I received the sad and disturbing news this week that my beloved 85 year old mother, Beverly (or Beve, as she prefers) is quite sick in the hospital back in Wisconsin. I am deeply grateful to my siblings for taking turns being with her and for the doctors who are treating her.  And, I am quite frustrated being half a world away when she and they need me most!  Thankfully, I have been able to Skype with her and my siblings so I can keep abreast of her condition, as well as express my love and support for her!  It’s still very hard for me to be so far away as she suffers.  I am really grateful for the support of so many men here in Johannesburg as I weather this family storm!  I recognize this is one positive effect of my many years of men’s work: I have created a very strong, loving and resilient support network for myself all over the world!  Wow- that is a comfort!

 

I am grateful to Greg, Jeff, Sue, Vicki and Terri- my dear siblings- who have stepped up big time to help shoulder this burden! Our commitment is that Mom will not be alone at any time- so they are taking turns staying with her, putting their lives on hold to do so.  This is awesome love and sacrifice in support of our mother.  Thanks so much!!

 

I got work late this week that Mom is refusing any further treatment and will be moved to a hospice to spend her last weeks.  I plan on getting there as soon as possible to see her and say my good-byes. And I am feeling deep sadness at her decision and deep isolation at still being half a world away from her.

 

And, despite these challenges, I have a job to do.  With a heavy heart, but with conviction at the power and value of what I am offering, I fly this week to Cape Town to do a Multicultural Awareness Training Day for the employees of the Phoenix Group.  I feel humbly grateful foe the opportunity to share my passion about MC awareness with this very successful company!  I also wonder what I, a white, middle class, straight, American male has to offer this employee group, which is almost entirely people of color, 40% immigrants with all women in management.  This is a real challenge- that I know I’m up to!

 

Postscript: The Phoenix Group training went extremely well- the feedback was excellent and I have been invited back again to do a follow-up training in October, when I return to South Africa!  I feel really joyful and deeply grateful that my work was so well received.