• Jolene Roehlkepartain

What’s Happening…Right Now?


We recently discovered my mom lying on her living room floor, suffering from a severe fall. An ambulance rushed her to the hospital where doctors diagnosed her with injuries, sepsis, and dementia.


My mother’s life hung on by a single thread. I held my breath, fearing if I exhaled too deeply, my breath could break that thin thread.


Bryan, a care nurse, came in to give her a sponge bath in the hospital. My mom couldn’t lift her head. She couldn’t roll onto her side. But Bryan cheerfully introduced himself and all his wonderful lotions.


“Smell this,” he said, rubbing lotions into his hands and placing them under my mom’s nose. “What do you think?”


My mom smiled.


“Now feel this,” he said, gently massaging the lotion into her arms, her hands, her legs, her feet. My mom cooed, closed her eyes, and smiled.


Bryan continued his magical massage, relaxing my mom before giving her a sponge bath.

It was a surprisingly, powerful moment. My mom so close to death but relishing the moment of pampering.


I began breathing deeper.


Bryan taught me a lot in those moments. About fully embracing the possibility of the life in front of me, even if it was fragile. Tenuous. Frightening.


Bryan’s positive, delightful presence soothed my mom physically…and me emotionally.


How often does my fear prevent me from relishing the moment? From fully experiencing the life right in front of me?


That’s what mindfulness is about. Being fully mindful of the moment you’re in, of delighting in what’s right there, right now.


What’s happening for you…in this moment?

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