Beatitudes of my life

Being grateful for everything in my life…. no matter what…

It’s only been days… April 27, 2017

Filed under: Blessings,Family,Grief,Life Balance,Uncategorized — beatitudesofmylife @ 8:50 pm
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It’s only been a matter of days in which my world tilted on its’ axis… a mere 134 days.  I still have my step-mom (thank God)… I still have my other half/my sister and my wonderful collection of brothers… but my parents are gone.  It feels both like forever and yesterday.  I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I ever knew, but I’m more vulnerable than I expected.  The dichotomy of grieving while continuing to live is not lost on me… but it can be exhausting.  

The numbers of days is daunting when listed out:

  •  48 days between Mimi’s death and Daddy’s death (12/15/16 & 2/1/17)
  • 23 days between Mimi’s death and her funeral (12/15/16 & 1/7/17)
  • 25 days between Mimi’s funeral and Daddy’s death (1/7/17 & 2/1/17)
  • 15 days between Mimi’s funeral and the last time we saw Daddy (1/7/17 & 1/22/17)
  • 10 days between when we saw Daddy and when he died (1/22/17 & 2/1/17)
  • 10 days between Daddy’s death and his funeral (2/1/17 & 2/11/17)
  • 134 days since Mimi died (to 4/28/17)

I just got back from a cousins weekend at the beach.  It was perfect and raw and wonderful and heart-wrenching.  There were bittersweet moments when I could envision how much my mom would have been so happy.  There were moments that I know would have driven her crazy because getting onto the beach would have truly been a physical ordeal.  I also know that I felt the presence of the three Mimi’s (sisters Jody, Jean, and Gwenn) in so many ways throughout the weekend that it was worth everything to be present.  

I’m reading a lot lately about grief and how others travel this journey.  The kind messages, comments, and shared information mean so much… to know that others are willing to take a moment to simply say “I’m sorry” can be humbling and touching.  Thank you for caring… and for reaching out to me in whatever way works.

I’ve learned to surround myself with good people and am more grateful for every positive experience than ever before.  Seeing the impact that each of my parents had on their individual worlds has given me insight into the kind of impact that I want to make in my own world.  I intend to be more deliberate about those things on which I spend my time.  I want to do things that either bring me joy or allow me to give joy to others.  

If the life and death of each of my parents teaches me anything, it’s that I need to choose how and where I spend my life.  My God, my husband, my children, and my family… these are my beatitudes… these are my blessings… these are where I will spend my days.

 May you find ways to fill your own days with joy….

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Mantras January 10, 2013

Filed under: Blessings,Family — beatitudesofmylife @ 4:56 pm
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I used to think that a “Mantra” had to be a well-known phrase or quote.  “Less is more”… “You reap what you sow”… “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”… you know what I mean.  I felt odd not to have a go-to phrase that would keep me going or get me going… that is, until the death of my husband’s college roommate a few years ago showed me that I’d had mine all along.

My mantra is a childhood dinner blessing that my father would intone as we were sitting down to dinner.  We typically recited the traditional “God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food”… or the expanded version … “By His hands, we are fed, Give us Lord our daily bread”.  My sister was pretty young at this point, so it was just my brother and I who would roll our eyes anytime my dad wanted to say grace before the meal… we knew we were in for a paragraph and dinner would be delayed.  We weren’t happy about it, but I am so very glad he continued to say this special prayer, because it’s come to bring me great comfort in my adulthood.

Here’s the prayer that he would recite before we were allowed to eat:

Daddy'sBlessing

That’s really not all that long, is it?  Granted, to a 3 y/o and a 5 y/o, I’m sure it felt like an eternity.  The quicker prayer was our norm… our tradition… our ready blessing to say before we could dig into whatever mom had made for dinner that night.  It’s easy for kids to memorize and recite and it’s the one that’s most widely used so you don’t look like an outsider (or a weirdo) if you go to someone else’s house for dinner and they start saying a blessing before dinner.

I liked hearing the different spin that was added in an episode of The Big Bang Theory, when Sheldon goes home to East Texas and his mother insists that he say grace before eating… “Please know that we are truly grateful for every cup and every plateful

Still, it’s not that traditional prayer for grace that I recite anytime I need to pray.  I use the prayer that my father said… the one we thought he used to “torture” us as small children because it was so long… the one that can still to this day bring his voice into my subconscious.  This prayer centers me.  This prayer calms my mind.  This prayer brings me comfort that no other prayer, no matter the source, has ever done before.

I honestly don’t care why this prayer means so much to me…. I just know that it does.   When I recite it, I hear the words that my dad used… I take breaths where he breathed… I mimic his tone and cadence until it sounds (in my head) exactly like him.  My dad doesn’t say that prayer anymore.  Parkinson’s has challenged his speech and made it difficult to get through this prayer.  But when I say that prayer, my dad is whole and young, vibrant and healthy.  He’s my daddy who would have given the world for his little girl.  The actions of our collective past are irrelevant when I say that prayer… all is right with the world and God will provide.

This prayer has magical powers for me.  It brings me comfort from a time in my childhood when nothing bad happened that couldn’t be fixed by my parents.  It allows me to believe… and it calms my mind… and it centers me.

It’s the magic of God…

 

 
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