Sunday, October 7, 2007

Never too old to learn from the young...

This post is a compilation of my words and the words of a special woman, my niece. I have known all of her life what a beautiful loving person she is inside and out. She has always held a unique place in my heart; and always will.
When she was born I was in my early twenties and I can almost say that we sort of grew up together. It may sound silly but she was the first child that I "grew with" as an adult. I know she unknowingly taught me a lot and I can only hope that some of what I had to offer taught her a tiny bit as well. She's a teacher, she's brilliant, she's sweet, she can be shy yet lights a room, you have seen her comment on my blog before and I'm always glad to see her little ":0)" as she signs her comments. She's one of my "loved ones".
About 2 months into my blogging she was made aware of my writings and began reading them and has since given me the privilege of reading some of her words as well. The other day she sent me the following diary entry of hers and with her permission I'd like to share it with you. I want her to know how proud I am of her and also to tell her I love her; I don't think I've ever told her those words. I want her to know.
Cold hands, warm heart.....
[Favorites Only Entry]
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The title here has nothing at all important to do with the entry. Recently, I have been privileged to read my uncle's blog, as we grow older it is interesting to see the lives our family members lead under our noses everyday. As children, we hadn't much thought about where they work, or what sort of person they might be, we just knew how they felt about us and that was all that mattered. But reading, as a "grown up" there are so many parts of his life I was unable to imagine but now see more clearly. It has given me a new admiration for his profession and for his own compassion. As I said, growing up teaches us to see the people we were raised with in a new light.

I suppose this is true of all our family members - at some point they drop their superhero or heroine capes and become human. It's a humbling moment when you see your parents or elders as flawed, as vulnerable. I can remember being an adult and seeing my father cry, honestly crying without abandon or concern for who saw him. All at once I was struck with this odd sense of helplessness and I wondered if he had felt that way each time he saw me cry. I wondered are parents crippled at times by the inability to "make it all better" for their children? It was eye opening and terrifying all at once.

There have been moments too when I was younger that I was clouded by anger over a loved one's decision but looking back on it all now, I may not agree with their choices but I see their reasoning. Perhaps it was fear or pride or some other human trapping, often times I discover it was love and I am again humbled. So where does all this deep thought bring me on a Tuesday morning and how does the title above relate?

Well the title first, is a t-shirt I have with a little penguin that someone picked for me. They said somehow it reminded them of me and it got me thinking. How does the world see us all? Are they impressed with us, do they admire us, can they see all those flaws and do they love us despite them. It's interesting, I doubt we ever truly know how others see us... it would be enlightening I am sure.

Back to my uncle once more and his profession; he is in the business of helping people who have lost a loved one. I come back to this as I write an entry like this one, or my birthday entry where I am thankful for the people who shaped my life that year. Is once or twice a year enough though,certainly not, we all let it slip by too easily. We forget to tell people who mean the most to us just how we feel about them. It's ironic, we often let those in our life who we dislike know our most intimate and angered feelings about them, we're quick to point out our honest opinion of them. But when do we ever say with as much raw emotion "I love you" as we do "I hate you"? How often do we write a letter of Thank You instead of complaint? In the little moments do we notice the jobs undone or the failures of the day or do we acknowledge the successes. Do we hold the people around us up to superhuman standards?

So, I pose the question to some of you - my readers, who know me at best as a friend, at most simple as another anonymous writer: Think about it for just a moment, reflect on it. How do you see me? How do you see your family? your friends? Shouldn't you tell them?

Thank you, my loved one - love, Uncle Louie


Matty said...

I have mentionned in a past post how 'we are what we write' and that upon reading your words a person will know who you are. I believe that you are what you write...nothing more, nothing less. You can't can't hide..your words will tell the world who and what you are...of that I'm sure.
After reading someone's is easy to see who they are and what they are made of.
You come across as a honest, caring and compassionate person. Definitely a keeper. Thanks for your usual wonderful thought-provoking post.

Mark Dykeman said...

Wow. Beautiful.

MedStudentWife said...

I think you have received the greatest compliment a gentleman can receive :D