Last night my neighborhood book group met to discuss the book Holly by Dixie James. Holly is written by a mother Dixie, and a daughter Holly. Dixie and Holly were there. Holly was born with Down's Syndrome and heart disease. Her mother was told to institutionalize her, that she would not live long. Well, she has. She turns forty soon. She had surgery for the heart disease and has triumphed. She is married to a wonderful man Jon, who she felt badly was not invited to the all women's meeting. She clearly felt we would all benefit from meeting him. She works twenty hours a week at Good Will, and takes the bus to her job. She is conscientious, empathetic, and compassionate. She leaned into her mother and rested her head on her mother when her mother was emotional. She held her mother's hand, and said how she felt her mother would be sad when she and Jon chose to marry. She and Jon are romantic together, in love, and an example to us all of what can be done when we meet life full-on. They and both sets of parents are an inspiration. She participated in the Special Olympics. He is a bodybuilder and works in a gym. Both have overcome what others might see as handicaps. They did that with a village of support. They both work, and bring heart, harmony, and honesty to all they do. It was quite an evening. I floated home, full.
I feel so grateful for life and what is shared. Gratitude is my theme for this day. I realize now it is the theme for every day. Life throws more at us than we could imagine, and, yet, there is beauty and grace.
As I walked over to my neighbor's house last night, there were fall leaves everywhere. Crunch, crunch, crunch. I love this time of year.
I host next month, and have chosen The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I've only just begun but it also looks inspirational, and important to read in the honoring of the steps that lead to the final steps in our time here.