Presence

I’ve had the extra ordinary opportunity to care for both my parents during times of need.

My mom, being the first to ask, reluctantly requested my presence when she learned of her terminal diagnosis of stage 3 metastasized stomach cancer. It was without thinking that we returned home to be another stabilizer for her as she and her doctors fought her own body. After all, she also needed support in the upkeep of her heart, mind, and spirit. It was my privilege to bear witness to all that unfolded as she worked to heal, and eventually, to know when it was time to let go.

To be asked; to be seen as equal to the task, by a parent – to care for, to give company, offer solace, provide presence, join in laughter, endure tears, and finally release – is to ask of someone to be the most intimate company through a transition sure to change everyone in the process.

I’ve had the extra ordinary opportunity to care for both my parents during times of need.

My dad, struggling with the self-realization that he needed more than could be offered in his home, asked without asking, for help. But more than for help, he asked for witness – a presence, a reassurance, a peace of mind, and a pause, to the far-too-fast but inevitable shift that would change everyone in the process. It has been my privilege to bear witness to all that has unfolded as time continues to march forward, changing and re-molding all of us along the way.

To be asked; to be seen as equal to the task, by a parent – to care for, to give company, offer solace, provide presence, join in laughter, endure tears, and finally release – is to offer the utmost respect and compliment any child can be given.

I am humbled. I am honored. I am grateful. My father, on this Father’s Day, need not ask what he has done for me, because for as long as I can remember – and still to this day – he has offered me care, company, solace, presence, laughter, tears, and finally release – as his daughter, but also as a woman in the world – fully trusting in my inherent goodness, as much as his own, as a father who taught me how to love.

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