Quote of the Week: What's Important

This week's quote is brought to you by a last minute trip that was planned recently for me to fly back to Japan at the end of this week. The reason? My grandmother. My mother's mother isn't doing so well. I received a call from my father about two weeks ago letting me know that though she's not in any pain and isn't suffering from any fatal illness, she's losing her joie de vivre. She's lost interest in trotting about town, watching television, eating. She doesn't really walk much these days either and is in a wheelchair if she leaves her bed. Granted, the woman is in her mid-90's, but it's always hard to hear.

The thing is, I don't know my grandmother very well. Though she's the one grandparent I spent the most time with, I've only spent time with her 3 times in my life (the three trips I made out to Japan as a small child, a pre-teen, and post-college.) Both my grandfathers passed away before I was born and I only spent time with my father's mother maybe twice and those memories are a blur now. She passed away several years ago.

And now, here we are. My parents, brother, nephew, and I are all going to Japan to pay the last remaining grandparent one last visit.

Initially, I was overcome with stress about leaving work for a week. I'm one of those people who doesn't take days off. Who works on weekends and am on-call in the evening if need be. Not because I have to be, but because I want to be reliable. So, leaving for an entire week overseas is something of a challenge. With the time difference, even more so.

But, seriously...I need to learn to trust my assistant and my co-workers. They're amazing people who can cover me while I'm away. I need to keep reminding myself about that because I need to turn my focus to my family. To my mother especially. Though she moved to the States over 40 years ago with my father, your mother is your mother and this is the last time she'll see hers.

Thinking about any scenario where I would know it's the last time I see my parents makes it hard to swallow. I get bleary-eyed and my chest starts to ache. So, this is a reminder to everyone, including myself. Cherish your family, whether it's your biological family, a family you're building with a loved one, or a family you've built of friends. They are the most important thing and the time you share with them is priceless.

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