I attended a memorial for a grandparent of one of our preschool families this morning. I was very touched that they thought of their children’s teachers at such a time, but both of their kids have gone to our school and the parents are kind, funny, authentic people who have always been full of support and encouragement all along their journey with us.
The gathering was small and informal, lovingly planned and carried out. There was some laughter, some tears, a laughing Buddha presided from the altar, as a very eclectic musical selection (that included Warren Zevon and a Native American passing song) wove together the ceremony and speakers.
I was so inspired by the joy and wonder and acceptance this woman had given her family and friends. She was one of those people who genuinely embraced all of life and each person in it with that most precious of gifts, real unconditional love. One wonderful story after another as each person told of a mother, friend, wife and neighbor who never stopped learning, reaching, creating or loving life and those she encountered in it.
I now know this family in a way I never would have or could have were I not included in their moment of profound emotion. I am grateful for that – it has not only opened a new window on one family for me, it has reminded me that there is so much yet to appreciate about everyone in our community. I am also grateful for the opportunity to reflect on my life, my family, my relationships, through the prism of a remarkable and beautiful woman.
It is a wise thing to always be open to receiving unexpected gifts of wisdom, perspective, appreciation and love …. where and whenever they might come to you.