Happy Mothers Day at nautilus teachings

what if you knew
next year
the co-worker
who always smiled
and brought homemade cookies
to the office,
the one who’s desk was
plastered with drawings
and photos of her kids
or your elderly neighbor
who swept her driveway every day
as you drove by chuckling to yourself
doesn’t that woman have
anything else to do?
or maybe she’s your favorite
check out lady at publix,
the lady who greets you at the bank?
the one who seems like she’s always jogging?
what if it was you?
it could be one of them
or none of them
but what if?
what i know is
30 years ago
i did not know.
i was too caught up in
a loveless marriage
raising my 1 1/2 year old son
working a full time job
and trying to just
get it all done
being the perfect
wife and mother.
what did i take for granted?
that my own mother
would always be alive.
of course i knew she was sick
of course i knew she
was dying
of course i believed my fathers lies,
“your mother is fine. she is in remission”
i saw my mother still work a full time job
not out of need
but out of passion.
as she herself was dying,
she still rose up every day she could
and held the hand of those
who were closer to death than her
all while managing 9 counties
in their quest to raise money
for the American Cancer Society.
was she a super hero?
nope. she was just my mom
and my best friend…
my mother was stronger
than any one person i knew-ever.
so of course this was just
another bump on her journey.

did i see her?
yes, every day if i could.
did i talk to her?
yes, about life, my son, the family…
did i think to ask her,
‘mom, how are you, really?’
‘mom tell me about your life?
what do i need to know about my life?’
i was just to young to even understand
or believe
my mom would not be here
next mother’s day
let alone that coming holiday season.
what do i wish?
that someone
would have sat my butt down
looked me in the eyes
and said,
“sher, wake up. your mother is dying- NOW”
someone who was older
who they themselves had lost
their own mother young
and knew
they missed out on
important conversations
taking photos every chance
recording their voice
capturing their smile
holding their hand…
so, my friend
what if you know?
right now, as you sit sipping
your latte
gazing at your garden
or driving your cool car
maybe going out with your friends
or traveling the world…
what if you know
someone is dying
and you do
over the years many friends
i know and love
have told me of their own
they love who is dying.
after i hug them,
tell them i am praying for them
and listen to their story of losing
that big part of their heart
i gently hold their hand
look in their eyes
and tell them,
have the conversations
take the pictures
and videos
laugh with them
just spend time with them.

every time the person
has then thanked me
for this knowing advice.
am i tooting my own horn?
patting my self on the back?
i am sharing with you all
my brokenness.
it is because of my own pain and loss
that i can help
that i can share
that i can tell you
do it NOW.
take the extra moment
with someone you work with,
encounter daily, drive by,
know or love,
to just listen
to anything they have to say.
when you are on social media
and people ask for prayers
take 5 seconds and type the word
it is in the tiniest of expressions
with which we give people hope.
i’m not asking you to change
your beliefs, values, sexual orientation
religion, or political party,
i am asking you
to be
you do not have to
be related to,
love or really
even like the person
to have compassion,
be empathetic,
to give them a few moments
of your time
and let someone know
they are not alone.
this is mothers day weekend
it will pass fast.
some will celebrate
some will morn
some will sit alone
in that small still place
looking up at the sky
or down in their hands
what if
this is my
last mothers day?
do you know
is she you?
someone you love?
take off your rose colored glasses
and look at this beautiful life
we are given.
you are a gift.
share your self
with someone
you know,
be a good human.
Happy Mothers Day.