Hi, friends. Today, for some people, is “Good Friday,” which generally means they reflect on things that have meaning in their lives, and that’s always a good thing. For others, it’s “Earth Day,” and that involves reflecting on human relationships with the rock on which we live. Some people celebrate/acknowledge both. And still others try to reflect on things more often, and make changes or deal with what life throws at them.
I bring this up because this morning on NPR I heard an episode of “Story Corps” that just warmed my heart. Story Corps, for those of you who don’t know, is a series of oral interviews conducted by people like you and me with friends and family members. It’s oral history, and it’s kept on file in an archive. Every day people, talking about what’s happening in their lives.
Today’s episode featured Steven Wells, talking to his 27-year-old daughter about how he felt when he brought her home from the hospital just after she was born, and what she means to him.
And then I started thinking about a good friend of mine who is losing her father to Alzheimer’s, and how difficult and heart-rending that journey has been for her and her family and, in ways we don’t understand, for her father, who is no longer the man he was throughout my friend’s life, though there are still glimmers of that within him. My friend has been keeping a blog/journal about her family’s experience with Alzheimer’s, and how it affects not only her father, but his friends and family. It’s a moving, wrenching, transcendently human story about life and what we make of it. This is not easy or comfortable reading. Alzheimer’s is not pretty or kind. It isn’t gentle with the people it affects, or on the family and friends, or on the medical personnel who are called in to help as the disease’s grip tightens.
But it is necessary reading, because my friend reminds us that even in the midst of a terrible disease like this, there are very human, loving moments that affect us all. So no matter where you stand in these crazy times, no matter your views on anything, we are all, ultimately human, part of the human family, and we all make the trip from birth to death. Remember to tell your friends and family that you love them (no matter how crazy they sometimes make you), and remember that even people you might not like have friends and family, too.
Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate it, happy Earth Day for those of you who celebrate that, and Happy Passover to those of you who are engaged in that celebration.
I lost both my grandmothers to Alzheimers. Thanks for sharing this Andi. And I love the oral history project! It’s so important!
Thanks love, you are so sweet and your words provided me such comfort. Happy Earth Day to you. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We are all one, we are part of our Earth Mother.