Mom-Mom Life Tips
by Kellie Strausser
When I started the “Life-Tips” column a couple of months ago, I didn’t realize how synonymous the title of the column would be regarding the content of the articles. It just seems to have taken that turn at the present time. The past few months of my life have been ones of reflection, grief, anxiety and surprisingly, hope.
The grandmother of a close friend passed last week. She was an amazing woman. The kind of woman who, no matter what was going on in her life, always wanted to hear about you. She seemed to see inside of your soul at moments and always knew the right words to say. She was full of experience, wisdom and most of all love.
A fiery redhead who had a flair for fashion, cooking and a lover of all types of music, she was an eighty-seven-year-old retired schoolteacher. Even these descriptions do not do her justice. They are full of limitations. She was not.
I spent the weekend in the hospital with my friend, his family and grandmother. She was in more pain that last day then I care to remember, but won’t forget. It didn’t seem fair or right that someone so full of love and compassion had to suffer the way she did. Life is not fair, and we all know this. I couldn’t think of anything else to do but hold her hand and tell her that God was with her. I hope it was of some comfort, between cool washcloths on her forehead and ice chips to soothe her dry, tired mouth.
I can’t imagine being in such excruciating pain that you can’t even think straight. It is unfathomable to me. If I could have taken that pain for myself, I think I would have. It is a horrible feeling when someone you love is begging for the pain to stop, and there isn’t a thing you can do. Doctors have limitations and if the long arm of death is swooping in on it’s victim, and it is their time to go, none of us can stop it.
The experiences I have had within the last couple of months; my fathers open-heart surgery, and now the passing of a grandmother who was probably more of a grandmother to me than my own flesh and blood, and another friend I have met who’s fifteen-year-old daughter passed in a car accident not that long ago, have made things seem much more clear. I need to do something.
I seem to remember saying these words last month and it is still burning a hole through my chest. I want to help, to be there for people in need, in any form. How can we call ourselves human beings if we don’t do the basic humane things throughout our lives? Life is too short to worry about how much money I’m going to make. Granted, we all can use money to live a comfortable life. I am coming to the conclusion though, that an abundance of it will not make me happy, but making someone else more comfortable in his or her suffering, will.
I promise to broach a different topic next month. I’m sure these are really not things that most people want to dwell on. It is easier to live as happy, shiny people, with our gadgets, mindless TV, pizza delivery’s, and pedicures (yes, I’m a hypocrite). With all of this, who has time to think about the homeless, the dying and the destitute?
I am being quite factitious, and I know so many are doing much good in the world. Hurricane Katrina is a huge example of both sides of the coin. I’m playing devil’s advocate to myself as well as anyone who has the time to read this. I had the time to write it. Does this mean, that time, could have been better spent helping someone else out? Have I done that with what I’ve written? Will I ever know the answers to these questions?
Probably not. I only can hope that the moves I make in the future are the right ones and I can leave any past transgressions behind. God knows that’s where they belong. We are who we want to be, and we can change that at any time. The real question is; what type of person do you want to strive to be, one of action, or one of indifference? The latter is by far the easiest, isn’t it?