Gratitude Sunday: That Big Hole In Your Heart

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

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Sunday Haiku
Oh glorious sun!
How you warm my skin and take
the chill from my bones.

Sunday Musings
Today marks year three of the grief hole in my heart getting ripped wider. Yes, it’s the 3rd anniversary of my mother’s death. “They” say with time it gets easier, the hurt heals, the hole grows smaller, but I am not so sure. I think each new grief just piles upon the older griefs and they multiply. How any of us functions at all is a wonder to me when we all carry the burden and sadness of loss in our lives. It’s just that many more years beyond one grief and another.

Grief is not like forgiveness. You can forgive a hurt someone has done to you and actually begin to feel better. You can forgive yourself and your mistakes and move forward. Grief is forever, a longing or desire for what never will be again. You can talk about how you will be united with your loved ones in heaven, but that is a belief, and we have no proof. We must function on faith for that.

I see my loved ones who have passed in my dreams. They are not usually doing things I remember in my waking memory; they are participating in different behavior or speech. That doesn’t mean I remember everything or that the dream action isn’t already in my neural net of brain cells. We don’t have a scientific understanding of dreams any more than we have a scientific understanding of heaven or the concept of God (in whatever form that takes for your system of belief). We don’t even have a scientific understanding of grief and the sadness it brings.

I see my loved ones who have passed in my memory. Maybe the memories are defective, or glamourized, or embellished. Maybe not, but they are my memories, nonetheless. I can cherish them or not as I choose.

For several months after my mother passed I had the feeling of being haunted, as if she was constantly looking over my shoulder, as if she could finally look into my soul and see all my secrets and lies to her. It was such an awful feeling of dread, of how I’d failed her, as a daughter and as a human.

On my birthday the year Mom died, my aunt sent me several photographs she had of my mom. One of them was a picture of Mom, my sister, and me. I had my first pair of pink framed glasses on so I was about 9, my sister about 7. I always thought my mother was so beautiful and I could never compare with her. The picture shows a handsome woman with the barest hint of a smile on her lips and two girls with beaming happy faces. Mom had dentures and maybe she thought her smile wasn’t pretty, but I remember how her face would light up when she smiled, dentures or no. She’d spent her 5 years of pregnancy and 4 children having her teeth pulled out because back then dentists put little value in saving the teeth you had. She was adamant all our growing years about taking care of our teeth. The dentures were nothing but trouble all her adult life. What a travesty modern medicine is sometimes.

I love the photograph and got a lucite frame for it. I placed the frame next to the little altar I have of the rosewood box that contained her ashes, which still have a trace of the ash inside. On top of the box is the velvet cover it came with and a tasseled angel from her memorial service, and a hand sewn angel Mom made that my sister gave me for Christmas, and a picture of Mom with her mother and dad and five siblings as adults. She faces me as I sit here and write. My little sister and the child I was smile at me as I struggle to put on paper the thoughts burning in my soul.

When I put the picture in its place the haunted feeling went away. Now it is like we are having the conversations of old, sharing information, and knowledge, and opinions, finding the places where we agree and disagree, but satisfied that even if we didn’t agree we could honor each other’s opinions.

Time passes. Grief abides. More loved ones die. More grief avails. Time passes. One day at a time we put one foot in front of the other and move forward. Perhaps one day we will discover time is non-linear and we can be with those loved ones whenever we want, perhaps not creating new memories but re-living the old, perhaps creating alternative time lines with new memories, perhaps gaining a new scientific perspective on time and grief, maybe learning grief is one of the required experiences of embodiment. Perhaps one day we will discover heaven and have our beliefs confirmed whether in this life or the next.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – I love wildflowers. I have loved them since my sophomore year in high school when all the biology classes were assigned to make a wildflower notebook. We had to gather the flowers from fields and parks and our own yards, press them flat, and mount them on pages in the notebook with an identification paragraph. I still have mine tucked away somewhere in the abundance of stuff in my home. What do I love about wildflowers? They are tenacious; they grow everywhere and anywhere, clinging to the tiniest bit of earth, in between the domesticated plants we purposely set into the ground, giving their luxurious color and vibrant blossomings to all who care to pay attention. Love in the form of creamy white Queen Anne’s Lace blossoms. DSCN4682 Pink edged creamy morning glories acknowledging another dawn. DSCN8552 White bindweed blossoms hosting busy bees. DSCN4684 Then there is the bright firecracker colors of domesticated coreopsis. DSCN4577 The scarlet red of exotic crocosmia. DSCN8519 The brilliance of red gladiolas. DSCN4689

Current View{These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ. Viva la différence!} The Martian (2015, rated PG-13) with Matt Damon from the novel by Andy Weir. I waited more than 6 months for this movie through my local lending library as my frugality does not let me spend money on renting movies. I stopped reading science fiction many years ago but I had read the book last year when it came out and enjoyed the story with its happy ending (no spoilers!) and its more sciencey than fiction story. The author was quite focused on the science and I read every word hoping to understand it, and while I understood the gist of the story some of the math and technical science escaped me. It was still an enjoyable read. I was hoping the movie would give me the visuals of the science and it did not fail. The movie also captured the smart-aleck characterization of the protagonist with superb casting all around. Watched it twice. * Wallis and Edward (2005, rated R), another version of the Wallis Simpson story with Joely Richardson whose acting I really like. Sweet, concise, tragic. * Ellen Degeneres The Beginning (2000, not rated) with (obviously) Ellen Degeneres. I was looking for some real comedy. This woman makes shampoo instructions funny. Much needed laughter ensued. * Price Check (2013, not rated) with Parker Posey and Amy Schumer. This was listed as a comedy and I don’t know in whose world a story about a manipulative bully boss who throws tantrums on the floor and who tries to entrap a married male employee into impregnating her is a comedy, but not in my world. This was not amusing or funny in any way, and the story was lame as well. Not recommended. * Lucky Them (2014, not rated) with Toni Collette as a music critic searching for her musician boyfriend who disappeared 10 years ago in a suspected suicide. I find Toni Collette to be an interesting and unusual actress and she did not disappoint. Not listed as a comedy, but this was a fun little movie with a poignant ending (no spoilers!). Surprising producer was Joanne Woodward, whom I’ve always admired, and Johnny Depp appeared in a minor role. * Trainwreck (2016, rated R) with Amy Schumer. A little funny, a lot raunchy, the girl gets the guy. Meh. Wow, watched a lot of movies this week!

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Currently ReadingWhite Rabbit (1996, fiction) by Kate Phillips. I had to read this title because I have collected rabbits (not alive) since I was 15 years old and love the Alice in Wonderland stories, with which this story had nothing to do. Instead the story is about the last day in the life of an 88 year old woman, the memories and eccentricities elders have, and the absurdity of age and aging. A quiet, almost mundane story, about the love of self and other people. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman (2016, autobiography, humor) by Lindy West. My expectations of this book were far different than what the author writes. I had expected information about being that shrill opinionated voice in the world and how to deal. Instead I found personal stories of this author’s experiences as an introvert who learns to live in the crazy judgmental world on her path to becoming an accomplished journalist. The bonus is the finely tuned humor Ms West employs. She has a unique way of making the oppressive awfulness of everyday life sound terrifically amusing if you just squint up your eyes in the right way. Yes, concurrently.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • The fresh apricots I buy once a year to remind me I like fresh apricots just once a year. I don’t like them green and I don’t like them mushy and these were just about perfect.
  • Sweet refreshing rain relief from the heat.
  • Finally getting through to the local Social Security Office (after trying all afternoon to get through on the phone) and their advice on best times to come in and wait for service after finding out the first available appointment would be six weeks away and experiencing a waiting room full with about 50 people.
  • Little joys: birds at a bird feeder, the smell of wet bark dust, the colors of gray and silver clouds in the sky, making googly eyes at the babies in the baby swim class and seeing their expressions.
  • Seeing the half moon high in the sky in full daylight.
  • Keeping the house relatively cool during hot weather.
  • Memories of the past and living in the present.
  • Learning and re-learning to be in the moment.
  • Appreciating how the mind can wander and create new projects.
  • Busy days and quiet evenings.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

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Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch
Floral paragraph dividers by Susan Branch

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This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Gratitude Sunday: That Big Hole In Your Heart

  1. piratesorka says:

    Thank you for reviewing The Martian, I was on the fence-sitting on that one and your review pushed me over to see it. I saw Finding Dory this weekend and I really have to say that Pixar outdid themselves. It is a wonder of Animaltion. I promise you will never look at an octopus the same ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

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