(This post was written on July 3, 2015)
Yesterday I spent from sun-up to sun-down travelling to a city 4 1/2 hours away, attending my 100-year-old uncle’s funeral, burial, going to the shiva house (where relatives mourn) and making the return 4 1/2 hour return trip (with my son, bless him).
It was a good, sweet, and sad time on many levels.
I have a pile of responsibilities today and and although I don’t really have time to do so I felt compelled to take a walk at a beautiful park 20 minutes away.
I didn’t really have time for this walk, but I felt a strong need after my intense day yesterday, to make the time.
After walking for a while, I began to notice the beauty around me – not just the water, which is why I go to this particular park on the shore of the Ottawa River, but in the grass, the foliage, the flowers. Somehow even as I took a closer look, even the pavement that I was walking on had beauty in its varied shades and shapes in the concrete.
And I thought of my uncle, who passed away in my presence several days ago.
“Beautiful!” is a word he would often say. “Beautiful! Beautiful!” in his wonderful Jewish European accent that my children loved and would imitate to the best of their ability.
What was beautiful to my uncle? A person, music, many things actually. Uncle Sydney seemed to see beauty everywhere.
But where was the beauty in my uncle’s life the last couple of weeks? In his fall. In his pain. In his suffering. I looked. I looked. Had there been any beauty?
There was beauty in his loved ones being there for him – being there in the hospital with him to love him and ensure that he was taken care of. Beauty in that one special, extremely capable, caring, compassionate nurse in Emergency. Beauty that his beloved daughter was right there with him when he passed away.
Many people see the pain, the sorrow, the hardship of life. And that ugliness is there. My uncle saw the beauty.
May I encourage us all to look for the beauty. Find the beauty in your daily life – find it, enjoy it, be thankful for it.
What are some beautiful things in your life?