I had the honor of listening to a friend the other day as we walked along the beach. She was sharing that her mother was ill and the latest news was rather grim.
I did the typical thing and tried to comfort her by offering thoughts of hope. She asked me to stop. She was not interested in listening to highly improbable possibilities. Instead, she wanted to focus on the reality of the situation. She wanted to accept, embrace and mourn with her mother through the final stages of her life. She wanted to live in the moment, each moment, and ride the natural rollercoaster toward completion. My friend was afraid, courageous, saddened. But mostly she was real. Hope would have glossed it over. It would have taken her above the situation instead of kept her in it.
I rarely see such courage, but how beautiful it was to see. At the end of our walk she said her biggest hope is that she lives through her mother’s illness without regret. Clearly a hope worth hoping for.
My beach walk reminded me that we are all much stronger than we think. And, if we live life courageously there will be little regret.