Sunday, July 3, 2011

"What you seek, you already are."

This week marks ten years since my mother died. She was an artist, a seamstress who also designed clothing, a homemaker, and lover of God and people. At age forty-six she became a first-time parent, and like everything she did, she went at it with energy and creativity. The woman was an embodiment of the French term joie de vivre--cheerful enjoyment of life.

When I realized this would be the tenth anniversary of her passing, I thought perhaps I should do something splashy to honor her. Then I realized that, in my way, I honor her every day, by trying to live an authentic life. For me, that means gratitude, simplicity, love, and happiness.

One thing that has occurred during our year and a half (so far) struggle with my husband's illness is that I have become more comfortable with myself. This is me. My hair is turning white. I like to whistle church songs. I could stand to lose some weight. I smile a lot. I am not particularly graceful. I write (or at least, wrote) romance. I am very happy with less (stuff, money, busy-ness).

The other evening when my son gave me time off from caregiving, I went to a bookstore. Still unable to become engaged by fiction, I found myself in the self-help section. I scanned, among other titles, Deepak Chopra's The Book of Secrets. This sentence jumped off the page at me: "What you seek, you already are."

My mother was a great reader--of all kinds of things, but I especially remember her sitting with a pen for underlining and margin-writing, and one of her many books on religion and spirituality. I guess my current search should not be so surprising to me. I am finding what was there all along.

I am my mother's daughter. Lucky me.