They say that wisdom comes with age but even so I’m a late learner.
Yesterday I taught a workshop on “Law of Attraction” and I had one of those light bulb moments of clarity. While having lunch with the group we started talking about caregivers and how for some it comes naturally – they live to care for others and don’t feel the least stressed or put upon. While for others looking after someone for even a few days stretches them to their limits. Sadly most of us will end up being caregivers some time in our lives.
I started talking about my mother and how we lived with my grandfather on the farm while I was growing up. Mom looked after my grandfather until he died, then her oldest cousin lived with us until he died of cancer, then my Aunt Marion lived with us for eleven years until she died, then Uncle Doug and Uncle Russell and the list goes on. Even later on in my Mother’s life she would drive others in the Senior Complex around to their appointments.
Mom was a natural caregiver but it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized Mom’s secret and that I had it all along and didn’t know it.
When Mom died she didn’t really have anything of value and so most of her stuff was donated. But from my childhood memories I kept Mom’s small tin treasure chest full of pennies. I remember for years as a child all the people that would come to our house to play cards and have a cup of tea. Mom would always bring out her treasure of pennies to play with.
But I just realized that the memory is not in the card games but in Mom’s laughter and joy in life. She knew how to enjoy what life gave her and she was truly happy with very little. Mom had no car in those days, was bringing up five daughters and was boarding two other girls. There was never any money but she always enjoyed people and they were drawn to her.
I dug out that old tin treasure chest and put it on my fireplace so that it will be a consistent reminder to me about what really matters. Mom knew that the secret is friends and that the joys of life are free because laughter doesn’t even cost a penny.