That’s how I feel right now. Here. In the moment. I’m not focused on the past, nor the future. I’m just here right now.

The funeral was nice. Very nice. It was good to see the family members that I never get to see often enough. It was a sad affair on one hand, and then joyous on another. Yes, one family member will be missed, but then, it seems as though these kinds of events can forge anew the relations between other family members. I recognized, maybe for the first time, that as an adult in the family, I can simply reach out on my own and contact my cousins, sans the input, oversight or prodding of family elders. I know. I never kid when I say that I can be remarkably slow on the uptake. But this is a great realization. I have some great cousins. Cousins whose company I rather enjoy. And I can just invite them over or meet up with them or send them a note or do whatever I want. The past, it doesn’t matter. The future? Unimportant. What matters is that – in the here and now – should I choose to say hello, I can and will do just that.

Having children has made me more tender. More protective. More nostalgic. More willing to cry in public. More willing to honor relationships that are worthy of honor and ignore those that are not. More willing to say “I love you.” I didn’t plan for any of these things to happen. I expected that I would be the teacher, the crafter, the constructor of a new personality. Well, two, in my case. But how wonderful a treat to discover that I would change as well. That I would find my personality crafted alongside that of my boys. And my husband. Here, together, we are all becoming new people.

As I was sitting at the funeral, I was thinking of what someone would say if it was my eulogy being read. Thinking about whether I would like what I thought someone else would say about me. About what they saw. Would I change anything now to make my eulogy a better one? The only thing I could think of was that it was possible that some people who I really do like might say, “I wish I knew her better. I think we’d have gotten along rather well.” So, my goal for 2012 and beyond is to communicate more. I don’t know that the form will be more than email or written notes. I’ve a dissertation to finish and all. But I am going to take the time to reach out to people who I like to say a quick hello, how are ya, thinking about ya. Life is both long and short. Why not – where we can – fill it with those things that make us feel good?

I should also note that it did not escape my attention that the only thing I would change was my communication  efforts. I consider myself supremely lucky and blessed to love the rest of my life as much as I do. To feel such a profound sense of happiness with my children, husband, close  family and friends that I could pass on tomorrow (please, NO!) and rest assured that I would change not one single thing. Not one. I hope that my family carries this truth in their hearts as well.

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