Today Is A Gift

I’m honoring my dear late mother-in-law’s passing, and the beautiful lessons I learned from her.

May it serve as a loving reminder that…today is a gift.

June 2018: My in-laws came to town from New York for a wonderful visit. It was idyllic, actually.

We ate brunch at Paradise Cove and relaxed on the beach in Malibu, while they enjoyed watching our kids surf.

We had long + lovely outdoor dinner conversations in our backyard, as the kids laughed and played in the pool.

They sat in our soothing spa, soaked up the sun while napping on the lounge chairs, and then took the kids to Toys R Us for a special shopping spree – grandparent style.

My mother-in-law said so many times what a perfect weekend it was, and thanked me for the blessing I have been in her son’s life.

She even told me that she looked at a picture of my own late mother on our bookshelf, and thanked her for bringing me into the world.

I know it was a soul to soul moment, where they connected, mother to mother, feeling the gratitude that they both had done an amazing job of raising their children.

I can only imagine what a gift that would be, to one day see your own children thrive as adults, and witness the beautiful lives they lead.

She told me how content, peaceful and joyful she felt.

The next weekend, while back at her home in upstate New York, she suffered a massive stroke, and on Monday, June 11th, she passed away.

I am still in shock, and even in tears, as I write this now.

My mind doesn’t quite comprehend how quickly someone you love so dearly can be here, enjoying life, and then be gone, in an instant.

But it happens. Every single day. Without warning.

Even though it’s only been a week now, and I am deeply saddened, Fran Cox is now helping me to live a more present life.

I hold on tighter to my children. I play with them longer, before saying, “I have to go make dinner.”

I sit in my backyard and listen to the birds. (She loved birds, and could name them all.)

I take more time to give thanks for my health, my home, my husband, my boys and the life I live.

I remind myself that today is a gift.

Because it’s really all we have.

And we have a choice, each and every day, how we spend our precious time + where we focus our attention.

It may sound like a cliche, but it really is the truth. Today is a gift.

Connect more deeply.
Notice the abundance that surrounds you.
Give thanks more often.

And if my mother-in-law’s sudden passing can somehow teach me to live more fully, then I hope it can also be a gift to you.She was an artist, a painter, a sculptor, a meditator, a yoga instructor, a foodie, an ocean lover and a life lover.

She was a wife, a mother,, a grandmother to 6 children, and a beautiful friend to all who knew her.

She was exuberant, enthusiastic, spirited, intelligent, loving, sensitive and strong.

She’s been the only mother I’ve had to see my own children grow up, and always made the time to tell me what a great job Josh and I were doing to raise them.

I loved her very much.
I’m grateful for the special times we had together.
I will miss her dearly.

Thank you for allowing me to share this personal loss with you today.
It is healing to write about it and to try to find the gift in it all.

I hope this actually serves to help you to go live a more present life.

One where you marvel at the miracles more.
And worry about your troubles less.

See how present and loving you can be today with whatever you are feeling, and with those who cross your path.

Feel free to comment below + let me know how you are treating today as a gift.

Love + Gratitude,
– Wendy

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24 thoughts on “Today Is A Gift”

  1. Dearest Wendy
    As my eyes are filled with tears, I appreciate how loving your family is and your Mother in law in her sweetness and love has raised a son who loves you more than life itself I’m sure!
    I know she is in heaven watching over your family and loving life in another world. A world we will all come to know with GOD.
    In HIS Word it is said that a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day in Heaven.
    I long to be with my Mom and Dad and Brother David after this life and have an amazing time with songs and laughter
    Please give my condolences to your husband as well as you and your boys.
    GOD bless you always for making us realize that life is so precious and every day every moment is a gift. That is why we must always live in the Present!
    Stay well my dear dear friend!🌹❤️🙏😘

  2. Thank you for sharing You’re deep emotional and heartfelt experience with your wonderful mother-in-law. And thank you for the reminder to just enjoy each day to the fullest and be grateful for all we have and all we do and all those who are good and giving and generous and loving around us.

  3. Arizona Nancy

    Thank you for a beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law. And so sorry for your loss. Having this very special memory you shared will continue through your son’s generations!

  4. Thank you for sharing that, dear Wendy. I lost my Mom suddenly 22 years ago, and I ache for her every day. But I know so much of her is in me. Recently one of my dearest childhood friends (a year younger than me) had a heart attack, 3 strokes, and kidney failure. He’s doing remarkably well, but it was a jarring reminder how life can change in an instant. I’ve learned never to take things for granted, and I try never to hold onto anger for long, because we never know. Sending big hugs to you, Wendy. ❤️

  5. Thanks for being vulnerable with us. I am sorry for your loss, Wendy. I want you to know that I love reading your blog posts and that your words always touch me in ways I need it! You are doing a great job. Thanks again and may you find peace during your grieving process.

  6. What a beautiful message and tribute!! My most heartfelt condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. Sending SO much light, love and peace✨?✨

    1. Janine Lancaster

      I am just getting a few free minutes to read your blog and let me first say that I felt your pain while reading it and that I am truly saddened for your tremendous earthly loss. But she will, undoubtedly, live on through all of you as you remember her greatness!

      What you have written, “Today is a Gift” is such a valuable message. Just a month ago, I could’ve lost my boyfriend who is the only family I have here in California. He was in a really bad car accident, but God spared his life. He is now recovering with a broken finger which required surgery, 9 broken ribs, a banged up knee and severe whiplash…BUT he’s alive and healing well.

      We should all learn NOT to take life and those we love for granted and to cherish them daily.
      THANK YOU for sharing your most sincere and personal stories with us. Janine

  7. Dearest Beautiful Wendy, huge huge hugs your way- and how beautiful she ‘went home’ with such peace from the weekend you gave her!! I pray for Josh, and know you have made his momma proud( as has he!) so much love to you both!!

  8. Dear Wendy,
    Such a beautiful post and tribute to your mother in law, Fran. I am sorry for your loss, and inspired by words and sentiment. I can tell she is someone I would have enjoyed knowing.
    We are truly blessed by angels like Fran and it is so important to appreciate them–and, yes, our children–every day. Thank you for this reminder of the preciousness of our time with loved ones.
    Take care,

  9. Christina DeRosa

    Dearest Wendy, holding you and Fran Cox in healing prayers. Thank you for sharing this post with us. I will hold my love tighter and remind him how much I love him even more today!

    You are a gift!

    1. Dear Wendy… I’m so very sorry for your loss but so grateful for the beautiful relationship you and your family had with your mother in law. How wonderful that you had those beautiful weeks together before she passed.

      Your words about remembering the gift of each day were truly a gift in and of themselves. Thank you for writing them. I needed to hear them. Holding you and your family in the light today and in the weeks to come.


      With love, Linda

  10. My heart is with you Wendy. Thank you for sharing. As always your messages come at the perfect time and space. A beautiful reminder to enjoy being in joy. I love you and may your mother continue her work in Spirit. ?

  11. Thank you Wendy for sharing and being vulnerable and reminding us to do the same and stop and appreciate. We need those reminders and your mother in law has provided that, through you. Condolensces to you, your husband and your family of loved ones

  12. Wendy, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family and I am sending you healing hugs and love. What a blessing that you enjoyed that wonderful weekend with her and your family. I am certain you will cherish it forever. May you find peace and remember all the love you shared. Xo

  13. Wendy this was so beautifully said. I’m so sorry for your lfamily’s loss. I’m grateful you were able to share that with us, it was lovey what you said about her. I hope her memories bring you comfort.

  14. Deborah Ishida

    I am so very sorry about the loss of Josh’s mother, and your beloved mother in law. What a wonderful tribute you wrote about her. She was obviously a very special lady. I wish you both healing and peace, Deborah

  15. Freddie Ganno

    Wendy and Josh
    I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Please let Josh know how wonderful his Mother sounds and we know she is holding hands with your Mom in Heaven as we speak!
    What Beautiful memories and so recent to have with your children and you both as well.
    Our loss is Heavens Gain.

    GOD bless you and keep you in this time of need!
    May GOD hold Mrs. Cox in the PALM OF HIS HAND

  16. Oh Wendy. I am so sorry for your loss! But as grateful for your extraordinary sharing; grateful to learn of your beautiful mother-in-law; and grateful to be reminded of the value of my own family members; and grateful for your soul to soul spirit.
    I know that you take great sustenance from your work; your purpose but hope you will take good care of YOU during this next little while.
    Deepest sympathy.
    Judith Maxie

  17. Oh my dear mentor, 
    The flash of impermanence teaches us,so much about the fragility, joy and pain of life. Having lost many significant people in jarring ways, keeps me awake to being present in my life, moment by moment. It’s all we have, and as a 9/11 survivor I work daily to find purpose. So, when you’re out in your beautiful yard, listen out for the soft whispers of your mom and mom-in-law, they’ll be saying, “We’re still here kid, we’re ok.”
    Love you Wendy,

  18. Nancy Sosnowski

    Grief is hard when you love deeply. Thank you for sharing this post with us Wendy. I hope you feel the love of your community surrounding you. I hold you and your mother-in-law in my thoughts and prayers, as well as your entire family.

  19. Dearest Wendy, Thank you for sharing the love for your mother-in-law and for your strength at such a difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. “When a loved one becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” Sending comforting hugs, My best always, Susan

  20. Wendy,
    Reading your description of your mother in law and her sudden passing moved me to tears. Though I don’t have children, I can understand how important it would be to have a a mother to see and value and love what you’ve created. I’m lucky to still have my mom, and she praises my acting and all my passions every day. Your description of your mother in law reminds me to love my mom even more. Thank you for sharing this very personal account of a very special woman. My best to you.

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