This is for those of us who have kids, family, loved ones, who live apart from us. This is for those of us who feel and taste life with our hearts first. This is for those of us for whom “A Tear And A Smile” is not just a great book written by Kahlil Gibran, but also means a day well-spent, well-felt, well-lived.
We were all kids once, and most of us came home to our families once in awhile… maybe on holidays, maybe because we couldn’t take the big, new, difficult world anymore and needed to rest, regroup, reconnect with the reasons we were out there in that crazy life in the first place… and maybe to simply be back with family, because those ties were hard to break, and because we knew they needed us. After all, when we were young, the new world was out there, waiting for us to conquer it, and most of us couldn’t wait! Remember that point in our young lives when going home was an obligation rather than a relief… I do.
After it all got sorted, after we made our dent in it all, after the chase and the madness and the successes and the failures, the laughter and tears, we ended up, all of us, with a core group of loved ones whom we knew so well because of our shared life experiences… and who knew us as well. From middle age on, the meetings with those dearly loved ones has become precious. Parents, nephews, favorite aunties, pals from high school, have become so much more meaningful, especially if we allow them to. Sentimentality has somehow gotten a bad rap in this fast-moving, emotionless techno-world, and probably not all of us will allow ourselves to feel and appreciate the real warmth of our deeper relationships with those who know us best. But I do.
And no, this is not about me, dammit. Just sayin’ – it’s why I’m writing this to you tonight, wanting you to know that someone you know is out here is willing to remember, to feel, to love, to weep with joy, that we’re all still here on the planet, still together, still doing our things, and still getting back together once in awhile to share our successes, our failures, our dreams, and our loves… with those who really know us, and know how far we’ve come.
Now this isn’t a challenge, or a finger-pointing. Actually, I know that all of you who bother to read this have great hearts, and dear ones whom you take great care of, and have much love for. Guess what I’m struggling to say here is that I encourage you to keep it up; that it’s still okay, that it’s still cool (really!!) to love each other and show it. Naturally it’s easier to do if we’ve ever had a child. For that “unconditional love” thing comes into play right away, and never really goes away. It seems to make our hearts larger, our egos smaller, and all that is an incredible inward growth for us – a growth we never get over, never want to get over. For to love someone more than ourselves is to get outside ourselves and see our lives in a beautiful and new perspective. Our egos can sometimes be an anchor on our hearts, and I believe that, ultimately, our hearts know WAY more than our minds do. You know, that must be the case, for how else could our species have survived all these centuries of the ice age, etc?? We had to care for each other, help each other, band together to survive. Those of us with kids know how far we are willing to go to insure their survival. Hasn’t it always been thus?
With our kids, our hearts are mostly on our sleeves, though we try not to show it. And occasionally our hearts are in our throats, and we just smile, and turn away, because they might not understand… understand how very much we love them. They will, someday. But probably not now. So we try to be careful.
I know my boy, Dillon, will read this in a month when he’s back in La-la land with his buddies, when he’s working again, and has just spent two weeks with his old man up in the frozen tundra of the Arctic North he’s come to know as Montana. It might embarrass him for a moment, knowing I’ve put it all out here this way. But maybe not. Perhaps he knows me better than I think he does. At any rate, he’s coming home, to let me love him, take care of him, indulge him the way I remember my dad loved and indulged me. Perhaps he knows I need it more than he does. And…. maybe he still needs it, too. God, I sure hope so. I’m so excited tonight… if I didn’t sit here and type my feelings to you this way right now, I’d be jumping right out of my own skin. I tell you, I can’t wait, I absolutely can’t wait…for he’s coming home tomorrow.