About 10 years ago I reconnected with my mother’s boyfriend from long ago. And yesterday was the first time I had seen him in over 27 years. We managed to carve out some precious time to spend together. He also brought one of his daughters and his son, some of my earliest childhood friends. And it was incredible. With my mother having passed away so long ago and not having any siblings many of the memories I have of this time period I have kept to myself. Sure I’ve mentioned my early childhood, but most of the details we kept hidden away in my heart and mind.
I’m not sure if I could ever put into words what it felt like reliving those memories with the people I actually made them with. To have those things in common with others, after all this time, was surreal. My mom’s ability to make ridiculous amounts of Italian meatballs. Our camping trips in the snow. Feeding chipmunks in the forest. Jumping off the rocks into the water at Kings Canyon. Hiking. The pillow that my mom sat on to see over the steering wheel of her first car. Riding our bikes to the candy store. Our lemonade stands. Crawling out of our second story window and watching fireworks on our roof. The reason I HATE watermelon. All of it, I hadn’t thought about, let alone talked about, in YEARS.
I feel so connected to my past now. Like it was somehow validated as real and it’s no longer dreamlike. Sadly, I didn’t even know it was all starting to feel that way. When I found the quote below by Lois Lowry from The Giver, I was blown away. Memories DO need to be shared. I feel a genuine sense of peace about this whole experience. It’s like I got relief from something that I didn’t even know was upsetting to me. I may never know why God chose this exact time in my life for all of this to happen, but I guess I really needed it because it all feels pretty darn good. And I’m thankful. Very, very, thankful.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you no longer walk down memory lane alone!!!
Some people are so special that when they come into your life they not only make a profound impact on you, but also on many lives through you. Their influence ripples like a stone cast into a lake. It’s vast, beautiful and seemingly never ending. Their wisdom, guidance, compassion and devotion is weaved into the hearts and minds of everyone that they are directly or loosely associated with. And when they leave us, there is an acute understanding that the world has lost a hero.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you encounter a life well lived!!!
Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Words can’t express how much I miss my mom. But in a way that comforts me. It means that I loved and still love that woman HUGE. Sometimes you get lucky enough to experience something in life and you get to just FEEL it. For me it’s the motherly love she filled my life with. I can still feel it. But to describe it, explain its’ influence over me and how I feel about loosing her, is not something I’m capable of. It’s just too big. But I try to express it in different ways like living genuinely, just the way she taught me. And in sharing her legacy of hope every single day and at every opportunity I get. It may be 24 years since her passing but her influence on me, my family and our little world will continue on forever. And that is certainly something to celebrate.
Well, I hope you all have a day where love leaves you at a loss for words!!!
I had to think about this one before I wrote about it. I had a dream about my mom Wednesday night. It’s been decades since I’ve had a dream about her. After she died I had a few but they were always unpleasant. Truthfully, they were so disturbing that I was thankful when I stopped having them. Deep down it did bothered me that I didn’t have any nice dreams about her. But after decades of not having any I just accepted it. Wednesday night’s dream was quite surprising. It was so foreign to me but I found it comforting. I cried in my dream, but not out of grief or fear. It was of utter relief. This dream was not like the others. Thank god. It was pleasant and short. And despite us not exchanging any words it was incredibly meaningful to me. It was really good to see her again.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you have a nice little visit!!!
One year ago today I drove home in the pouring rain after spending the early evening with my dear friend. It would be just hours before she took her last breath. I will be forever grateful that her husband welcomed me into their home that day and for allowing me to sit and just love on her. Those moments with her will remain some of the most precious I have ever shared with another human being.
Sadly, I am no stranger to moments like these. I was there for both my parents as they passed. As a social worker I sat with many patients and their families as codes were called and time of death was reported. I never took any of those last moments as less than profound. I was honored and still am that God called me to share them with so many beautiful souls. Having been there for both my parents has definitely made their deaths more tolerable-ish. But NONE of these last moments were easy. NONE. The loss of a loved one is awful. REALLY AWFUL. I do think that these experiences, along with God’s grace, has given me a sense of peace about death and dying. There is a natural and spiritual process that I saw, time and time again, that both personally and professionally blew me away. The reconciliation one’s mind, body and soul has with death is nothing short of heroic. And being there for my parents certainly gave me comfort knowing that they were taken care of until the very end. But despite the peace I have and my faith in God, grief is no less painful. It stings. And if you loved BIG, I don’t think that sting EVER goes away. At least it hasn’t for me. Love and loss comes with unfathomable pain. Nothing can ever replace the touch of a loved one who has passed. Their laughter will always be missed. Memories are great, but they are no substitute for the real time we spend with our loved ones. And the passage of time doesn’t seem to make their absence any easier. I wish this world talked more about grief and how it may change but it doesn’t truly go away. Acknowledging that we all hurt and miss someone and admitting that sometimes we all just need a hug could do us some good. I think if we did we might all be kinder and take better care of one another.
Today (and LOTS of other days) I miss my friend. Gut wrenching, to my soul, pain is what I feel. I want her back. I miss her. In my human state I cannot reconcile her death in my brain to make sense. She was too young. Too good. She had too many people who still needed her. I still needed her. Yes, today I am grieving deeply. But I am also celebrating a love and a friendship and a sisterhood that God so generously blessed me with. And even though I don’t feel it was nearly enough time, I couldn’t be more thankful to have shared my life with this incredible woman. My faith reassures me that I will see her again. And when I do, I’m going to give her the biggest tightest hug Heaven has ever seen.
Well, I hope you all have a day where love lives on in your heart!!!
Last night I had a dream that I was sitting in the backseat of a car behind the driver's seat. It was a beautiful sunny day and then suddenly people were screaming and there was smoke everywhere. Someone driving behind the car I was in was running cars off the road and hitting pedestrians. It was total chaos. It went on for what seemed like 5 minutes. I was calm for some reason. Never panicking. Even when I realized no one was driving my car. I looked over to my right and saw my friend Pam who passed away last February. She was healthy, beautiful and strong. Her hair was curly and long. Her lips red with lipstick. She came from the backseat and easily slipped into the driver's seat. She took control and there was a peace that continued to remain over me despite all that was happening around us. Then I woke up.
I have mentioned before that I do tend to remain pretty calm through some pretty stressful situations. It makes me appear quite emotionless to the outside world. Which couldn't be farther from the truth. It's usually after things are resolved that I fall apart. Then I cry and I'm a mess. Or I just get sick. I guess we all deal with stress differently.
Anyway, I believe that when people die they never completely leave us. I've lost many people that I have loved dearly. And it all began early in my twenties when I lost my mother. There are times when I cannot deny the presence and influence over my life by the ones who aren't with me physically anymore. I've lived a lot of decades now with these "signs". These experiences are comforting. It's as if someone is looking out for me … an angel sent from Heaven.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel like someone has your back!!!
I’m still incredibly sad today but it comes in waves now. It’s not easy to lose someone so close to you. I know this. I’ve been through it a few times over now. It’s a process. And it’s tough. Grieving is a reminder of how genuinely you can love someone. And what you lost. The pain is immeasurable. The sadness, so deep. Yet to feel all of this is necessary to gain a sense of a new normal. Things will never be the same and daily we discover how things will now be without our loved one. Some days are better than others. We learn ways to remember them fondly and manage our grief. But we never forget. Not. Ever. All of this discomfort becomes part of the journey that we continue to share with the person that we lost. I find beauty and comfort in knowing this. It becomes a relationship between souls, not people. A connection more profound than one that relies on our humanness to maintain. True love transcends all of that.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you find peace in your pain!!!