My husband and I are learning every day – and from surprising sources: our son and our pets.
Amber has taught us to remain flexible, stay as active as possible, and be aware of a 92-pound ‘puppy’s’ needs. We have learned to stay alert and vigilant in our efforts to stay on our feet around here, test our wills on who will do what, when – and continue working on adapting to each other. We’re really glad that we adopted Amber when we did. We were jolted out of our complacency, pulled out of our grief in having had to put our wonderful pit, Bambi, down. Amber opened our hearts to a new way of life and new challenges. We have to be careful when the love erupts, but Amber enriches our lives, making us laugh every day.
Molly has had longer to teach us. She brought laughter to the house, cheering up our too-serious pit bull, Bambi, and provided me with love I could actually embrace in my lap. As a senior citizen now (she is over 13 years old) she is teaching us to protect her from getting completely run over by Amber, but also to allow her to play “Fierce Doggie” with Amber, as well. We watch her for times when she needs to rest, and delight when she’s growling, barking, jumping around, and saying, “Watch out for ME, world!” She is teaching us to treasure each day ’cause none of us lasts forever.
This is our son, Brian. He lives across the world from us, but has arranged that we can type at each other several times each day on a secure chat program, and sometimes actually SEE each other (when we’re all awake at the same time) with a conference call program. He’s smarter than both my husband and me together. He used to be nervous about traveling, but now handles tickets, reservations, passports, visas, transportation, housing, etc. with ease. He is teaching us that we can learn to face new challenges with more confidence, that we can figure things out if we want to.
The biggest thing he’s teaching us is kindness. I don’t know where he got it, but it simply oozes from every pore. If the two of us are walking along and we see a man sitting on the side of it, obviously poor and hungry, I feel bad for him, but would probably pass him. Our son sees the man, walks into town, buys a sandwich, some fruit, and a bottled drink and walks back, giving it to the man. When I get frustrated and angry at someone, mentioning it to him, our son responds that it’s sad that THEY are hurting and that maybe I should consider reaching out to them to see if I can help. He contributes much of the money he makes to causes he has researched carefully. He heard about a girls school where he lives that was in danger of closing do to finances. They were having a fundraiser. He walked to town and gave them money. The paper reported an ‘anonymous American’ contributing more than half of what they had received during the fundraiser. He is meditating to ‘learn to control his thoughts and emotions better.’ I’m proud and grateful to know him.
Opening yourself to learning from whatever sources are around you contributes to your quality of life. Trying to become a better person each day, thinking of others rather than yourself, allows you to continue growing.