'Am I Worthy?' These three words played again and again in my mind as I left the Cemetery on Memorial Day, after visiting my Father's grave with my Mother.
As I wrote in my blog post leading up to that visit, I don't remember much about my Father, given the fact that I was so young when he was taken from me, and I often wonder what he was like. During this visit, my Mother told me that my Father was a good and kind man, loved by all who knew him, and that it was unfair that his life was cut so short. My Mother, who possesses the finest character of anyone I know, and is also loved by all who know her, often feels unworthy of it, wondering if her perceived inadequacies are the reason so much tragedy has found its way into her life. In fact, standing on his grave, she said to me, "I often think your Father died early because I didn't deserve him."
My heart ached. My Mother did deserve such a special man, given the special woman she is. She gives all of herself to those she loves, and to those she doesn't even know. She gives it quietly, not expecting anything in return. Yet, what she does receive in return is love - those who know her love her. While life events haven't always gone her way, and in fact, seem to have unfairly not gone her way at all, she is truly loved. Hearing her words, I wonder if she knows it, if she believes it, if she believes she deserves it.
We often wonder if we are deserving or worthy. This doubt can cause unease about where we stand, making us afraid to do that which we are capable of doing. It takes courage, a belief on one's worth, to live and to love, and to be loved. I have wondered if I am worthy of the wonderful life I live and the wonderful love I have felt. It is only when I joyfully accept them both that I am able to return the love and to live the life, thereby fulfilling my purpose. I don't lightly accept them; rather, I take a cue from my life role model - my Mother - and live a life of service and dedication, of hard work and fun play, of grace and humility, of love and joy. I live a life that I believe is worthy of those with whom I share it, embracing the joy it brings.
Am I worthy? Yes, thanks to the joy in my heart, and so are you (and you, Mom).
author of "JOY"