In memory of Maricela Ochoa Henderson
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~ Robert Brault
Small moments of transformation.
Last night my nephew called me. He’s three. He told me he had macaroni and cheese for dinner. He told me he was going to the beach on Sunday. “I’m going to fly at kite at the ocean,” he said breathlessly. His twin brother chimed in, “I’m filling my pockets with food!” I told them I’d see them in August. I could hear them clapping their hands and shouting with delight.
The conversation was bookended by a short introduction and close by my mother. Then we hung up.
I saw the boys in Hawaii about eight weeks ago. My mom told me this morning that they’d called me because when T found out I wouldn’t be joining them, he started to cry. Those precious little boys. They break my heart open.
Today my mom and I talked about the week — like we always do on Saturday — and she told me that T felt better after our chat. We exchanged reports on all we’d done this past week, discussed movies and television, ROKU, streaming videos, music, and a play she’d scored a ticket to. I told her about the release of the poetry anthology my work is featured in (The Cancer Poetry Project 2) and how one of my students won first prize in the department writing contest. We talked about the grading I did and the quilting she did. We talked about comfort food (tater tots!) and the pie the twins baked with their mom. In other words, we talked about life. The small detritus that constitutes our lives.
The older I get, the more important these conversations and moments and revelations are. I no longer take them for granted or assume they are limitless. I know they should be treasured. I stand in a river of such moments and constantly remind myself to cherish them because there is no guarantee how many more I will have. Especially with my mom.
Not to sound maudlin; I’m just being honest. My mother’s 78. Her health is not what it once was. She’s outlived both her parents, her older sister, and my father. Every Saturday our conversations are a blessing. Another blessing in my very blessed life.
“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
Everyday is a celebration.
So, I am celebrating today because it is Saturday and the sun is shining and I am alive. I am alive and loved by two little boys who live 1,500 miles away. I woke up today with a darling doglet snoring peacefully beside me. I do work that I love, surrounded by quality people who share my commitment to teaching.
It is the small stuff that matters. A good bagel. A pot of French Roast coffee. A handful of cashews. A new book of poems (with one of my poems in it).
Grateful. Grateful. Grateful.
Everyday, I remind myself: I am lucky. I am blessed. I am loved. I am seen and appreciated. I am constantly protected and held and watched over — by my family, by my glorious friends, by my animals (little people in fuzzy suits), by my students and colleagues, by my peers, by my angels and guides.
Today I have another opportunity to make a difference.
So do you.
Let’s make it count.
© 2013 Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved
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