What if we could say that to people in their time of need?
What if we could convince them that we can help, that we all have struggles that get too big and suddenly we need help from others. And that we take it when we need to so we can give it when we can.
On Christmas day we were all in the living room at my younger brother and sister in law’s farm, by the glow of the fire and the Christmas tree, overlooking the big panoramic view of the valley. My parents were with us by speaker phone only , still in Florida, due to the difficulty of my father’s illness. We have never not been together. Each of us was handed a big silver envelope and we all opened them in unison. An invitation for a family cruise to Alaska was inside. It was a gift from both parents but it was immediately clear that my father would not be coming. We cheered for the gift, a few of us with tears of sadness. This a change for us all. He is slowly and painfully being pulled out of our lives.
How would the boat float without the captain ?
Later that night, my 12 year old came into my room crying. She was a little afraid, having watched GI Joe, a perfectly acceptable Christmas film, but I knew there was something more. In her soulful way she said ‘Mommy, why does every good thing that happens have to have a sad side?’ I told her that was life-the beautiful and the hard, mixed in to make us feel both. Quietly though, I saw that this was further emergence from childhood, the parting of all good, clean fun. After childhood, it seems, we have to work hard for happiness . It is more complicated than just rolling down a grassy hill or jumping into a pile of leaves.
Although, I highly recommend doing just that as often as possible.
As for the boat, it will float. He raised us all to be captains. We will be extremely short on crew, however.