Empathy is defined as the ability to understand the feelings of others. Not by choice, empathy began to develop in me at an early age. 

The year I was in 4th grade, my Father’s parents had a car accident. After hospitalizations, the came to live with us, in my bedroom. I moved into the bedroom with my two sisters and slept on a fold up cot for the next 10 years. I learned to share and to pick my battles.   

That same year and the year thereafter, three of my Mother’s sisters, that I really liked a lot, began to die from cancer. Years of smoking caught up. One drove a red Mercury Cougar.  I thought she was beyond cool. The other was the first original artist I had ever met. She hung on the East End of Long Island with the likes of Jackson Pollack and other hipsters in a house in Center Moriches that was beyond artistically memorable. The third sister had such an elegance always sporting a French twist hairdo with style.

My Mother dedicated her time to making the last days on Earth for each of them peaceful and fulfilled. After school, she’d tell me we were going to for visits.

Part of me dreaded the when and why we went to the hospitals. Part of me…even as an 11 year old understood it. Why? I don’t know why.  But I remember thinking this: Until you die, so much and so many of the conversations remain the same: How are you feeling? What did you do today? What shows do you like? What do you think about what’s happening in the world? What did you eat? Do you like the food? Did you poo?  

Life is life at every phase. Just something I’m thinking about today, for very personal reasons. Sometimes it makes me very sad. Yet it also makes me realize: Life is what we deal with everyday. No more. No less. 

I’m @DianGriesel aka @SilverDisobedience A deep thinker guaranteed to make your think or give you a headache. Either way, I share with love, hope and wishes for a more peaceful existence. And, why I do this daily? I have no FreaKing idea why. But (and truth comes after buts…I don’t want to stop…yet.)