While out of town last week I received this beautiful email from Andrea, one of Ian’s (my 12-year-old son) extraordinary companions. She’s been with our family for about a year and is moving to San Francisco to attend graduate school at USF and receive her masters in marriage and family therapy. What a gift it was to read Andrea’s words expressing how Ian has influenced her life.I asked how she would feel if I shared her story on my blog and her jaw fell open and eyes opened wide with surprise and joy. Her expression said it all.
At the end I also share a video from a talk I gave in March at the Martha Beck Coach’s Conference in San Diego about what Ian teaches me every day about love and presence.
He’s one powerful teacher.
Ian and I were relaxing on the couch in the living room after dinner. He sat on the couch, smiled and looked at me so sweetly and continually asked me to give him squeezes, noses, hugs and kisses. We just laughed and laughed together.
Then all of a sudden out of nowhere, I started crying.
In this moment it dawned on me how next week is my last week. I became unbelievably sad and thought about how much I'm going to miss Ian.
I told him that I can't even imagine him not being in my life and how I really want to keep him and your family in it. I sat there holding his hand while I cried and laughed all at the same time. I reflected on the things that I've learned from Ian and everything I have loved and appreciated about meeting him. He gazed into my eyes and sweetly touched my face while tears streamed down my cheeks.
It was the most raw and beautiful moment I've experienced in a long time. He slowly and gently fell asleep while we sat there clinging our arms together and I continued expressing and releasing every emotion through my body. It felt really good to let this out and share with Ian.
I am excited and ready to move on and pursue my dream of living in San Francisco, but admittedly, I'm also incredibly scared. I occasionally experience self doubts and insecurities about whether or not I can really do it. Then I remind myself that I can! And it's especially moments like this when I'm sitting here with Ian, crying and laughing, overfilled with sadness and joy, that I remember how much I love and feel a sense of purpose in creating, developing and maintaining these extraordinary relationships, such as the connection that I have been so fortunate to build and share with Ian this past year.
It's really made me think about what makes us who we are - how it's not just the tool of verbal communication that makes us human beings. It's our ability to sense and understand each other's bodies, energies, and souls that allows us to experience the deepest trust, love, and intimacy, completely transcending the power of words, you know? That has been a powerful realization for not only my relationships with my family, friends, boyfriend, and even complete strangers... but very importantly, with myself.
The last two years have been a long ride for me including the loss of my grandmother, a really ugly breakup and the transition from college it became an important time of self-exploration and soul searching. Up until these last few months I felt like utterly lost and disconnected. But it's moments like these that remind me that at the end of every long, busy, stressful, sometimes pain-in-the-ass day, it's just about being present with yourself, and being genuine with yourself.
To just breathe, let all of that go, and keep trucking through because of all thetiny, little beautiful things in life that make all of that B.S. worth it. That's how I feel with small moments with Ian - every time we just sit and laugh and play and he's smiling and we're looking into each other's eyes, it genuinely feels like the world stops spinning, and for that small moment, all of the other "big," not fun, ugly, scary stuff in life doesn't matter.
And it's so funny because those are the moments that you live for and that you make the conscious effort to notice and appreciate with every person that you love and encounter especially with yourself! It's small moments like this that I want to remember and embrace every day.
I believe I was meant to meet you, Ian, and your family because there are so many things I've learned here that I am taking and carrying with me wherever I go. :)
Ian taught me to be here.