The other night The Hubs and I decided to watch “A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood,” the Mr. Roger’s movie with Tom Hanks. It made me cry on three separate occasions because I’m a sap and it’s just a damn good story. What stopped me in my tracks though was one line. As Lloyd Vogel is struggling with his demons, Mr. Rogers asks him to sit still for one minute and, “Think of all the people who loved you into being.” What a powerful image! “All the people who loved you into being.” My mind immediately went to my parents but more images followed.
I thought of my Husband, who grows by My side every single day. I thought of my brother, who I carry with me wherever I go. We’ve had eachother’s backs since he took his first breath and talk almost every day at least once. I thought of my extended family. My Meme who I adore and hope to be like. My Pawpaw who’s voice I still hear in my head and in my own words. Of my Pop who I only got to know briefly before The Lord called him home but who still managed to teach me so much. I thought of my in-laws who in their own unique ways show love and support for me and my family. My children love this new “Mom” part of me into being every single day.
I thought of The Ya-Ya’s who literally helped raise me and supported my Mom and I as we grew together. I thought of my lifelong best friend, Melissa, who continues to nurture my crazy spirit with love and let’s me do the same for her. I thought of my friend Hillary who shares her crayons with me and always manages to find time to send me love and laughter. I thought of my dear friends from middle and high school who embraced my “weirdness” and encouraged me to be myself. There are many friends who have let me grow through their love and then drifted away on the currents of life. Despite years of separation they remain an essential part of my growth story. Their love, albeit only for a season, helped me to become who I am.
But what of those who’s lack of love helped us to grow? The bully who harassed me daily in 4th grade, the heartbreakers of my teenage years, and the adults who snubbed me all helped me to grow as well. They may not have loved me into being but their ugliness gave me room to learn how to love myself.
And who am I helping to love into being? There lies the burden of being human and yet that burden is also a beautiful opportunity so unique to our humanity. We have the power to help others grow with our love. Even people we don’t know. A small act of kindness in the grocery store. A smile at the person stuck next to you in traffic. Shared songs at a red light. Little acts done with love and kindness that may not affect us much but may mean the world to someone else.
Let these be our meditations today: Who are we helping to bring into being with our love? and Who loved us into being?
Have an awesome day everyone! I love you!