Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Letting Go.

I have spent the last two years of my life letting go.

I let go of my old life.
I let go of many possessions as I downsized into a smaller version of what was.
I let my son graduate from high school and leave for the Marine Corps.
I let go of all of TBHITW's clothes, tools, and "things".
I let go of the business that he worked so hard to build.

I let go of all these things with my palms facing upward. My hands steadily releasing all that was.

Some days I let go in a great torrent of things. I let go in a big flow, like a river, hopes and dreams and imagined futures. I let go of secret smiles, of shared moments, of stolen glances that wives and husbands have shared for eternity. I let the Friday night ritual of date night go. I let shared laughter and the things only couples share go. Other days I let go in small agonizing droplets.
Things leaked out in tiny, painful baby steps. But still, I let go.

The only thing I haven't let go of is Grief. Grief is such a strange creature. As much as the heart and mind and soul want it to end Grief has a way of comforting you. You can wrap Grief around you like a security blanket or a shroud. You can hide behind its monstrous face. You can wallow in it and accept it and make up all kinds of excuses for it. You can act any way you want because you are grieving.

You can cry in public and stay in bed all day if that's what you feel like. Grief can become a friend. Not a good friend, but a friend all the same. At least you recognize its face like an old friend.

I am approaching the two year mark of carrying around this Grief and I think it is time to let it go. It is the last thing I carry from my old life and it is becoming heavy. Very heavy.

Letting go of Grief is not forgetting the reason for its existence. No, I will never forget the love and joy that existed before Grief came into my home and became my companion. I am simply saying that you (Grief) have to go now. I have to find and embrace the new joys of a new life.

Yes Grief, you have to go now. I know you will visit me periodically for the rest of my life and that's fine. But you are not allowed to live with me anymore; you are not allowed to be my constant companion.  I know that a new version of Grief will come and stay for awhile in the future. My parents are aging and in time I know Grief will once again visit. But for now, Grief has to go.

I am letting go. It's time to turn my palms downward, into the grasping position. I need to grasp the new. I need to grasp the possibilities of new found wonders, a new life, a fresh beginning.

So I am choosing to let go.

Grief and life are much like crossing monkey bars. To get to the other side at some point you just have to let go.

On, On.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Welcome To Pennsylvania


On June 25th, as planned, my youngest kidadult left for Parris Island, South Carolina to begin life as a Marine Recruit.

On June 26th, as planned, the moving company came and packed up all my belongings.

On June 27th, as planned, the moving van came, loaded everything up and drove off with all my belongings.

I stood for the last time on my front porch and watched the van drive away.  It would take the truck two hours to get to my new home. I was to meet them there.

I took one last look around; one last walk through the house. I heard and felt the laughter, the joy, the tears and the years of our life all around me as I walked from room to room. I touched the walls and the counters one last time. I walked through my carefully tended gardens, I smelled the newly bloomed gladiolas and dahlias and gathered a last bouquet of daisies. When I was finished inhaling all the memories that a house can hold I got in my car and pulled out of the driveway for the last time.

Two blocks later I had to pull over to the curb because I could not see through my tears. But I did not look back. I dried my eyes and began my new journey. By the time I saw the "Welcome To Pennsylvania" sign at the last toll booth in New Jersey I knew I had made the right decision. A new home, a new start. A new life. As planned. By me.

It's been almost four weeks now since I have been here. I love my new condo. It is bright with natural light, it is open and new and I have made it my space. I have an incredible view of the mountains that surround the valley and can watch the sunrise from a small balcony off the kitchen; which I do often, cup of coffee in hand.

I am cooking again. I am moving forward on my own two feet. I am breathing and living and doing and being. I am me. Newly minted, freshly made. I am close to my family. I have met all my neighbors.  I have a brand new bike that I ride with abandon.

I remind myself everyday,

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” ― Dr. SeussOh, the Places You'll Go!

On, On. 

More new recipes soon. I promise.

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