Towards the end of my mothers life I would take her to her doctors appointment. I think of all my siblings she trust me the most to talk to her doctors. It was never a problem for to make time for my mother. It actually gave me a good feeling that she trusted me me enough to depend on me in this way. After her doctors appointments we’d usually go to breakfast. Of all the things I miss this the most. We never had any profound conversations during this time, but still looking back I made a special conscious effort to value this time. I never in my mind thought she would dead in a few years, but I knew I would not have her forever so I thought I would make the most of the time we had together. Usually we would end up at a local Denny’s where she would order off the seniors menu. She’d take great pride in collecting her senior discount. No matter who you are your parents affect your life and the person you are, whether in a positive way or negative way they have an affect. I loved my parents and I sometimes wonder now that they are gone does this influence diminish. I still hear them inside my head, but I does wonder this influence or affect diminish over time? Would I make different choice now that they no longer have a physical presence in my life. Of course certain aspects of my internal dialogue have been shaped by their guidance. We learn certain things from our parents. Whether by example or through their advice, whether by their presence or even absence in some cases, we learn from them. My father died when I was 21. My mother died when I was in my mid-thirties. So I wonder sometimes where would I be, who would I be if my parents were still alive? Part of me thinks besides a few superficial things I would still be the same person at my core. We are who we are and that doesn’t really change. After my mother died I had a few rough years. I did not realize but I stopped caring about the direction of my life. I was just existing and not thinking about the future or the past. This might actually sound like perfect way to live, an almost zen attitude but there was nothing zen about my life during these days. I was angry, selfish, and lost. In the moment I didn’t see anything wrong with the way I was living, but I lacked purpose and drive. Coming out of this hole I realized something. We definitely can not just live for ourselves. We live for each. Our family, our friends, even the strangers we have not crossed paths with yet, we live for them all. In those days I felt I had lost so much and something broke inside. The part of me that cared for those around me faded into nothing. This is why I reminded of the time taking my mother to her doctor’s appointment. Sometimes it was hard to get the time off from work. Sometimes the selfish part of me would think why doesn’t one of my siblings take her since they live much closer than I did at the time, but in the end I always made the time for what ever my mother needed. She had shown me through countless examples over my entire life that you live for each. In fact both my parents sacrificed much of themselves and their own lives for their family and friends. I realize now that in serving others we find something we could never find by ourselves. We find a sense of comfort, a sense of purpose or direction, and a most importantly we find that we are not alone. Ultimately that is what allowed me to pull myself out of that self destructive hole I was in. I learned I was not alone. I was extremely lucky that the world brought someone into my life that proved to me that I was not alone. Just knowing this person exists gives me the strength and hope to over come any obstacle. Maybe one day I will be able to adequately explain why she gives so much peace to my world, but today all I can say is that she is my north star that helped me find home. My parents taught me well during their lives, but occasionally we all get lost and need to be reminded. Life is full of distractions that make it easy to stray from your true direction, and it is so easy to follow your weaknesses. I think or should say hope that we all have that special person in our lives to help us find our “north” when we need it. I pray one day I am lucky enough to return to the word all the inspiration, hope and love she gave me. If I am not I will die trying.