"There in the Sunshine"
SUNNYSIDE UP MOMENT - APRIL 30, 2020
DAY FORTY-FIVE OF THE CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE FOR US AT STACK 'EM HIGH PANCAKES AND SO FORTH
The decade before I moved to the Outer Banks I had the privelege of serving the local, community-based hospice organization in my hometown. I started as a volunteer and transitioned to a part-time paid position. Eventually I was granted the opportunity to work full-time next to some of the most selfless, brilliant and intrepid people I have ever known. The core of my responsibilities revolved around community education, fundraising and administration. But due to the small size and structure of our organization, I was fortunate to have constant contact with our patients and their families.
My time with hospice taught me innumerable lessons, opened my eyes to truths hiding in plain sight and engraved indelible marks on my heart. What I witnessed and what I learned continue to influence the way I interact with the world to this day. As we tread water, trying not to drown in our fears or our frustrations, I am reminded of one of the many epiphanies I encountered while surrounded by terminal illness. It became increasingly clear to me year after year that regret is the only truly incurable disease. Because miracles do happen, but time doesn’t march in reverse. Stars line up and then fall into disarray. Moments are captured and then released. Opportunities arise and then fade.
This pandemic has presented a crossroads in our personal lives, in our communities, in our nation and in our story as a civilization. How we meet our present challenges, how we conduct ourselves on this central stage and how we seize this day are all subject to our own inclination to be sullen or to be strong. Louisa May Alcott said, “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow them.” May the sunshine illuminate your highest aspirations and may you forge ahead in pursuit of them. The time is now. This moment will never come again. When you look back over your shoulder will you be filled with relief or will you be filled with regret?