Holding On

I’m not living in the present.  I’m not living in gratitude.

I know, because  this morning I awoke with grief and anxiety.  Having categorized and cataloged everything in my life that might worry me or cause unrest, my thoughts continually returned to my sisters.  And I wonder at the fear that can contaminate the most satisfying times of my life.

Last night was a joyful time spent celebrating my oldest daughter and extended family.  My cherished sisters were here.  I sat with them.  I touched them.  I hugged them.

It was the rare night when the oldest generation held sway. As we sat laughing at our childhood fears and humiliations, we shared a bond of memory, background and genetic tendencies.  Our grown daughters, one generation removed, gave insight to the family history.  We each contributed our personal  backstory to the walk we have taken together through life.

The grandchildren were on the periphery.  They entered the edges of the circle and would have been welcomed in but had no concept of the times and the people dominating the conversation at the table.  They were only treated to the warmth of the occasional arm encircling them,  the spare loving glance and the music of women’s love and laughter.

It was the perfect evening.  It was family bathed in the glow of camaraderie without the taint of discord.  No controversy or criticism raised the hackles of any generation.  No one was spared the spotlight. Each confession was greeted with understanding,  each ancestor accorded compassion.

And so, why the sorrow?

It is the fear of loss.  It is knowing that I can’t hold on to anyone or anything.  It’s the realization that life ends without my consent or blessing.  It’s the concern that I haven’t done the best I can do with the time I have had with the people I love.

All of my control issues rise to the front as I scramble to plan the next time.  To reach for the future with assurance that my family will always be with me.  That I will forever have the chance to share the perfect moment with each and every sister, child, grandchild, family member and friend.

“God grant me the serenity”…



  1. So much of this rang true for me too… it is hard to live wholeheartedly when you know that all you love will pass away… but I guess in that impermanence lies at least a little twist of what makes now, this, love a bit magic…


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