Tutus, Walkers & Worms

After Christmas and before the New Year has been hard. Thank goodness for Hallmark movies where everything ends like we want things to be. Not real life – but better. This year has me missing two very special people from my life. It feels unreal. Like a bad dream. Wishing I could wake up with a different ending.

I know grief. Too well. It had consumed me for way too long. Earlier this year I committed to myself to “treasure what was” and “not mourn what was not”. I know mourning something that never was, is futile. KNOWING vs DOING are two very different things.

We can know something without a doubt – yet still succumb to doing something that is not in our best interest. DOING something that does not serve us well. Ever. Yet we still DO it. Over and over again.

We can know the stove is hot and yet still reach out to touch it…hurting ourselves in the process. We have to consciously KNOW better and consciously DO better to create positive direction for ourselves.

We have to believe DOING better will create a better result. We have to KNOW not to touch the hot stove and BELIEVE without a doubt, we are better if we do NOT touch it. We must truly believe it is a more positive path for us…Once we believe DOING better will serve us – we have won the battle. Almost. We can put down the amour, let go of our resistance and settle into peace about our positive direction.

It took me years to see how mourning had hindered my forward progress. It took me years of wallowing, to accept a new path – a more positive path to recovering from loss.

When my dearest friend passed this year, I knew if I wallowed deeper into grief I might never recover. She was so special to me – such a gift to me for 20+ years, I feared what would be left of me, if I did not change my thoughts on grieving. I truly wanted to treasure everything I loved about her. I knew enough about grief to know it was like quicksand to me…swallowing me up if I didn’t change how I was processing loss. Deep loss.

I truly wanted to honor and treasure all we had shared over the many years. A month before she passed, an impromptu group text started with a couple pictures from our treasured times…times we dressed up as old ladies with walkers, (before we were old). The texts went on for hours and was blowing up a ton of phones – with memories, treasured memories of years gone by and then her most recent video of her young grandson (at her request) pushing her through the water fountains (in her wheelchair) on a hot summer day. He was laughing, she was laughing and their joy was infectious. Thank GOD we had that day. Thank GOD we shared our pictures that day. It was the last we would all share as a group – some of the highlights of our treasured years together.

That afternoon of sharing showed me the real value of treasuring “what was and what is”. On that afternoon of sharing with our friend – I wanted only for her to know how special she was to me…and the joy she had brought into my life. And she shared with all of us the joy she continued to share with her family. The joy of treasuring precious moments with loved ones.

Treasuring what was on that afternoon, allowed my mind to wander 5 years earlier, when my older sister and I were in the Fabric store together buying flannel for our mother. Our experience at the cutting table was interrupted by a lady about our age, looking for tulle…she interrupted the person cutting our fabric to ask about tulle and she was most impatient…she seemed to be on a tulle mission. We had no choice but to listen to this lady asking about tulle and the customer service rep asking her what specifically she needed. At one point the lady on the mission said “it’s not for tutus, I think I am a bit old for that”…my sister and I knew not to look at each other because we were both about to bust a gut in laughter at hearing this abrupt lady talk about tulle and tutus…thankfully we held our laughter til the lady had walked away and then glanced at each other and both got the giggles so bad we could not even talk or ask for what we needed cut. It took us quite some time to recompose ourselves and place our orders and then of course we almost peed our pants from laughing all the way out of the store….oh my goodness – I cannot even think of tulle or tutus without recalling that blessed memory with my sister and us loosing it in the fabric store.

My sister passed almost 4 years ago from cancer and my grief had been deeply crippling . Losing my friend and a young family member from our family this year, has felt beyond crippling. The compound loss feels unimaginable…how do we do life going forward?

I can only do today – in the most positive way…when I focus on what was, what is and not mourn for what was not. Treasure, relish, delight in all I have shared with all my loved ones..past and present.

And so as this year comes to an end…I do treasure and delight in every LOL moment of this year…and there were many. I treasure the tutu moments with my sister…and so many other uncontrollable giggle moments throughout the our 60 years.

I treasure the leopard lady moments with my friend(s) and so many giggles and glances that took our breath away…over our 20+ years.

I treasure the worms my nephew discovered with my grandsons and the deep love he had for my niece and their baby.

I treasure it all. All of it. I have been so very blessed to have shared the years I did with these beautiful beings…the simple, silly moments, that took my breath away.

I pray I always focus on what was. What is. And relish each and every moment.

Happy New Year to what was, what is.

Here’s wishing you tutus & walkers & worm memories to take your breath away…