“Fill me in.” “Catch me up.” “Tell me everything.”
These are the common exchanges we have with friends and family when we haven’t communicated in a while. Our answers are typically the major events; the good ones include a promotion, home purchase, or a new life partner, while the not-so-good ones may be a job lost, a dear one’s death, or a close relationship ended. These major events are important, of course, and it would be silly to leave them out.
However, the real magic of our lives are the experiences we feel, not the ones we can easily report. How did it feel to be handed the keys to your new home? How did it feel when your new partner said “I love you” for the first time? How did it feel to say good-bye to your dear one for the last time?
I recently had one such moment that I will cherish forever. I visited my 93-year-old mother in her nursing home. My mother has dementia, congestive heart failure and debilitating arthritis. I never know the condition in which I’ll find her and if she will truly know I’m there.
I walked into my mother’s room and she was sleeping. I sat on the edge of her bed, took her hand and was able to wake her up. She had clarity and was glad to see me. That would have been enough, but then the magical moment happened.
Shocked at how cold my hands were, my mother took them, tried to warm them between hers, and then tucked my hands under her blanket. It was a brief moment of being nurtured by my mother. After more than a decade of role reversal, I got to experience being a daughter again. A magical gift.
These spontaneous, fleeting moments of feeling give our lives depth and meaning. They make our hearts smile and our souls sing. Usually we can’t plan for them, and after they happen, we are enriched in a way that has no substitute.
When asked to “fill me in,” we will always begin with the big events. However, it would be unfortunate not to take note, even privately, of those brief magical moments. I don’t know how much longer my mother will be here, but I will be forever grateful for what may have been her final maternal act toward me.
What are your magical moments? Who else was involved? How did it change you?
So, continue to report the big events but pay close attention to the ones that grace you at your core. That’s where the magic happens.