How to find community in the present moment
Feeding mom lunch and dinner each day has made me a regular at my mom’s senior community. Over the past three months, I have witnessed how the residents help each other, work through disagreements, and are in sync with how everyone is feeling moment by moment. They’re family.
Before this experience, I associated community with “finding your tribe,” which, for me, meant finding like-minded people. Now, my definition of community has expanded to include the people I’m with in the present moment.
My mom’s community is comprised of people who, for various reasons, are unable to live independently. Brought together by illness, they have different political views, former professions, and socioeconomic backgrounds. They are short, tall, introverted, and talkative. Yet, their common thread is they need assistance with some aspect of daily living. The nurses also have varied backgrounds and their common thread is their love for caregiving. During my visits, the staff and residents update me on mom as I head down the hall to her room. They are aware that I, too, need assistance. They know my mom’s time is drawing near and their smiles and hellos comfort me.
This week, a nurse stopped by my mom’s room to give us a loaf of her homemade banana bread. As she handed me the loaf, she turned to my mom and let her know she was thinking of her.
Her heartfelt gesture reminded me I am not alone in my caregiving duties, for my mom’s community has become my community.
The next time you’re surrounded by new or different people, get curious about what brings you together in the present moment. The answer will help you see with your heart the humanity in others.