On Standing Up

A close friend recently shared an enlightening story about her mother — a woman who raised a family of three all on her own during the sixties. In the last few months of her mother’s life, my friend would go and visit her at the hospital on a daily basis to honor one important request by her mother. It was so that her bedridden mother could stand on her own — if only for a minute. She recalled how everyday she would lift up her frail mother, and just hold her up with both arms while with each visit her mother successively couldn’t stand on her own.

My friend explained what she thought, a few decades later, about what was meant by her mother’s inexplicable desire to stand up everyday. She elegantly interpreted it with the following, “Standing up means being present for the experience of life. It means you need to go through it, not around it, nor just waiting for it to end while lying down in bed. She wanted to stand up, and take it, and own it.” The idea that the action of standing up — an action we often take for granted — can mean *so* much more has profoundly changed my perspective. Definitely for both my altitude and attitude. -JM