I recently celebrated my 35th birthday and I’ve been thinking about how the older I get, the more my perspective about many things in my life has completely changed. I am realizing who I am, what things I like & dislike about myself and what is most important to me. This week I have been spending a little time with some of my family and doing a lot of reflecting on my life in my quiet time. A few days ago I attended the homegoing (funeral) service for my grandparents’ neighbor, a man that I have known all my life, who I beheld as a grandfather and who was very special to me. For me death is always one of those things that puts life into perspective and makes me think about life in depth. I set at this homegoing service thinking about how I never told this man how special he was to me and how much I learned about neighborly love & kindness from him and his family. I set there listening to several people talk about him and their friendships with him and the life that he led and all that I heard made me think about the saying “give me my flowers while I live.” Often times it seems to me that we wait to shower people with praises at their funeral and I don’t understand that.
A few days after the funeral that I attended, I had a conversation with another special man in my life, my godfather, our conversation was about how I want to be someone who always treats people like I would like to be treated, in other words I would like to be someone who always tries to treat other people fairly, because I see so many people treating one another so poorly in this world. I’d like my life to be about always trying to spread love, kindness, and compassion and making others smile even temporarily. I’d like to be someone who gives people their flowers while they live.
All of my reflections and experiences in the last few days reminded me of my childhood and all the love that I grew up around which I think has helped to shape parts of who I am, how I think, and my beliefs about so many things in this life. I grew up surrounded by the type of love that I feel doesn’t exist in this world anymore. When I was a little girl I had several people in my life who I always felt cared about me even though we were not related to one another, we were family. A lot of those people have completed their earthly journey and transitioned into the next life, which saddens me but reflecting upon my childhood and my time with the many great people that God placed throughout my life has made me realize that children don’t seem to grow up like I did any longer, it is like the world is a completely different place and its void of love and real kindness. I can remember spending my summer vacation from school in the community where my maternal grandparents lived, where everyone was like family. My cousins and I could go to anyone’s house along the street and feel at home, like we were with family. It’s just not like that anymore, in some communities neighbors live beside one another for years and don’t ever take the time to get to know each other.
I have started to fully realize how grateful I am to have had many good experiences with some great people as a child, because I learned some very valuable life lessons and have a lot of great memories to cherish for the rest of my life. This week, visiting my family in the community where I have spent a lot of time in my life has made me question, when did this world become so void of the kind of love and togetherness that I feel like I grew up around. In the last few days, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how I would like to be someone who brings positivity, light and love into the lives of others just as a lot of the people I grew up around did for me.💜