Yes, And – week 31

As I’ve mentioned here before, one of the richest memories of my life is how I used to get up at 5:30 in the morning with my dad. It was our time. We’d eat GrapeNuts and tell each other about the miracle(s) we’d seen the day before. I still try to like GrapeNuts and I still try to look for miracles every day.
Finding the miracles has been harder for me lately. I might notice (my word for 2015) lovely people, places, or things, but I’ve allowed circumstances, over which I feel powerless, to cloud my ability to recognize them as miracles. That’s gotta change.
Here’s how I’m going to change it. Yes/And. I completely accept the reality that YES there are many things going on the world, over which I have no control. AND while I continue to attend to what I can, I’m going to focus on the light, the good, the possible, along with the people doing the light, good, and possible.
YES, the divisions, gloom, fear, and darkness will still be around. My focus, however, will not be as glued to it, as it has been lately. I’m going to focus on the power of miracles. When I find myself tempted to dwell in the negative longer than is necessary, I’m going to seek out AND people, places, and things. AND people, places and things are the miracles Daddy and I used to share with each other daily. I’ll share some of them with you here.

Years ago, a dear friend, Amanda, gave me a pencil holder with ‘Organized people are just too lazy to look for things’ written on it. She knows me well. Organized is NOT my middle name. And lately, it’s not even been in my vocabulary. Since we moved Mom into the hospice house, in mid April, my guest room has been full of things my family helped me move from her former assisted living apartment. The door to that room has been closed since then. There are all kinds of reasons I haven’t organized that room. I don’t even have to play a psychologist on TV to realize that.

The door is open now. Earlier this week I just plain did it. Is the room perfectly organized? No. Does it feel fabulous to stop hiding the imperfection? YES.

Opening that door opened my heart and spirit. And it encouraged me to take a few other organizational steps this weekend. Tom helped me install new garbage/recycle containers and I finally culled through old spices, putting them in a more convenient storage space. It’s also helped me realize that all of the other spaces in my home that need to be better organized will get that way. 

Overwhelmed and powerless are great feelings to let go of.


Yes, (as Robert Frost us) there are miles to go AND at least, now, I can sleep.

Ever feel like that?

One thought on “Yes, And – week 31

  1. If you watch what you do, you see what drives you . . . that seems to be my finding this week.
    My Mom died peacefully at Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Care Center on the morning of July 26th. After four and a half years living with me, then at assisted living, then in memory care, her body finally started to give up the fight on June 9th. Her femur snapped when she got up from a nap. The next few weeks of delirium, effort and pain included her 93rd birthday, and ended with three perfectly peaceful days of pain-free rest. Her departure was utterly simple. She merely stopped breathing without so much as a big sigh.
    The usual passage of grief has appeared similarly quiet for me. Both of us were profoundly tired of this lingering, fading, lost and confused life she was suffering through. Our differences had become reconciled in many small ways and a few stunning moments of clarity shining through the fog of forgetting. Neither of us had anything more to forgive, nor anything more to accomplish either in the struggle to go on, or in care giving for the struggle. We were more than ready.
    I am finding that my grief is not being expressed as much in tears, as in the inability to quite give up my long-time role as care giver. A life reduced to such a small compass does not leave a lot of detritus behind, yet I am mostly occupied in closing all those ‘final accounts’, writing an obituary, finding photos, contacting old friends who are not part of her church circle in her home town, clearing her room, planning ways to give mementos to the care staff who have asked for her photo.
    Indeed, I am working like a busy Martha in the kitchen of my life because I am accustomed to doing this job that has been so difficult to carry out. Mom’s memorial service will be on October 14th, in Bath, NY. Until then, her cremated remains are with me. Literally on my hearthstone, with flowers. The few dresses she had, I had made myself. Now I am taking them apart to make mementos for family and caregivers. It took me until August 5th to catch up my own checkbook and pay my bills, and it is taking me longer to shift the focus back to my own life.
    I am busy, busy, busy with the little that is left of Mom’s life, and this, for me, appears to be my grieving. To continue to serve. To wind up every shred and scrap of her tiny affairs. To express my gratitude to the many who remember her great importance in their lives, in her church and community. To find the photos and the words that will tell her story as she would like to have it remembered.
    My hope is that by the time we have gathered — my brothers, our children and my grandson — in our home town and enjoyed her memorial service, which I think may be surprisingly well-attended for a 93 year old lady who has been long gone from her community. . . I hope that then I will be able to give up my long and not always willingly held job as care giver and turn my attention back to my own life.

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