As the holidays near, as with every year, I find myself thinking about the loved ones that are no longer with me. While this is not a blog about sustainable living, it is in someways. I honor those loved ones by being the best I can be, because to do otherwise would be to dishonor their memory. Although they are no longer with me, they live in me, shaping who I am today. Yes I get sad, and I do shed tears because I miss them, but I also realize I was gifted with the time I did have with them.
This is by far the most painful for me even tho it has been over 20 years..it still hurts. He would have been 42 the 20th of this month. I still talk to him and remind him that he is not forgotten and is still loved. My son taught me to observe the beauty in a leaf...to see the shapes of the clouds..to laugh just because the sun is out, to dance just for the heck of it, and most important he helped me learn that there were more important things than my selfish 17 year old self. I can still see his face and hear his laugh.....and it makes me smile remembering him running thru a field just laughing for the pure joy of life.
While my dad had some very hurtful qualities, long ago I forgave him, and realized the pain he carried with him. I miss driving down the highway with him...his arm hanging out the window, whistling to some country music song. He taught me to take pride in myself, to work hard, to stand up for what I believe in. The best thing he taught me was that if I wanted something, that I needed to work for it, to not expect someone to hand it to me...that in turn served me well and made me an independent woman. He taught me to use my hands to make things and those skills have helped me thru some rough times..I was not an easy kid, but I know that he loved me in his own way.
My mom died at the age of 27 when I was 5. I don't remember her well but I do remember as a little girl thinking how beautiful she was. My father married several times after her death but I never called anyone mom ever again.
My brother died at the age of 12. Although I was only 5 when he died I remember him very well. He took me everywhere with him and protected me from anything bad. I remember the feeling of being safe when I was with him. He taught me to laugh and that I deserved to be loved. In almost every picture I have of him, he and I we are looking at each other laughing with total joy.
My grandmother has a very special place in my heart. After my mother passed, she was the only woman in my life who loved me without condition. She taught me dignity. To conduct myself in a way that I wouldn't be ashamed of. She was and will always be one of the strongest women I have known. The summer before I started junior high, she made me work in the bean fields to earn money for school clothes. At the time I was angry with her...it was my summer after all. Her sister taught me to sew that summer and I made several dresses. My great aunt made me take out stitches when I did not do it properly...and I remembering being so angry and thinking what does it matter. It wasn't until years later I realized they were preparing me for a real turning point in my life and they wanted to make sure I had nice clothes to start that journey I started junior high with cute clothes and feeling confident. Now I feel sad that I never told her thank you..thank you for teaching me how to be a woman and hold my head up high.
I have not posted this blog to make anyone feel sorry for me. I have posted it to show you that spending time feeling sorry for ourselves because of our loses only slows us down and does not honor the time and energy those who loved you spent in creating the you that is you. Feeling sorry for myself would mean I was giving up on life and that is not something I am willing to do. If I had given up, I would not be here with my wonderful husband, my beautiful grand kids, and my awesome younger son. I would not be here to do whatever it is I was meant to do while I am here on this earth.
Just keep on being the best you can and see the beauty in even the sad things.