the carpet ridge path …

My word for this year is LEARN.  

So it just makes sense to use this Year of Sundays to reflect on 52 of my most significant Life Lessons.   Some may seem more significant than others, but they’ve all changed how I live my life in powerful way.   I’d love to hear if and how any of these same lessons have surfaced in the classroom of Your Life.  

 Oh, and I’m not offering them in any particular order.  OK, here we go…

chalkboard 1The only way through having my heart ripped out, chewed up and spit out is through it.

This, like many of the Life Lessons I’ll offer this year, is what my friend Damon calls a BGO (blinding glimpse of the obvious).  Just because a Lesson is obvious, doesn’t mean it’s not a Lesson.  I bet you’ll see THAT as one of my Lessons later this year.   Anyhoooo…

One year ago today, my sister died.  So many of you have walked with me through this huge shift in my life.  Too many of you have been through a similar shift in your own life.   It sucks.

I’ve spent much of this year wishing I could be one of those zen chicks who just sailed through the loss like I understood why it happened and how it all fit into The Plan.    I’m not one of those chicks though.  I don’t think I’d want to spend much time with anyone who is, because I’d just keep looking for the cracks in her superhero suit.   Instead, I got really mad at God.  I got mad at my sister, too.  I even got mad at people who still had their sisters.  Basically, I got mad.

I did try to use my inside voice when I felt the maddest, but I stayed mad.   And I let it be

Then a funny thing happened – the anger eased a bit.

Bit by bit, I felt less mad.   I forgave my sister first.   Then I forgave those of you who still have your sisters.   I forgave God last.   I held onto that anger the longest because I knew she could handle it ;).

Then the smiles I was smiling at those of you who live outside of my head started reaching my eyes.   I laughed more and cried less.

As some of you may remember, on Mari’s birthday I cooked and ate things she loved and did things that mattered to her.  Yep, it was a day of pumpkin pie, country music,  freshly vacuumed carpet ridges and many, many memories.  I listened to the mp3 recordings I have of some of her voicemails to me.  I laughed and cried – a lot.   It was a beautiful and holy day.   I got That Connection to my sister back.

I still cry everyday, but most of the time, I’m smiling as I cry.   And it still sucks, but now when I think of how much it sucks – I think of vacuuming, which makes me think of Mari.  That makes me remember my sister’s smile.  And that makes me smile.

So many of you who are farther down this road of missing someone you love have warned me that The Firsts will be toughest: birthday, Holidays, death anniversary, etc.   I thank you for the warnings.   You helped me prepare.   Preparing helps.  And here’s what I’m figuring out works best for me – just show up.

I thought I might make some special plans for 11:08 on 01.06.13, in memory of Mari.   Right now, I think I’m just going to wake up, see what happens and Be There while it’s happening – right after I vacuum.

Miss you Mari.  Love you best…

11 thoughts on “the carpet ridge path …

  1. Oh yes, the only way out is through. My family is amid a terrifying journey now that could go a lot of ways–into joy or disaster or a mixture of the two. The only way through is not to think about what might happen, or even what I wish would happen, but to keep doing things that amount to a plan for the best, aware that all that work is prayer. I try not to fret and worry–and at two in the morning I do not succeed. The people who say ‘you are so strong,’ hmmmm. We have no choice–either keep keeping on, or fall into a gibbering heap. The latter does no good. Might as well keep going. I’ve been through the loss too, when I was 19 my Dad died suddenly of a heart attack. That was more than 40 years ago. Still miss him–but with far less intensity. This ‘practice’ makes nothing else easier. It is just experience. You know to just keep going.

  2. I try to just keep putting one foot in front of the other (some days even that is hard) and do the next right thing. And then rest a bit.
    I love you, Lisa. I wish I had known your sister. She was lucky to have you.

  3. 11:08 has passed. I assume you’ve made it since I don’t have an e-mail to say otherwise. Congratulations. I hope you make it through the next first.

  4. I am going to share your post with a friend whose 25 year old daughter died in October after an 18 month battle with cancer. She cries everyday too……tears are good….they help our heart and soul refresh each day…..and in my opinion allow us to keep” keepin’ on” and “getting through”.

    For what it’s worth….I never had a sister, but I have three brothers. My oldest brother was stillborn, so I never met him in the flesh, but we have always been connected spiritually. My youngest brother died two years ago, and since I had him in my life for 44 years, I have good and bad memories, and we will always be connected by them and our hearts and souls. My other brother, the one in the middle, lives in NJ and while we don’t talk often, we are connected by our hearts, souls, and telephones . I have come to believe ( my life word by the way) that we will always be connected to those we love, whether we can see them or not.

    I have my crying days too, when I miss my brothers in heaven and my mom who is with them. In the beginning, I felt “bad” about my crying days, but not so anymore. Although I don’t cry everyday now, I do still think of those who are waiting for me in heaven everyday. And when I have a crying day, I figure it is their way of letting me know they miss me too. As my tears roll, I feel their touch and presence…..and that makes my tears special and a gift from them to me and from me to them. It may sound crazy, but it helps me to consider my tears as a reciprocal gift….maybe my crazy thoughts will help you or someone else.

    I’m looking forward to following your LEARN journey and sharing mine with you and all your other friends

    PEACE to all!

  5. How odd. This is actually the first “Year of Sundays” lesson I have read on your blog. Sorry about that. But, it helps me to remember the journey I went on when my Mom died. I know you remember how Sue let me know that Mother wanted me to know that it wasn’t my fault. That was an awakening in my life and one of the most peaceful moments I have ever experienced. However, I have been angry at Mother so many times over the years since, especially at holidays and special occasions such as weddings of our boys and births of three granddaughters. But you know what, I realized that although alcohol is what ultimately killed her, I had to look at where she came from. No, her parents, my grandparents were not alcoholics, but she came up during WWII, and was a young adult during those years of rationing, air raid drills, not knowing if the next day would dawn, etc. I then came to the conclusion that even though she missed out on lots of happy occasions, there is no way I will ever understand fully what she went through. Yeah I still get a little mad when I think about the things she’s missed, but then again, maybe she hasn’t missed them at all. One day I’ll find out. I’ll see her again. Thanks Lisa!

  6. Dear one,

    Oh – how I know. This year will be the 8th year since my beloved friend Beth died. When I look back sometimes I truly ask, ‘how did I get here?’ But somehow I did. Thankfully it has always been the great Creator’s job to make certain the sun rose and set, if it had be left to me… well, not good.

    The 1st year was filled with bouts anxiety that would turn to determination. When I hit the birthday that aged me to her age at death, it was another very hard season. Most important for me was to tell-myself that whatever I was feeling, it was okay.

    8 years has been a life-time. One that I had thought I would share with her. This day never gets forgotten and every year is different. It seems that somewhere in the work of living-on I began to focus more on her birthdate. It is a bitter-sweet celebration. And yet is brings comfort – by welcoming the notes of others who join in this celebration, I am reminded that she has not been forgotten and neither have I.

    I hope your day is filled with moments ‘just right’.


  7. Loving you and Mari. Though I didn’t know her in the flesh I know her through our soul connection and so I feel I know her. Thank you for sharing the hard things to help me through my hard things…and thank you for loving me-and MY sister.

  8. Your lesson has come on a day when I have been so sad, mulling over the darker aspects of the mysteries of life and death; overwhelmed by the questions, wanting to somehow flee, to run away from them, or hide and wrap myself in a cocoon to muffle their voices. Thank you for reminding me that I need to continue to “show up”. Thank you for sharing your struggle. I admire you so, and learning that even YOU have bouts of spiritual “issues” gives me hope.

  9. Pam, i’m looking forward to this year of reflecting on Life Lessons. and hey, i think you’re pretty amazing, too.

    Penny, here’s to our ongoing practicing;

    Amma/Robin, indeed ~…;

    Gary, thanks. yep. the first year of firsts (at THIS) has passed ~ whew and wOw ;);

    Judi, i hold your friend in my heart as she misses and celebrates her mom. i also hold you ~ as you do the same for your brothers and others you love. ;

    Phil, i hold you in my heart as you miss & celebrate your mom ~ amid the brokenness ::good sigh:: ;

    Carrie, yep, it was Just Right and Okay. and know that i continue to hold you in my heart as you miss and celebrate Beth;

    Ginger, sharing in the joyful and tough really does help, eh? here’s to sisterhood ~ biological and spiritual;

    Mary Louise, you give my Hope in more ways and more ofteh than you’ll ever know.

    THANKS for joining in this Learning Year, ya’ll. Yep, deep and humble bows of THANKS.

  10. Lisa, you and Mari were so lucky to have each other and to spend so many years together. I hope you FEEL her hugging you from time to time. You two had something so special and so lasting. I wish I had one. I hope you smile and laugh more and more remembering all the time you shared.

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