The biggest thing I have had to learn as an adult is communication. As wonderful as my family is, we were never good at genuine, honest communication. I remember family meetings as an attempt to practice sharing and hearing one another. I remember conversations that skirted the surface of issues. I remember laughter and family game nights. I also remember silence and closed doors.
Communication is something my mom has spent a lot of time on – how to communicate genuinely to us, to her friends, to her God, and to herself.
It was not uncommon to start a conversation with my mom and her admitting that she has been perseverating on something that happened two months ago and she’d like to talk about it.
It was not uncommon for my mom to come in the door, sit down in the kitchen and ask how we were – not how the surface appeared, but how we were.
It was not uncommon for my mom to revisit a topic that I had brought up in the past, and want to know the progress and next steps – and perhaps more importantly, how I was feeling about it all.
It was not uncommon for my mom to want to hear everything in every conversation happening in the room – and to interrupt to find out what was happening in a story that she only heard the end of.
It was not uncommon for my mom to share how she felt.
It was not uncommon for my mom to share how much we meant to her.
It was not uncommon for my mom to cry, to get anxious, to get excited, and to openly share that with whomever she was with.
It was not uncommon for my mom to love and to share her love.
In the end, I’d say she did a pretty darn good job working on her communication skills. It doesn’t mean she was great at it. She still butted in conversations, she still took things too personally, and she still invited herself to things she wasn’t invited to. But she was ever-evolving and always open to hearing how she could do things differently.
What if we all lived life with genuine honesty?
What if we all communicated with the purpose to give and receive love?
A living obituary.
An obituary that happens while we’re alive. While we’re here to hear it from those that love us the most.
My husband said it best:
Your mom was the person she always hoped she would be.
Tell those in your life that you love them. Tell them how they have made a difference in your life. Tell them that they are enough.
While they’re still here.
Communicate. Not just words. Genuine. Honest. Love.