During the last couple of weeks of my mom’s life, her energy was fading fast. I posted the following on her CaringBridge site on January 9, 2016.

All of us deeply appreciate the outpouring of love and support from all of you. Thank you. I’ve always known my mom was special, but didn’t know how many other people did too. Yesterday, she was telling me about all of the sweet messages she’s been receiving. I asked her if she had any idea about how she had touched so many people? She said, “No, no idea.”

Many of you want to help. I wish I could put you all to work, but there’s just not that much to be done at this time. Sarah is with her now and I will be arriving on Tuesday. Mom isn’t eating much these days, so food and cooking are not an issue. The house was just cleaned too, so that’s in good shape. Lucy, her sweet dog, will be going to her new home tomorrow. Unfortunately, she’s not up to many visitors these days.

However, I do have ideas about how you can feel like you are “doing something.” I think the best thing you can do is to try and act like my mom a little bit today. Here are some ideas:

  1. Listen carefully to and look into the eyes of everyone that you talk to today. Treat them with kindness.
  2. Listen to Minnesota Public Radio!
  3. Find the humor in the unexpected. Laugh about it.
  4. If you play an instrument, play it.
  5. Take a special interest in those of us from different countries. Imagine what life must be like for them. Talk to them if you can.
  6. Befriend and help somebody who struggles with mental illness.
  7. Bake some bread.
  8. Notice the beauty of the sky and of the birds.
  9. Don’t worry if your house is kind of cluttered.
  10. Support your local food co-op.

After this list was written, my sister Laura, thought of another much-needed addition.

11. Reduce, reuse and recycle.