December 6, 2020
Good morning friends. It’s the first Sunday of December 2020! The final month of this insane year is finally underway! The holiday season is upon us. I hope and pray we can actually enjoy this blessed and beautiful time of year as we should; without interruption from unscrupulous and idiotic politicians. There are many people (across our nation and the world) suffering physically, mentally, spiritually and economically. Now is a wonderful opportunity to spread kindness, joy, happiness and love. Open your heart to the magic and wonder of what the upcoming days represent. Be grateful and happy with each new sunrise. During our daily encounters we don’t often know the struggles or issues others may be dealing with in their lives. A smile or pleasant greeting has the power to make a positive impact. A simple gesture of kindness has the ability to make a significant difference in a person’s day or life. It’s time to be a good human. We’re all in this together.
Seven years ago I lost my Dad to a blood disorder (MDS), which morphed into leukemia and took him from our world. Letting go of him was the most difficult thing I’ve experienced in my life. Death of a loved one is never easy, but near holidays seem to compound the grief. Filling the void has been impossible. He was an amazing man and father, but more importantly he was my best friend and hero. Living with this type of loss changed my life perspective and path. His passing altered my views and what I believed to be important in this world. Five months before he passed, my parents moved from their home of 60 years to a “senior apartment” community.
As my parents aged it became evident living in their large home (the house my sister and I were raised) was too much for them to maintain. When they made the transition my Dad gave me the authority to clean out their home. He told me to do what I believed to be best in disposing of furniture, appliances, kitchenware, clothing, linens, tools, gardening items, household things, food in the cabinets and the house. I agreed because I trusted him and believed he knew I would do what was in his best interest. Little did I know what this task would ultimately entail. I remember sitting in my childhood home thinking this will be easy. That thought wasn’t even close to the range of emotions and feelings I would experience during the nearly three-month long process.
Every item and piece of the home had some sort of memory, story or attachment. My daughter assisted during several weekends and assorted yard sales. We laughed, cried and shared so many special moments as we cleaned out cabinets, closets and boxes left behind by my parents. My sister took a few items, as did my daughter and I, but you can’t save everything. What didn’t sell, I donated to organizations that would get them to those in need. Now new families can utilize them and make their own special memories. Letting go of so many precious pieces of life was difficult and sometimes even agonizing. I realized along the way that my Mom kept many items boxed and stored out of sight. Some items were only used on very special occasions. It’s sad how many were never used at all. Nearly three years after my Dad passed, my Mom was confined to an Alzheimer’s facility. Witnessing her decline was heartbreaking. She was physically present, but no longer mentally aware. The disease robbed her of her memory and the enjoyment of life. The life lessons I experienced fostered new realizations of what is and is not important during our time on this earth. Living a good and happy life is definitely not about how much stuff we have or what we think we need. I learned many years ago the importance of family and friends. I would much rather have those amazing connections than a new car, big TV or more stuff!!
My goal is to live better, striving to be here in the present. I do my best to live with an open heart; allowing God and the Universe to guide me. I’m a work in progress; embracing life and the goodness of this earth. Letting go of people, relationships, personal possessions and stuff isn’t easy. We all establish attachments and connections; with family, friends, pets and things. When we encounter a situation that pulls one of these from us, it has the ability to create anxiety, fear, heartache or sadness. The turmoil within us is real. If we cannot regain that connection within ourselves or rectify our mental stability associated with this event, depression can over take and consume us. This is when strong family and friendship ties are significant and important in keeping us on the right path. I recently returned home from an east coast trip. I traveled to assist someone near and dear to me. I don’t fear the virus, flying or adventures, because there are two things that will never hold me back. My daughter and family/friendship ties are the most important parts of my life. I will always be available for my daughter no matter what. The same hold true for my relationships with those special people in my life. If it’s possible for me to assist, I am always willing to be there and help those closest to me. So, when this person was talking about how nice it would be to have help, I knew I had to do whatever I could to assist. Her family is super special and I love them dearly. They’re a hard working couple, often traveling for their work. With kids in college, now they’re preparing to downsize and move. Believe me, I know this is not an easy process.
It’s been a rough year already; with the pandemic, shut downs, restrictions, political craziness, social chaos and violence. The anxiety from nearly a year of madness is real. Her parents were moved to senior living, like mine. Coping with declining health issues of your parents isn’t pleasant. You pray things will improve, but then suddenly her father passes away. The unexpected tragedy further fuels anxiety, stress and emotional discomfort. Life offers a variety of challenges as we traverse our path that encompasses this journey. When she threw her appeal for assistance out to the universe, I knew this was one of those times I had to offer my support. She is one of the sweetest, most moral and ethical people I know. I’m certain this is no accident, but due to several key factors. The first and most important is being raised by loving parents and family. Her foundations and character traits were forged from an early age. She works in a profession that demands honesty and fairness. Her integrity is unquestionable and maintained to the highest degree. How could I not reach out to assist? I had too.
Downsizing, purging and letting go of objects with sentimental value is difficult for us all. I know because I’ve been through the process. It hurts knowing others will suffer similar fates. As I age, I know I need to purge more so I won’t burden my daughter with this experience. So I discovered more about myself during my stay, while we purged, packed and released items to the world. We shared our emotions and thoughts, about life, family, friends and objects. I used exercise as a tool to regain yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Getting outside to enjoy the beauty of nature is always a huge benefit. Whether you’re at the beach, forest, desert or in your backyard; being outside is the key. Soaking up some sunshine, breathing the air (without a mask) and moving your body can be like heaven on earth. Besides the letting go of objects and possessions, it becomes easier to purge the negativity from your mind. The stimulus of movement and nature has a relaxing and calming effect on the mind and body. Many of our special possessions have sentimental qualities or family connections. When these items are released to the world, you release the attachments, but retain each incredible story that is associated with that object. We may not be able to store all these things, but we have plenty of room for each memory.
We never really let go of the important people during our time on this earth. Relationships flow in and out of our lives for various reasons. Individuals that make a significant and lasting impact we never forget. Life, or choices we make along our journey, may take our paths in different directions. The special connections we make leave a lasting imprint upon us. We share a unique bond with our parents and family members. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss or think of my Dad. I know he’s with me and watching over me. There is nothing greater than the love of our parents. Death separates us physically, but the love and memories we shared remain in our hearts and minds forever. The pain we feel is real. It only begins to fade with time. Their memory never goes away as long as we hold them in our hearts.
I want to honor my uncle and cousin who recently passed away. They are both remarkable individuals, who are loved by all. I will miss them both and the joy they brought to our world. I know their memories will live on in our hearts and minds.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation. Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!