Today has been one of my first special days to get through. It was my husband’s birthday. It is strange to live that day without him around. I was remembering last year when we did a party for him outside in the yard with just family and one friend. He was not well then and didn’t really enjoy it.
I am sure that this day is better for him. He didn’t cope well with being unable to do the things he loved. Even though he was able to be with family during the last months it wasn’t the same for him.
Now it is time to accept this day with joy for the time I had with him. That is what he would want.
I don’t know if I have written about this before but I feel compelled to talk about it. Each of us matters. We can so easily get discouraged about changing anything…the way the world is going, the condition of the earth, the violence around us. It is so frustrating. Often we want to make a difference but we feel unable to do so. So how do we get past that?
I believe that any small thing makes a difference. I belong to prayer group called Daughters of the King. The motto of that group is ““I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do. What I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do. Lord, what will you have me do?”
I believe this. Each of us can make a difference. In the words of the Dalai Lama
For the last few days I have been thinking about what it means to lose a spouse of almost 59 years. It has reminded me of something my grandmother said after she turned 100. She remarked that no one she had known for most of her life was still alive. No one could really grasp her journey.
I have remembered that statement and thought about it over the years. Now having lost my husband and all but one friend I grew up with I can begin to understand what she was talking about. Fortunately for me there are still people around who are my contemporaries and so there are still those who remember the things I do. That is a blessing.
I have realized though that there is a kind of loneliness in missing the person who lived most of my life with me. There are experiences that no one else shared. I know I will continue to miss being able to connect with him over our life together.
There is also a loneliness in knowing that I am alone in a way that I have never been. Thank God I have a loving and wonderful family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who will continue to fill my life with joy.
Friends also help to dispel the sense of being along. With them are also many shared memories and I know that there will be many more with those I will connect in the future. I tend to look at the positive and continue to savor all that life has to offer me. This is just an in between time that brings thoughts and ponderings to light.
Yesterday I had a real treat. My family and I went to a Renaissance festival near Austin. The day was perfect…breezy and just the right temperature. There were people there but not so many that you couldn’t keep a safe distance. I have never been to one of those but it was really fun. We spent most of the day just walking around, watching people, seeing many people in costumes and lots of venders of antique looking stuff. I got home refreshed, tired and filled with joy at being out and about.
The weather has been beautiful here in Austin. Over the weekend we decided to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It was wonderful to see. The spring flowers are blooming and we took a long walk around the field with many different flowers blooming.
The flowers were so beautiful and the landscaping so pretty. We also saw a mother owl with her little ones but couldn’t get a photo. It was a really nice day out. Nothing like fresh air, sunshine, great scenery and good company.
Homes are not meant to be lived in – but only to be moved out from.
Richard Rohr in Falling Upward
When I first read this statement I was confused? -startled? – surprised? I’m not sure what. I realized that only when we are confronted with real change do we experience the growth that really moves us forward. It is a time of searching and redefining ourselves. We are moved our of our comfort zone and made to experience the world in a different way.
That has been my experience for, at least, the last year and a half. My life has been changed, disrupted and scrambled. Only now am I beginning to understand that this is not a negative but a positive. This is a time to “fall up” and explore what is revealed to me.
My 80 plus years have not been wasted but are a platform for jumping off. They are a gift that keeps on giving. It is up to me what happens next. I just have to take the leap.
“The tendrils that connect one human being to another are so unlikely so inherently fragile…I think that is it s a miracle they exist at all.”
From the TV program Numbers
Connecting with one another is so key to how we live. I have always needed those connections and tend to nurture them. Without them I am lost.
Whether we are connecting to the family that raised us or family that we choose and continue to choose from those we meet those connections form us. They are the glue that hold us together. The support that we receive from others makes our lives manageable. The love of those connected by those tendrils is what brings joy to our journey through life.
It is a miracle and one that I depend on and rejoice over every day.
This past week I was able to get my second covid vaccination. It is a relief. Now I have to look to moving forward. It looks as if I will be moving to the community (that we were both to move to) at the beginning of June. I am so longing to be finally settled. I have felt so disconnected.
We were also able to go to church on Sunday and that was so wonderful. I hope that before long we will actually be able to connect in a deeper way. Masks make it so difficult.
Before I move I need to donate my husband’s things. This is hard to think about but they will mean so much to those who need them. I will feel as if I am giving part of him away but he would be glad that his things can be used. This is just another step in my grieving…another move forward.
Moving my dogs into an apartment with no outside access will be a change for them but I think they will be happy wherever I am. they are very clingy.