Gathering Up More Precious Moments

Greetings! Summer is nearly upon us. My Mission tour this morning of thirty fairly rowdy nine and ten-year-olds who will soon be free from the confines of school was a daunting challenge!! I really had to up my game to keep those wriggly students focused!

     Last week during my granddaughter's eighth grade graduation

Donna  (Mimi) taking Megan to So Africa

from the small Christian school, where she has been enrolled since kindergarten, I observed something I want to share with you. It was one of those precious moments. The graduation was a formal affair with caps, gowns and valedictory speeches. Afterward, the school hosted a reception in the gymnasium. I approached my granddaughter and hugged my congratulations. She hung on as long as she could greeting all of us, but then the enormity of leaving all of her friends and moving on to a big public high school overtook her. She was overwhelmed with emotion, and burst into tears, nestling her face into the safety of her mother's waiting shoulder. I watched as her mother quietly engulfed the bereft child into a private sanctuary of long hair and kindness.

     I saw. I reflected. It was just a moment in parenting of a thousand such moments across a child's growing up, but it said so much. It showed that my daughter-in-law has created a safe haven for her girl, that it is she who is dependable to draw closer when one's world has turned up-side-down. Certainly, not a moment of drum rolls and trumpets, but a silent illustration of just how instrumental moms, dads, grandparents, and siblings can be to a child's well being. I knew I had witnessed something important.

     I began collecting such moments a few years back after readingChasing Daylight by Eugene O'Kelly. It is the story of his last six weeks of life. Too late, he discovered that his fast-paced international work life, had precluded him from being present in his own life. With a catastrophic medical diagnosis he determined to make his last six weeks on earth the most compelling possible of all. He did that by, as he said, "collecting more precious moments than he had in the entire preceding fifty-two years!" Inspired by O'Kelly, I have been keenly aware of such special moments. One of my strongest life goals has been to see the world. I have dedicated myself to that end in recent years. Joyfully; I have now trekked the Himalayas, explored the temples of Ankor Wat, thrilled to the majestic sight of

Jumping with Massaii- Serengeti 2011

thousands of wildebeests, elephants, and rhinos in their migration across the great Serengeti Plain, jumped with the Masaii, all the while savoring the enormity of meeting new people and thrilling to other ways of living life. I am out-the-door this week to see where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years fighting against Apartheid in South Africa, and to endeavor to understand that part of the world more fully. My eyes and heart will be open.

     I am hoping that you will reflect on the special happenings that

Nepalese friend- Himalayan trek 2010

are occurring around you every day, and that you will take them in. I think precious moments help to make our lives richer and more full. I for one have a profound respect for the loving ways of my adult children who are parenting their many offspring. As always, I would love to hear about a precious moment you have encountered of late.
My best, donna