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.