My incredible grandmother passed away on Saturday. So, this week, we took a whirlwind trip back home. Back with my family, my first tribe. My dad, my aunts and uncles, my sea of cousins and their families. I have lots of thoughts about this experience that I hope, one day, to put into words. For now, though, I am reminded of words that I read recently in this book, “When you awaken to the truly heartbreaking brevity of life, your heart quickens.”
More and more lately, I find myself saying to Chad, It’s all going so incredibly fast. Life is happening so fast.
Of course, in times of loss this is even more clear. I find myself wanting to slow it down, but knowing that I can’t. I find myself wanting to do something to not allow myself to miss it, but I wonder if that’s even possible. Control freak that I am, there is so much that I can’t control. So I’m left wondering. . . what can I do?
I’m starting small. . .
I can take Chanelle’s hand in mine while she still lets me.
I’ve found myself reaching for her hand more lately. And I’ve found her reaching for mine. As I’ve watched her grow and navigate her world more independently, it’s been easy to assume that she needs me less. That my hand in no longer needed. As we’ve walked side by side, I’ve felt her reach for me and I’ve grabbed on and felt the weight of in my own hands. I see it as the treasure that it is. I feel it. I allow myself to drink in the beautiful depths of the moment.
I can notice Charlie’s smile and tell him about it.
There is no smile in the world that gets me like Charlie’s. Lately, I’ve been telling him about it. Telling him how I love his dimples. Tell him how his smile makes my heart flip-flop as much as an Olympic gymnast. I can see it like the gift that it is and not overlook it or take it for granted.
I can celebrate Meadow’s uniqueness.
And I can tell her about it. I can tell her that it’s okay to be who she is. To celebrate the gift that she is. The unique quality she brings to our family. I can let her be exactly who she is and I can appreciate it.
I can be intentional about life.
It’s been said by someone, Annie Dillard, I believe, that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. The thought is starling. Being acutely aware of the passage of time, I feel a strong pull toward making memories. Toward making the moments count.
And the older I get, the more I realize that the best moments aren’t the big ones. They are the small ones. The moments when we are look each other in the eye, laughing, sitting, being still, simply, doing life together. . .
I can not be afraid.
Okay. That one might be an overstatement. If I’ve come to understand anything about myself it’s that I have a pretty natural bent towards fear. The unknown, the known, the future, the past, new things, old things. . . my heart pounds at a fast pace with ease. Still, I believe that I can not fear, fear.
Over time I’ve learned that it’s scary to be vulnerable, but more than not, it’s worth it.
I’ve learned that I’d rather go for it–even the scariest of “it’s”, than live with regret.
I’ve learned that asking hard questions is scary, but builds deeper connections.
As the days move forward and I gather more lines on my face, I’m understanding more and more that fear is more often a guide pointing in the exact direction I should go, rather than a roadblock pointing in the opposite direction.
I can be honest about what really matters.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. The most important things. What matters most. I am understanding that this is different for everyone. There is not one right answer. And no one can define it for anyone else.
That heartbreaking brevity of life realization, gives me such a clear view on the things that matter most. More than anything, I want to be able to look back without the slightest sense of, ‘I wish I would have’. The things that matter most? Well, they aren’t things at all. . .
It’s a small start, but it’s a start.
Happy Weekend Friends. . .