We each live life in our own boxes. Some of our boxes are bigger than other boxes. Some of them allow the flow of information through their walls. Others are made from rigid materials that permit no changes. Fortunately, we can decide when and if the walls of our boxes will ever come down. Still, as much as we are constrained by boundaries of our own making, the things that hold us back the hardest are usually beliefs ingrained in our societies and the institutions built around them.
These beliefs and institutions are the foundation upon which all our boxes stand and they influence us all from the earliest stages of our lives. They direct the way we see the people in boxes around us and ourselves. They often affect the choices we make about which people in which boxes we can and cannot connect with; and if those beliefs and institutions remain stagnant or rile against becoming open and inclusive of all people in all boxes, those of us who have been educated solely by them will never open ourselves to change.
These days it’s so rare that we receive anything but bills and junk advertising in our mailboxes. However, today there was a lovely surprise waiting when I opened my mailbox. I received a thank-you card in my mail. Receiving it made me smile from ear to ear.
Someone who will always be special to me sent me the card: my nephew. He wrote me a personal message of thanks. I’m so glad to know that he’s cultivating his own practice of expressing gratitude while he’s so young.
I have a bit of a thing for thank-you cards. I always have a bunch on hand at home to send notes to people when they do something nice for me. Sometimes I send a card or note for no reason at all except to let someone know how much they mean to me.
I’m sharing this because I feel so happy and proud of my nephew; and I want to encourage everyone to send a card or note to someone to let them know you care. If you don’t have cards think of another way to express gratitude for having her/him in your life.
In the early evening hours of November 13th, my close friend R lost his wife to a long and hard-fought battle with cancer. For six years, she woke every morning and with hope as her weapon, she tried to beat the dreadful enemy that took root and spread within her. Yesterday, as she slept, with her defenses down, this disease that is capable of assuming varied forms took her life.
It had no mercy. It claimed her before her prognosed time. It did not give her a chance to say goodbye to anyone she loved nor those who loved her. She passed from the world of being into a place we do not know, but for millennia imagined to be peaceful and restful. For her sake and for R’s sake, I hope our imaginings are true and that she is now in a place where the merciless disease that plagued her for so long can harm her no more.
Today and for a long time to come, my deepest sympathies are with their friends, her family, and his family as they grieve this sudden loss.