Dear Carmen…she is the small, little lady who has been with my mother’s family long before I was alive. She is from the Dominican Republic and lives there now. I am staying with her while visiting my family. Her stature is short and she is older and grey now, but her personality exudes a big energy and when she speaks, there’s no chance of not hearing her…that little voice of her’s is loud, just as her generous heart is so big. Her faith is Catholic and she is one of the most accepting, loving people I know in my life. On the same hand, she’s the one I learned all the Spanish curse words I know! When she makes a point to speak something to me, I make sure to listen. That is the confidence and energy with which she speaks, sometimes relating what she shares to something God spoke to her, a message she heard from her church, or more often than not, from one of the many heart-touching experiences her life has been filled with.
Today, she came to me in the kitchen and told me this…
When your great-grandmother was raising me, she taught me to always remember and live by this: what can be done today, do not leave for tomorrow, because you do not know what tomorrow may bring or if it will even come.
There are many ways in which I think a lot of us have perhaps heard this proverb. Hearing it from Carmen today gave me a new appreciation for the wisdom. It reminded me that there is a lot more it has to do with than just values like working hard, not putting things off, and “doing” things…it has to do with my consciousness with which I engage with life and carry out the things I choose to do in my day; how I respond to the things that come my way. How do I perceive situations that I encounter? How do I respond to the results that come from my efforts, especially when they are different from what I was expecting and desiring? Is what I am “doing” and “getting done” today, being done from who I really am and what I truly desire for myself? Or am I putting my efforts in doing things that others say I should be doing and applying myself to ways that the world and societies say things are accomplished? I know…I think a lot and I especially ponder questions a lot.
Thank you Carmen, for being who you are. It is a true example of how it is not even words that hold such significance, but the person that we are, from which such thought-provoking words and thoughts come forth. We are all such a gift to each other. I am grateful for the gift of Carmen and all the people I have in my life.