Bittersweet Memories at Dawn

I’ve always thought there’s something special about being up early with the peaceful quietness of a new day. The first few moments of sunrise that transforms darkness into light. It brings a new day filled with opportunities. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart and certainly believe there’s something romantic about nature. The sun, moon, stars and our planet earth. It amazes me with its unbounded beauty. 

Watching the darkness of night fade away as rays of light peaks through purple sky. As the sun breaks through on the horizon sprouting bright colors of yellow and orange, it takes my breath away. And with it comes the opportunity for a new beginning. With each spectacular color of yellow, orange, blue and pink, it’s time to contemplate a new day and a clean slate. 

Every day you get to choose to be the person that you want to be. It’s a new day to live, love and laugh. It’s a new day to feel blessed because not everyone gets another day. Old Age is not promised to anyone, it’s a privilege denied to many.

Dawn has new meaning to me these days. It’s more than beauty and promise, it reminds me of my brother, Frankie. When my brother was going through chemotherapy, I developed a newfound appreciation for the dawn of day. There were many times that we were up early in the morning unable to sleep and sat watching the sun come up together just enjoying the peacefulness of another day. It was another day he was on this earth with us. The quiet times are the most special moments of all. Many mornings we sat in companionable silence. It was truly a gift of time, when there were no words left to say. He and I had our own health issues to fight. I had gotten myself so stressed out over his battle with cancer that my lupus flared into pericarditis. Yet there we sat in silence with so much to say but holding it in for fear of losing control of our emotions. We had a million things running through our heads, questions without answers. Who will care for his family…Are they prepared for what’s to come…How many days do we have left..Will the end be painful…Will I get better?

My brother passed away from that brain tumor only 2 years after his diagnosis. He was a good man, an amazing father and loving husband. He was 53 years old when he passed, too young to have been taken. To this day I cannot watch the sun come up without thinking about him. The quietness of nature with birds chirping and a gentle breeze to enjoy will often remind me of moments with him. It always amazed me how in the darkness of a crisis you can find bits of light. 

Every morning I start my day with a poem by Tecumseh, an Native American chief. “When you rise in the morning give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. “ He added,  “If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”

Dawn reminds me that there’s a better day ahead filled with new opportunities. It reminds me to savor the day for its blessings. It is a gift so take a few minutes to say thank you and be grateful. I hope I’ve inspired you to get up early to enjoy that special time at dawn. It’s truly a simple pleasure of life. Take a moment to soak in the beautiful sky and feel the promise of a day with limitless possibilities and to say a little prayer for the blessing. 

Michele Palermo

Michele is a retired registered nurse who spent 15 years in Emergency Medicine. That's where she learned there's a fragility to life. Diagnosed with lupus, after going through a divorce, taught her to be a survivor instead of a victim. With her career shortened by illness she turned to books. She fell in love with the written word as a young child. To her, words convey emotion. Her new passion is writing. As an aspiring author, she hopes to inspire others on this roller coaster called life.

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