I spent most of yesterday evening with my daughters at the hospice center where my grandmother is being cared for. She isn't doing well, and yesterday they called for us to come. I've never been with someone as they passed, other than my pets. It's very hard to watch labored breathing. I found myself trying to breathe for her, long deep yoga breaths.
This morning, things seem a little better with her. She's breathing easier. It's unbelievable how we truly cannot know from one day to the next how our lives will change and yet so much of life is based on whether we can overcome the fear of the risks included in recognizing and living the lives we were born to live.
Today, is a very normal day. The girls and I ate breakfast, finished school work, watched it snow an inch in an hour, tidied up, I did yoga, ate lunch, and now I'm blogging. I'm feeling guilty for not being a bit more active today. Heck, I always feel guilty for that even when I've busted tail. I wonder what the next months will be like, and whether or not I can support myself through them. I have a plan. It's a good plan. I'll share it here bit by bit.
This is one day in my life. One small part of a year. A speck of a lifetime. It's a good day.
At one point last night, my grandmother opened her eyes and said, "It's been a pretty pleasant evening." Hearing her say it relieved my heart whether or not she was referring to last evening, or an evening long ago. Pleasant was an evening. That's a big deal.
Today, I read this quote by Anne Lamott.
Oh my God, what if you wake up one day, and your 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools or oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly, and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen. - Anne Lamott
I want to know that I won't let this happen. Today, this one day in a life, I'm pretty positive it won't. I'm sure that as I age, I want to not fear the finite part of life, but reach out into those unknown bits that let us soar into the clouds with two feet on the ground. Like I did the day I gave birth to my Gweneth. Like this woman.
Tao-Porchon Lynch - 96 year old yoga teacher and ballroom dancer
Kelli Hansel Haywood is the mother of three daughters living in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. She is a writer, weightlifter, yoga and movement instructor, chakra reader, and Reiki practitioner.