Who Will Hold Your Hand At The End?

Who will hold your hand at the end?
Whose hand will you hold?
This week, my mom held the hand of her childhood friend, Janne, as she took her final breaths. They were friends from childhood and because Janne never had kids, we became her adopted nieces.
Pancreatic cancer moved swiftly through her body and while she wanted to stay alive long enough to watch the end of the World Cup and vote in November, she just wasn’t able to hang on.
For the final time this past weekend, my mom made the trip from Iowa to Louisville.
To do for her friend the things she could no longer do for herself.
To talk about memories, those shared moments, one last time.
To be there as the distance between life and death grew shorter and shorter.
And just as she had done countless times as mischievous girls in Orange County years ago, my mom held the hand of her friend at the start of a new adventure, and although this time Janne was going solo, she wasn’t alone.
The night before she died, I saw my mom holding Janne’s hand with my dad there supporting my mom, and thought about my friendships, about who would hold my hand, and who would want me to hold theirs.
Our culture, our society, doesn’t make it easy to develop close friendships as adults, and even as kids.
There are fewer weekends for kids to just hang out, explore the world, and talk- no plans, no schedule to follow- opportunities to be bored together.
Life gets busy earlier for young adults, technology allowing connection across distance, but creating distance and disconnection between those in the same room.
As adults coordinating schedules is nearly impossible at times, and although we may gather at events, there is never time to have the conversations that matter. We are so busy chasing careers, children and managing the chaos that “let’s get together soon” becomes a running joke between friends- soon never happens.
There will be a time in your life when you need a friend to hold your hand.
“Busy” won’t hold your hand.
So don’t let “busy” keep you from being with the friends that will.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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