Saturday, June 02, 2007

showing up

abundant decay

My maternal grandmother has one skill that I admire above all the others – even more than her knack for trading stocks online (profitably), canning produce and jams and jellies like nobody’s business, and raising a brood of seven kids in the 60s.

She knows how to show up.

Whenever there’s a crisis, whenever somebody goes down or someone they love goes down, she just shows up.

And does all the things that one should do when showing up: Chores, errands, all the little things that get thrown into suspended animation when life stops to accommodate something new. Something traumatic.

She did it when my Dad went down, and my parents have been divorced for nearly 35 years. Just showed up and stayed at the hotel, watching the grandkids, while we camped out at the hospital.

My dear friend Bonita is blogging at long last, and just after she saddled up her father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. She’s documenting the progression and its impact in lucid, present prose.

Showing up. Getting it done.

This is how we love each other.

Mom, Dad and me »


anne said...

After reading some of Bonita's blog, I came upon this, which seemed fitting:

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." - Victor Hugo

anniemcq said...

I am thinking of your friend now, and I'm so glad she's there, writing about this passage.

Showing up. I seem to recall a dear friend of mine showing up at the Seattle Airport to hang with me for a bit while I waited for a flight home to be with my dying father. Ten days after I moved from Seattle to LA. My friend showed up with bagels and coffee and support for me when I felt completely untethered to this life.

Thank you, friend. I will always, always remember your kindness. You really do know how to show up.

Pam said...

WOW. Showing Up.... I came on yr blog by accident- a happy accident that's just what I need right about now.... my mother used to Show Up at a crisis with extra toilet paper; she said that when we have a lot of people coming in & out, that's the first thing, along with coffee, we run out of..... I remember, too, some years ago, when I didn't feel like going to a friend's party, my then-husband admonished me: of course we need to go! Friends showing up is the only thing that makes these things work! Again, THANK YOU for the reminder. So often our strength is in the supposedly small things.

Related Posts with Thumbnails