Last night, under a waning gibbous moon, surrounded by oak trees in the hills of loveliness, family and friends gathered to serenade a beautiful woman who has been diagnosed with cancer. Like Juliet atop a balcony and Romeos singing from below, we sang to honor her. We sang to surround her with love and light.
Among her sisters, brother, daughter, nieces, nephews and friends she received the love graciously. But mostly she received it courageously, armored in the embraces of all who love her. And armored in her own coat of toughness.
Orchestrated by her niece, for whom nothing is too much to ask, many would have thought it would take a major miracle to pull off such an event in a short amount of time. Not to be daunted by the impossible, niece put the plan in motion. She asked and friends came in droves. Family dropped their Friday night routines and came to share a meal, drink wine and revel in the support of each other.
I thought we did it for her, the woman, this wife, mother, retired teacher we admire so much. And we did, but, I think we did it for us as well. We did it to take the sting out of loving and knowing those we care for will be vulnerable to life. That we too are vulnerable to life.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, I am awed by women who make magic, like the niece who conjured up the idea to serenade her Aunt with not one, not two but thirty plus friends with varying degrees of vocal aptitude. The off key notes, including my own, made it real.
So, in an evening filled with music and magic, the real love and light radiated not from us, but from this beautiful woman who stood up, received the love and gracefully declared that she is ready to face head on whatever challenges await.
To her niece, I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in such a holy, magical evening.
And to the Aunt, for her courage and grace, I bow.