CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Today marks my fifth anniversary of beginning to write this column. I'm so grateful for this opportunity, and it's one of my favorite things to do.
That's because I believe we all learn from each other, and this forum has created a dialogue around everyday things we all experience.
This reality, along with Mother's Day on the horizon, has contributed to a reflective mood on my part. I particularly want to say a few words to those of you who will be experiencing your first Mother's Day without your mother or grandmother.
Maybe it's your wife or sister who was a mother to someone else. All the reminders that come up this time of year bring everything to the forefront (although it's never very far from your mind).
I've included some of the sage advice I've received over the years from readers at the end of the column. It's timeless and life affirming.
For now, I want to explore the richness of reflection. There's really no way to evaluate or measure the importance of looking back, while moving forward. And there's no set formula for doing so.
One person's nostalgic experience may seem morose to another and, yet, fleeting to someone else. It's different for each of us. And none of us qualify to sit in judgment of another.
No doubt you've heard the expression that we all grieve differently. It's true. And it's not good, bad, right or wrong. It just is.
You may have differed with your significant other, or another family member, about paying respects to someone who has passed on. "But, I didn't know her. Why should I go to the visitation?" And your significant other replies, "But it's not about her. It's about honoring those she left behind -- and we do know them."
That's just one example of the different ways we deal with things when it comes to grief. Too bad there's not a universal scoreboard. It would make things so much easier!
And then there are those times when we're so busy we don't even stop to feel what we're going through, let alone reflect on it. That's been more the norm than the exception for me lately, and it's really taken its toll.
I told a friend I've been juggling so many things lately that I feel like I've been "hurtling through space." Definitely not my best look! And I've missed out on the richness of some of these experiences because I've been so busy just getting everything accomplished.