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Thursday, February 3, 2011

'Underneath this great big sky...'

Many miles away from home, yet I still feel so connected to family and friends.  Isn't technology wonderful! 

Yesterday I was out and about after a full day of meetings and conferences.  A trip had been organized by the sponsor and I decided it would be fun.  I spent the evening at Epcot, loved it.  I strolled around the park, and experienced some of the rides and visited the various countries throughout the park.  It was amazing. 

In the evening they have a light show and fireworks, and the inner kid in me refuses to miss out on such activities.  So of course I found a spot with a full view and waited for the show to begin.  As I waited, I could not help but notice the families that had also gathered.  In front of me on a bench sat a family, two of the members had fallen asleep.  The son was lying down between his parents, the father, with a protective arm around his son, also had fallen asleep, while mom sat vigilant. 

The father eventually woke up and gently awoke his son before the light show began.  The mother smoothed his hair, put a sweater around him and just mothered him.  It was such a warm display of what family is all about.  My own family came to mind, even though I was miles away from them, I knew that they are definitely with me.  I thought about how we love being together, enjoying each other's company, even if we do not always agree.  This is family, caring, understanding and put all else aside for the one's we love. 

Now the son leaned onto his mother's shoulder, she instinctively put her arms around him and began to caress his hair.  My daughter Rachel came immediately to mind.  I remembered stroking my daughter's hair, holding her hand, gently touching her face, as I watched her slip away.  Thank goodness it was nighttime, so no one noticed the tears that began to stream down my face.  At that moment I longed to just do these simple motions all over again. 

Now I was totally aware of everyone that stood around me.  I smiled at the families with small children, and longed to tell them all to cherish every moment, to take none of them for granted. I said a silent prayer, that they all recognized the gift, the precious gift, they have been entrusted with.  I listened to children excitedly recounting the adventures of the day, and parents echoing the same sentiments.  I watched as parents patiently and effortlessly, lifted tired children into the arms without complaint.  I went back to my hotel with a sense of warmth. 

We all have choices in life, we all are given opportunities to not only enhance our lives, but to also enhance the lives of others.  We are all caretakers of each other.  As I looked up into the clear night sky, spying the stars, I thought of the lyrics, 'underneath the same big sky' by Linda Ronstadt from 'Somewhere Out There,' and new my family was looking at the same stars.  Then I recalled that one star up there had been named after my daughter Rachel by a friend after her death.  I spotted one that twinkled brightly and I knew Rachel was standing right there with me.  

We never know when a moment will remind us of our loved one, when someone else's actions will spark a random memory, but if we are open to it, it can occur anywhere.  I slept soundly last night, comforted in knowing that Rachel is very near.  That she is always on my mind, even if I am at a work related conference or at home.  If we are open to all the experiences around us, we too will recognize our loved ones everywhere.  

Allow yourself to be open, to welcome the opportunities that open a memory, and let that wonderful memory fill you with warmth and comfort.  Let the love fill you, let it surround you, and let it be what sustains.  We are love and that is what remains, well after we have gone.

Blessings! until we meet again.


  1. A lovely description of family life Rose Mary...and I'm so glad you managed to sleep soundly after your quiet tears.