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Monday, August 6, 2007

living in the present moment

last wednesday, the news of the bridge collapsing in minnesota spread like wildfire. the first call i made was to my mom - to see if there was any word from my aunt and uncle in bloomington and to see if they were ok.

that night, i photographed a six-month-old with his mom, grandma, and great grandpa...one of those rare four generation photos...a moment that you want to soak in and savor.

mother angelica always talks about 'living in the present moment'. it's something that i always have a hard time doing - to live now, and not to worry about the past or the future.

usually, the things 'of the past' are things i have a hard time letting go - being hurt, hanging onto anger with my famous temper or simply not choosing to forgive. as for the future? focusing too much on it - and not experiencing today...because you never know when you won't have another today.

which led to thursday. dad, mike, shelly and i had our monthly working lunch, and upon returning, learned that there had been a bomb threat called in on our building. the call made to the tacoma police department indicated that the bomb would go off at 4 pm (two hours from then).

talk about a reality check into living in the present moment.

thankfully, the bomb threat was simply that, a threat. but what a reminder...especially with the 'deadline' of when that present moment may be over.

over the weekend, jonathan and i started cleaning out his house. a harder process for us with his home than with mine - as my house has just my stuff...but his home is filled with not only his stuff, but everything his parents left behind.

one of the things that hit me the hardest was finding the last christmas letter his mom, mary, wrote before she passed away a month after christmas 2003.

i've written our family's christmas letter for nine years now - and it's one of those christmas traditions that i never want to let go of. one of my favorite memories of each christmas is sitting in the kitchen at mom and dad's, reading through all the letters, and catching up with mom on how everyone's doing.

and there i was, with tears running down my face, with the chance to read her last christmas letter. knowing that the end was near, mary sent out a letter sharing about how proud she was of her son, and how she wished she felt up to seeing those she loved one last time...but she wasn't going to be able to do so. how memories are what she shares with them share now. how she was surprised she had made it this long, and that she was ready.

she was living in the present moment.

what i would have given to be able to meet her. to thank her for the gift of her son. to tell her that i'll take good care of him. to thank her for the best reality check ever in the blur of the past few months.

i pray that i can learn to live more in the present moment - to entrust my past and present to god so that i can give today everything i have. it's something that i am not good at (yet) - but that also means that i can't do much worse. :)

3 comments:

Maureen said...

Very touching. I'm praying for you and Jonathan as you both progress in your engagement and into marriage, I'm very happy for you, and now I'll add prayers for you and everyone to focus on the "now"

Kate said...

This made me weepy. I can totally relate. I wish I could thank John's mom for raising such an incredible young man and filling him with goodness. I pray that she is looking down on us and seeing that I am doing my best to take care of and love her son. Thank you, Shelley, for the reminder to live in the moment. I am always looking days and weeks ahead, worrying about the future and what it will bring. Instead, there is so much to enjoy in the here and now. I, too, will be working on that. Thanks, Shelley. ; )

Amy said...

I cried when I read this post. imagine that. It was exactly what I needed needed to hear(read), because of all that is going on in my life. i keep telling myself that god is in control. hopefully one day I can totally commit to that. pray for me. thanks!

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