eat and even breathe. But he is still here, his body is, and while he is my grandma still talks and spends hours with him everyday.

The simple joys tonight that brought warmth to me, started as I watched my grandma's eyes light up as they brought her at least a liter of a root beer float. I enjoyed watching my grandma eat almost the whole thing, because I knew that grandma was back to her old self again. Next, she told us that she promised Papa we would all come visit tonight. Deep down, we all knew that if we didn't show, he would never know, but we went anyways. As I walked into the home, and saw my grandpa sitting in his wheelchair, hunched over all by himself, I instantly wanted to cry. I went on to say hello and remind him that I love him, and could tell this was a day he did not remember me. As we proceeded to take him to his room, another old lady named Hazel came rushing to great us and took no shame in telling us that it was time to but our grandpa to bed because he had been sitting there all day by himself. As we took him back, I could not help but chuckle as this senial, yet happy women thanked Heavenly Father that we came to put granpa to bed.

As I entered Papa's room, I was happy to see all the pictures that were up of our family around. As I looked at a collage of my mom and her dad growing up, I could not help but smile at all the memories she had of them, riding motorcycles, tipping him in his chair, and dressing up like hobos together. As I sat here, with my family, I could not help but feel peace. Here I sat with my family. With people that had unconditional love for me, with people that have lived their lives, have gone before me. I then realized the beauty of love. As cheesy as it sounds, I was so content. Here I had family that has been there for me through every challenge in life. They have always been there to support, and have truly cried with me in my times of sorrow. And as we left my Papa for the night, and my mom said goodbye with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes, I realized that life is about these moments. Our lives are defined each of our hard times we undergo. But more importantly, our lives are shaped by the people we choose to love, and the ones we choose to love unconditionally. As I watched my grandpa mutter Happy Birthday to his wife, and watched my grandma kiss Papa on the head, I could not help but think how miraculous this simple gesture was. And how miraculous it is all around me, the lives of the older couples, that are still together, and have gone through life together. They have overcome every trial together, shared every fear, and doubts. They also have shared life's greatest moments together. But the beauty of it all is watching a love, still stronger than ever after 58 years, as two people strive to take care of each other. It is all around me. I see it fromt a gentle touch of a husband, to hearing my parents get excited to see eachother still, and exchange I love you.

I know it seems so simple, but tonight I am so grateful. Despite my desires i have been at home for the past 5 months. But now more than ever, I realize how much of a better person I have become because I get to love. I get to love unconditionally, and I get to watch those around me be so happy in their love, whether it is the love of my newly wed brother, to quiet exchange of I love you from my parents, or the kiss of my grandma to her dying husband. I see so much what life is about. I want to take part in it. I want to love unconditionally. I am so blessed that I have been given family, where I can experience this beautiful gift that has been given to us all everyday of my life. I can't wait to one day have a family of my own, and to leave a legacy of my own.