The saying is that it takes a village to raise a child. Care and input comes from everyone who touches the child’s life—parents, relatives, friends, neighbors, caregivers, teachers, clergy, and so on. But that support does not end with childhood. We continue to be the product and accumulation of everyone who touches our life throughout our life.

Recovering from pneumonia and acute asthma I am reminded of the key people in my life who are there for me, the friends and family who send me notes, bring meals, call, and are ever-present with love and prayers. These are the same people who contribute every day toward the person I am and will be.

It is especially odd to be in the position where my children are nursing me back to health. (I’m getting better but am told to expect several weeks of recovery.) I’m the mom. I’m the one that has always cared for them.

I remember my mother describing how it felt when I bathed, dressed, and sometimes fed her during her years with cancer. It was a humbling and heartwarming experience for both of us. My father, siblings, and I were the ones cleaning her house, cooking, and caring for her. We could not do it as well as she did but were eager to give it our best because she had taken such good care of all of us all of our lives. We wanted to return some of that love she showered upon us.

Still, it was awkward for her, and now I understand. It’s humbling to allow others to do simple activities we temporarily cannot.

Life teaches us many lessons, and sometimes it is simply to sit back and feel the love. There is no better medicine that.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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