Life has its ebbs and flows, its highs and lows, its challenges and its joys. The calm, everyday times are often followed by times where we struggle a bit and grow through the learning of how to deal with those struggles.
It's been an emotional couple of weeks. Mom’s birthday was August 28 so I took flowers to the cemetery and I sat there quietly with my prayers and my memories. Her cute smile when she was up to something funny, her boundless energy, her enthusiasm and her endless encouragement. So much that we learned from her. Cooking wasn’t one of them on my part. My sweet Mom just had no patience when it came to teaching me how to cook and most tries would end up with her telling me to “go out in the yard and help your Dad.” So, I learned how to garden instead. Haha!
Gramma had surgery and hasn't been doing well since then (she'll be 98 on 10/3); her body's healing but she's talking to angels and saying she wants to go home. (I should clarify that she’s my ex’s Gramma but we remained family nonetheless and I love her as if she was my own blood.) Before the surgery, she lived on her own and did everything for herself. Now she's confined to a bed at home and hospice is helping. Before her surgery, I took a pic of us. I wish it showed how pretty her blue eyes are. She’s always entertained us with wonderful stories of her youth. She doesn’t tell us stories right now.
My dad's birthday was Wednesday; he still hasn't spoken to us in over a year. I sent him a box of See's chocolates, as I always do for holidays and special occasions with a card saying I love him and miss him. I tried calling him, knowing it was futile because they have caller ID and don’t answer the phone. I always let my cousins know when his birthday approaches so they can send him a birthday card if they’d like. I still do that. I still love the Dad that we used to have in our lives.
One of my best friends has been caring for her dad for the last six months (battling cancer); he passed away Wednesday night. Her loving selflessness in caring for him was such a tribute to the relationship they shared. She’d drive a couple of hours to spend several days with him, then drive back home for several days, repeating that routine week in and week out. He was a good man and she would do anything for him and did. He will be missed by many. My heart is so sad for my friend.
Sometimes you just have to sit down and have a good cry for the sorrow in the world and the grief that our loved ones have to bear. One of my mantras is “Receive what you are given.” When we have to receive sorrow, we have to accept it and deal with it. Find the lessons, cry a bit, feel the depth of the emotions that you feel and not shove any of it away. And then we re-balance and look up at the stars and give thanks for a roof over our head and food in the cupboard. Simple gratitude for the abundant blessings in life.