Sunday, May 25, 2014

Things

I finished yet another layer on my beautiful blanket.  One more and this square will be done.  It is hard to believe that I only have one square left after that.

When you start a long-term project like this you know that it will take awhile to complete.  You are grateful for each piece that is completed and you keep plugging away at it.  But I think it is good to look back once and a while and remember all those stitches that got you to this place where you are now at.

Goals…hopes…dreams…all take time.  Sometimes it is hard to see that all that stuff you were working towards was no longer hypothetical.

But how I got here…to this place…it wasn't easy.  There were so many metaphysical squares to work through.  I lost a lot along the way and I gained some things too.

When I turn to look at my son whose voice is changing and is turning into a man before my eyes.  I can see that journey that started with a powerful and deep love between two people, has taken us here: to this moment.

Somewhere after I lost Mom and Dad I stopped worrying so much about the past or racing to the future and I have just been trying to live in the now.  Every night I take the past and the future and I lay it at the foot of the Goddess.

Regret is so heavy and does nothing to enrich one’s life.  What has been done cannot be undone.  It is a sad truth, but the truth nonetheless.  Worry is debilitating.  It cripples you and keeps you from enjoying the present moment.  It forces your attention away from the now: and the now is all that matters.

At work I have a can of nuts.  This is not a dirty joke.  It was my Dad’s last can of the tasty treats and I snagged it from his room when he died.  I worked my way through the can and when I saw the bottom shining through I panicked.  Epic.  All out.  Panic. 

As if eating the last filbert would sever my connection to my Dad.  That if I ate that last salty morsel…he would somehow be less with me then he was before I ate it.  As if this can of Deluxe Mixed Nuts actually connects me with him…

It is easy to make a realization like that when you lose someone.  But the truth is this can has nothing really to do with anything.  My memory of him eating nuts was from some olden time round nut holder with crackers and pickers and other little tools.  Yes, he loved nuts as a treat…just like sunflower seeds and a ton of other little snacks.

A lot of life is like that.  We assign importance to things and they become so for us because of our thinking.  If I see a potato chip that is folded over or puffed up I think of Mom.  She would pick them out because she said they were the best.  I probably always will think of her when I see one of those chips.  When I eat sausage I think of the time Dad said, “The Goodyear Blimp,” and pointed out the window and he took my sausage when I looked up.  

Memories…I have so many of them.  Mom and Dad are with me because they live in me not because I have held on to their things.

I hope each day to be a little stronger and to be able to let go of things that I’m only holding on to because I have given meaning to them.  Maybe I should start with those nuts.  Tonight I will lay them down at the Goddess' feet and ask for the strength to let them go without regret or worry.  I will ask for the strength to see that things even if someone you love sat on them, ate off of them, read them, wore them or hoarded them away...are just things.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I've reached “acceptance”.

My Dad is not in these nuts or all of the things I surrounded myself with when he died.  Throwing away his toiletries is not in any way disrespecting him.  I haven’t lost him or betrayed him if I weed through and get rid of the things that have no real connection to him now…my father lives in me and nothing can take that away.

As I said before there was a moment when I realized that all these things that he held, touched and cherished were only special because he had animated them with his strong spirit. 

There are things that I will keep regardless and they have deep meaning to me in some way.  I haven’t created a connection to them; the link to my Dad is there.  For instance when Dad let me wear his dog tags for my M*A*S*H party I was really touched.  I knew how special and irreplaceable those were to him and that he let me actually wear them was a gift beyond measure.  I wore them a lot after he died under my shirt like he must have done throughout WWII.  Right now they are on my altar by his picture just like my Mom’s favorite bracelet is sitting by her picture…and she is even wearing it in that picture.  These things are more then the sum of their parts because they contain memories.

This can of nuts; not so much.

Even so, simple gestures like these are not easy and they take time to be able to perform; but in the end letting go of the things that have no real meaning makes room for more things that do.  


Deep breath...bye bye nuts.

I love you Daddy.


On this Memorial Day I remember you and all those who fought and continue to fight for our freedoms that we enjoy.  I will wear your dog tags with pride for all the years you served in WWII.

There is a yellow ribbon on a tree outside our house for all the families who wait for their loved ones to return.  My prayers go out to every military family.  I cannot sum up the words of gratitude I feel towards these men and women who serve every day...they are all heroes.

Blessed be,
Ruinwen
:)

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