(Reprinted from my wordpress.com blog dated May 25, 2010.)
Almost every day is filled with something wonderful and something not so wonderful.
Here are some of my wonderful moments so far today: My granddaughter, Kloe, gave me a sweet soy-milky smile while wrapped in her daddy’s arms as I kissed her forehead goodbye this morning (I kissed my son’s forehead too.) My husband brought home a beautiful pint of blackberries from his walk to the grocery store. All day I have been thinking of delicious ways to enjoy them and was once again reminded how I love that we can walk to the grocery store. At lunch today, I began reading a beloved book, A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach (more on that later).
Here are some not-so-wonderful moments. While sitting in my truck at lunchtime, enjoying my beloved book, I noticed how old my arms are starting to look. Scars on my hands and some new cuts from pruning dead wood from my roses add to the damage caused by growing up in the Florida sun. It was a not-so-gentle reminder that I’m almost 50. (I still have 3 years to go, but my husband likes to call it almost 50. Thanks, dear.) Then I glanced again at the cover of A Way to Garden and noticed my favorite part: the author’s hands look like my hands did this past weekend, covered in dirt with dirt embedded in my nails. It has taken me almost three days to finally get the last of the dirt out and it doesn’t even bother me! (So did I categorize this correctly after all?)
In my constant struggle with my weight and how I really want to live, I feel defeated that I give up on my attempts to eat gluten-free/vegan. It is truly what I want to eat and be, but it is an effort when I am the only person in my household who embraces it. I am encouraged to be that, but I am the only one to eat that way, so that means two different meals or variations of a meal. I don’t have the energy for all the prep and the result is that I will not be presenting my best self to my long-awaited friend. (I hear my husband telling me that I am too hard on myself. Yes, I know and I know that only I can make it happen.)
And finally, I have just learned that a dear colleague where I work has died. He was sick for about a year. His quality of life was not good, so does one feel sad or silently rejoice that he is now in peace and with the Lord? (Perhaps both?) When a friend said to me, “Why does this always have to happen to the good ones?” I found myself saying, “We will all have our day.”
When I hung up the phone I thought, wow, I feel like an adult….all grown up to know that I will not live forever on this earth. I pray I will live forever elsewhere, as I pray this gentleman does as well. I even feel comfortable expressing my wishes for my own end. I want to be cremated with some of my ashes scattered at the Bass Harbor Head Light on the coast of Maine and the remaining planted in the ground with a new tree in someone that I love’s yard; be it my son’s or one (or more) of my grandchildren’s yard. I am hoping that it will be a long time off and that all my grandchildren will be all grown up with yards of their own and can say “That’s Grandma’s tree. She is planted there too.” This may gross some people out and may greatly upset my mother, but I really don’t want to be buried in a cemetery taking up space where some trees and flowers could be growing instead. And NO FUNERAL!!! I want a party, if the living feel there must be something. It is depressing enough that a loved one has passed, but to have everyone endure a week or more of preparation so everyone can stare at my casket and weep? No thank you. When a friend died a year or so ago, we all met up by the beach to honor her love of the beach. It was lovely. I want that. Eat, drink, and be merry. Shed a tear if you feel you must, but be outside enjoying all of nature…the trees, the birds, the flowers, the water — all the things that I love. Play my favorite music. And just to save my mom from the phone call that I know will follow this post, No, Mom. I am not sick. I am fine, just all grown up. I love you very much and will see you soon!
And so while we all speak of our friend’s death, we also prepare to welcome another colleague’s granddaughter who is in the process of being born right now. (And all this going on in the same hospital!) It is a continuum.
So bascially, in their own way, all the moments have wonderfulness in them. Even those originally considered not so. When one can have these thoughts, see the good and accept the not so good, but carry on nonetheless….that is pretty wonderful.
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. ~Unknown
If growing up is the process of creating ideas and dreams about what life should be, then maturity is letting go again.” ~Mary Beth Danielson
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