“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
― Mother Teresa
I feel the need to record on this blog what a great kid Maki is. A few weeks ago, he told me about a girl he knows at school who had recently lost her mother. We briefly discussed the idea of him reaching out to her because it was unlikely there were other kids she knows that have also lost a parent. I hadn’t thought about it again till yesterday when he told me he’d arranged to meet this friend and another friend for breakfast. He tends not to talk much about other people so he didn’t give me the details of their conversation, but it sounded like she was very ready to talk and she appreciated the space and understanding that Maki and the other friend gave her.
I am so proud of him. These are the moments that the world changes for the better, and to begin seeing that in one’s children is the best thing ever. I remember when we were first in the hospital with Vernon, we didn’t know a thing about hospitals or visiting or any of it. I had never known how important it is to visit your ailing friends in hospitals because I’d never had any yet, not really. And if I had, I didn’t know that it was okay for me to visit them. I just assumed you had to be the family. When my friends showed up every day for those first weeks, some even the very night they heard I was going to the hospital (Sue and Jim Skelly sat in the waiting room the first night I was there…they barely spoke to me except when I was leaving, but they literally held space for us on the other side of the wall) it made such a difference for us. I told myself that in the future, I would always try to visit ailing friends if I could. I knew these visitors were teaching me how to act when someone goes to the hospital in the future. Of course, that’s probably how they learned as well—by being in similar situations themselves. What they learned through difficulty allows them to keep changing the world.
I was thinking of Maki’s friends in the future. I think they will know what to do when they someday hear of a friend who is experiencing extreme loss. Sadly, for all of us, it’s not a matter of it happening, its just a matter of when. They can continue to change the world for someone else’s better, bringing comfort to that friend…but also teaching that person how to behave when they have a friend in the same situation. In this way, I imagine people climbing a mountain path, all holding a rope down to the person coming up behind them. We’re all climbing ahead, but the more experienced adventurers can make sure the beginners get their footing.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.