In the moment.

May 8, 2009

Last night on the telephone with my Aunt Judy, we both were struck by how quickly our lives can change after processing just a small piece of new information.  Yesterday may have started out like any normal day, though it left me feeling like a different person altogether when it was over.

You would have thought that some of the events that have brought us to this place would have prepared me more. My mom has very unfairly been given much more than her share of challenges over the years. All along, there were brief moments when I would allow myself to prepare for the worst. Unfortunately, it seems like my learning curve for this sort of thing is very slow.

The one person that seems to be taking all of this in stride is my mom. Her voice on the phone yesterday was steady (much steadier than my own). After weeks of having to help my mom complete her sentences, she suddenly seemed to have found her voice again. While we seem to now be set on a course not of our choosing, mom still sounds very much in control. Even now, it seems that I still have much to learn from her.

It’s kind of an awkward time to be grateful. But I am. As a family, extraordinary circumstances have required all of us to appreciate the value of time. Every holiday, every birthday, every day we’ve found ways to connect with each other – and many followers of this blog have been there with us as well.  Many years ago, I may have made time for some of these occasions just out of a sense of obligation. But for quite a while now, I think that we’ve all been very much “in the moment”. I am grateful for learning early how important these opportunities are and how much enjoyment and fun can be had just by being together.

Suddenly, the concept of Mother’s Day seems to fall way too short of what it should be. Just one day?

Howard Joseph



3 Responses to “In the moment.”

  1. Isaac Says:

    I just wanted to thank everyone for their support and love. From time to time I check my mother’s quilt, but for the most part I find it too difficult to read. For several years I have been trying to prepare myself and my family for this difficult path we are on, but I’m still not ready. This is surreal.

    Yesterday, I spent the day with my Mom. She received a phone call from the medical supply store from where my Dad had ordered a walker. She was surprised by the call and upset that my Dad hadn’t talked to her first about ordering it. She told the person on the phone, “I will have my husband pick up HIS walker”. Then she called my dad and left him a voicemail saying, “Lee YOUR walker is ready and YOU will need to arrange picking it up”. When she got off the phone I told her my Dad was just trying to help and for her just to consider using the walker. She told me, “I don’t like people making decisions for me”. Although the cancer is taking its toll physically on my Mom, it will never diminish her strength, will, and courage.

    Thank you for your continued love and support.


  2. Dana Nicole Says:

    Howard – I’m grateful too – and even in the moment what wonderful memories the smiling faces in this blog bring back, even in times like these, with news we don’t want to hear – think our memories get us through, don’t you? I’m not surprised at all that Aunt Chole has found her voice again – it’s a musical sound I can bring back at will, though usually I hear it over the surf of Pismo Beach (“come back and finish your lunch”), the late night giggles of us kids in the sand (“you girls be nice to Isaac”) and the laughter of “the adults” over the campfire (“John, pour some more Lancers”). Any of them could have said those things, but it’s Aunt Chole’s voice I remember now. And smile. The mind plays tricks doesn’t it? and thank God for those tricks and the delightful memories they allow us – real and imagined. And thank God for Moms this weekend and every – yours especially. Blow her a kiss for me! I’m thinking good thoughts for you all. dnb

    • Howard Joseph Says:

      THANK YOU, Dana. After a very long day, I finally broke a smile several times while reading your message. Pismo Beach is definitely a big part of the Jackson’s collective pool of memories too.

      While I always looked forward to hanging out with our group of kids on the beach (and to our traditional visit to that old-school arcade in town), I also really enjoyed watching my parents just having fun and relaxing with your parents and the rest of our Pismo family. I especially enjoyed listening to that special laugh that my mom seems to reserve for Aunt Rhea – even on the telephone, I could always tell from that laugh when your mom was on the line.

      I totally agree, our memories are very comforting at times like this. On this particular Mother’s Day, I will be in Fresno, thinking good thoughts and remembering some of our best memories, including the ones you have shared. Thanks again, and if I can find any of those Pismo summer pictures at my parents house, I will try to post a few!

      Howard Joseph

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