Do you ever find yourself studying pictures of people? I could get lost for hours thinking about individuals in old photographs. Did they think like me? Were they happy with their family? Was life everything they wanted it to be? I don’t think I have ever looked at a photograph of a material object and had it pull at my heartstrings. No, things don’t really make my soul sing. I am sure that is true of most people.
Money, I am not so impressed by. I never have been. Money gets in the way. Let’s get real. If someone handed me a check, I wouldn’t say, “Oh no….I don’t do money.” I just really feel that things clutter what is important. Push back the stuff; push it aside and what you get to see is the real person. The person is the gem. The relationship is the gift.
The relationships in my life are my greatest gift. At times, I have given too much in relationships and other times, I have not given enough. I have been the aggressor and the rescuer. I have been the ass and the angel. Angel might be a strong word; unfortunately, ass is not strong enough. I have fought, argued, cried, laughed and talked into the late hours of the night with some of the most amazing people on the planet and I actually get to call them my friends and my family. I can find myself crying with gratitude for my husband, my children, my parents, my brother and his family, grandparents, my family in Albania and Canada, aunts, my yayas, uncles and cousins, a multitude of cousins, and my friends…oh my goodness…my friends…friend doesn’t seem like a big enough word for these people.
People or “humans,” as my small child likes to refer to people as, (still not sure where she may be visiting us from), are beautiful. Humans have the capacity to give and forgive, love and sustain, push and create. Humans need very little beyond food, water and shelter, yet, we spend so much of our time searching out something more. What are we searching for? What can we give each other? What can we give our children? I don’t think what we are looking for can be found in the discount bin at Target. I have tried…I’m not seeing it!
I want for my children what I want for myself. People. Good, solid, loyal people, who allow you to be 100% who you are and love you anyway! I want them to feel buoyed by relationships and anchored by love. I want them to be valued by others and, more importantly, to feel that value in themselves. I want to them to see “We are the world…We are the children…We are the ones who make a brighter day, so lets start givingggg!” I never want them to feel so deprived of a childhood that they create a Neverland in their fancy backyards. R.I.P., Michael.
I want them to realize that what gets them through life is not doctors, therapists, money or medication. I want them to feel the strength in their relationships; relationships that can pull them from their very own darkness. I want them to find “their people.” People who accept every little piece of their imperfections. People who fly cross-country to help them move and people who take them in as family when their own family can’t be present. I want them to find people, who give them outrageous nicknames and laugh with them until they lose their breath. People who aren’t threatened by their light but rather hold them up to shine.
People who are consistent. People who show up. People who die with laughter when a visit to a bathhouse in Arkansas goes awry. People they can spend hours talking to and not once are they compelled to look down at their phone. And I want my children to be these people for others. I want for my children, for myself and for all of you the gift of a good relationship.
To all of “my people:” thank you and I love you! Happy Holidays!