This morning we as a family laid Mom to rest in a beautiful, simple ceremony. We got to say our earthly goodbyes and send her off with love and beautiful flowers. We shared donuts and coffee at home and once again held each other up.
What will stick with me forever about today is something that could be seen as unimportant to some but I am almost 40 years old and spent the better part of my life trying to convince my hard working mother to join me for a manicure. As a child I desperately wanted to paint her nails! She always had an excuse and said no because she wasn’t into that sort of thing! We lived on a farm, It wasn’t practical! She painted mine as a child but never hers! This morning as I got to say my last earthly goodbye to my Mom I was drawn her her beautiful hands, the hands that raised me, that tended our home and farm, the hands that cared for our pets and horses. The hands that cooked our meals, grew our food, baked treats, and held us up when life was hard.
This morning her beautiful hard working, well lived hands had the sweetest shade of pale peach nail polish applied to them. Very faint almost easy to miss but my heart noticed right away.
Today a stranger who cared for my Mom in her last earthly moments gave me the gift of seeing my mothers well lived hands look peaceful and beautiful. A stranger gave me a gift they have no idea I’ll carry the rest of my life.
For that I thank every one of you in the death care industry.
You would of been 77 today. You would of told us you wanted nothing for your birthday but then been thrilled with the gifts and cake. You would of snuck a second helping over the kitchen sink leaving nothing but crumbs and a frosting covered knife to give you away. I wish you were here. But as you spend your first heavenly birthday please know we are honouring your special day down here too. Nancy got the most beautiful delicious cake and together we ate and said your name. We will always remember your birthday and continue to say your name because you still walk beside us even if we can’t see you. Happy heavenly Birthday Mom 🌹
I asked my Mom for a white Christmas just an hour or so before she left us 2 weeks ago. She delivered today. I cried and laughed simultaneously. I can’t explain the way I felt today. I can tell you I’m not ready to pack Christmas away. At dinner we left an empty chair between my Father and my husband. This too made me both smile & feel empty and sad at the same time. Navigating the holiday season through this season of grief has been hard. And so know my journey has only just begun. I’m thankful to be surrounded by an amazing group of friends who continue to check on me, who continue to do little things to raise my spirits. I’m thankful Christmas Day was white and snowy. Im thankful for the memories of Christmases past with my Mom. I’m thankful and I’m sad. In the words of the Grinch “Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand. ❤️❄️❄️❄️🎄🎄🎄💔
I’ve got a lot I should update about but I’m not ready. I’m sad and grief is absolutely unmapped territory.
So instead I’ll share some photos from today. Our day was quiet but productive. We got groceries, I hugged a friend, I drank coffee sitting down, I left the house, I ate yummy food, I wore my festive pants and I felt all the feels. A friend dropped off lovely flowers and fun Rae Dunn things to cheer me up. I thought a lot about my friends who are checking in and showing up. It means the world to me.
But I saw something today that really slapped me in the face and got my attention!! Now I’m sharing it with you because it’s so important and no one tells you this!!!! Don’t put your well-being at risk to avoid making a scene or hurting someone’s feelings!! This goes for all the things listed below but also for friendships, jobs, marriages, family dinners, appointments, etc!! If something is making you uncomfortable you don’t owe it to anybody to stay there and suffer!!!
I think this resonates with me so deeply for a number of reasons but especially because of how long I stayed working for an abusive employer because I felt I had too!! I was raised to believe you don’t quit and now thanks to life experience and therapy I know it’s ok to quit! It’s ok to put myself first! It’s ok to walk away!!!
It’s funny writing this today after coming home from my shift at my new job which I absolutely love. I think about what I worked through at my last job and feel so incredibly grateful to now be working for a family who values me as nurse, as a caregiver, and most importantly as a person!
When I left my last job I truly didn’t know if I’d ever return to nursing but after a long hiatus involving therapy, self discovery, self love, and healing I’m so thankful to have found a job in the field I love that reminds me why I went into health care in the first place. I’m so thankful to have found a family to help that truly is thankful for my help.
I now know it’s ok to leave when you don’t feel right about a situation. It’s ok to leave when you aren’t being respected, it’s okay to walk away. You don’t owe your well being to anyone except you!!
Some days it’s really hard to fight the urge to count calories. Even tho I’ve made a conscious decision to sway away from that, focus on moving my body daily and eating what makes me feel good! I think it’s going to take a long time to break the habit of counting calories and judging food in the “healthy/un healthy” category’s.
I had to fight through the urge over breakfast to look up all the reasons why that 1/2 avocado was “too Much” or “unhealthy”. I reminded myself that I enjoy avocado and it keeps me full for a long time!
I think unlearning old habits is often harder then forming new habits!
This morning I crawled out of my warm bed to take Muffin out to pee. I was hit with cold air upon opening the door! Cold air I haven’t felt since early last spring! I rushed Muff along and upon returning inside took a moment to crawl into bed beside Jacob. His barely awake warm self instantly embraced me and we cuddled for a solid 10 minutes before going about our regular before school routine. Now as I sit here reflecting on the morning I realize how much those ten minutes changed my day. They made me feel loved and relaxed and that put me in a great mood. I had more patience with my parents this morning and generally find myself less stressed!!
I hope our cuddle had the same effect on his day and I hope he never outgrows Momma cuddles! ❤️
Break my heart in two…..I’m already looking for you and you’re right here. Why does a few blocks feel like a journey of a million miles? You’re the apple of my eye!! You’re my tiny little best friend. Nothing makes my heart happier than you! Today I let you stand on your own two feet. Today I’ll cry and worry. Today I’ll experience the longest hour of my life. Such a bitter sweet feeling. Your apprehensive feelings are being held at bay by your excitement. Your compassion and concern for me is evident. I’ll be ok sweet boy. I’m just not ready for this… but I’ll learn and be looking forward to picking you up everyday to hear about your adventures. How did 6.5 years go by so fast? Through the jungle, through the dark, in the sunshine, home is wherever I am with you!
The passing of time is a cruel reminder that life is only so many seasons long. I’m sitting here this morning trying to figure out where the Summer went.
I’m thankful we got to spend time as a family making memories. As I look towards the approaching Fall I have an extremely strong grasp on what’s important to me while everything else seems to be spiralling out of control around me.
With that being said, honestly im exhausted. We are about to start down a brand new path of a child in school learning, a husband with a permanent injury attempting to go back to work, and continuing to weather the storm of aging parents.
Every time I think I’ve caught my breath something seems to push be back under the wave I’m trying not to drown in. I think I’m tired of trying to fill that void.
The weather this weekend has been a mood. Literally overnight we went from sweltering sunny days to damp cool moody days. I feel it in my soul. A direct reflection of how many of us are feeling? Or maybe just how I’m feeling.