happiness

Working through it

I wrote an exam for my health coaching coure this morning – got 91% thank you very much! – and am so close to being done.

This course has been the epitome of working through it. I started last summer when my life was relatively quiet, but the next year saw my life completely shift and in many ways shatter. It makes me feel like I’m working through the change to be able to finish this course and begin building my new life. It’s time.

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happiness

Remembering and being thankful

We celebrated thanksgiving with good friends of my parents today. These people reflect back to me (and the world) the same kind of love that my parents shone out.

This weekend has been full of contrasting emotions. Final internment for my parents, Banff and supper with my aunt, thanksgiving meal with family friends, and my kids and I have some trauma memories attached to thanksgiving from our old life. Highs and lows.

It’s a good reminder that life goes on and we keep making new memories every moment of our lives. We get to choose what kind of new memories we will make. I watched my kids be happier than I’ve seen them in ages spending time with him. I hadn’t realized how much they needed a man around to do things with, to laugh with, to experience things with. It brings a different kind of balance to our family and I’m grateful for that.

I am so full – in my belly and my soul. The feeling of contentment is a good one.

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happiness

Moments in Banff

We took my aunt to Banff for the afternoon and a thanksgiving supper at Melissa’s. I love that town and it was awesome to share it with her.

After an emotional day it was so nice to spend some family time recharging and enjoying each other’s company. Sharing memories from my dad was also much needed.

My kids laughed and relaxed like I haven’t seen them do in ages

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happiness

The internment

Today, on mom’s 78th birthday and the beginning of the thanksgiving weekend, we held an internment ceremony for mom and dad and placed their ashes in the ground at the Cochrane Cemetery.

All week long my heart and my tummy have been aching at the thought of putting the urn in the ground. Even though Dad has been gone for 3.5 years and mom for 8 months and we have already scattered ashes at the ranch, it still felt so final. However, it also felt so right. They are in the “old” part of the cemetery with family, friends, and neighbors – they are right beside my grandparents.

Standing there with our friends and family around us, it felt in the oddest of ways, like the perfect way to celebrate mom’s birthday today. She always loved a party and my uncle hosted a reception after the ceremony that was like a birthday party from heaven in her honour with dad by her side.

I am so grateful for this tribe. We need them, we need to remember we are part of something bigger both here on earth and spiritually.

After some much needed afternoon naps my sister and her crew and my aunt (thank goodness she’s here, it’s so good to have one of dad’s siblings here too) discovered it was the perfect snowman/fort day and pulled my kids into the fun. It was a great ending to an emotional day – to remind us that this place is still home and the place where we will continue to make memories and share love.

I actually feel less sad now than I did 24 hours ago.

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happiness

Not the how’s or the why’s

I had the most amazing acupuncture session today. Transformational is an understatement.

We talked a bit about my losses and my inability to understand it. I came to see how it’s so much less figuring out the how’s and the whys (which my brain really wants) and more allowing myself to surrender.

I don’t know how to surrender gracefully, but it’s something I’m learning. I understand myself on such a deeper level after that process today.

Then we picked up my aunt from the airport as she’s here for the weekend. I don’t get to spend enough time with dad’s side of the family and I’m really excited to get this opportunity, even if there’s some sad emotions we all are facing.

Sadness and joy together – always.

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happiness

The 9 pm curfew

Last night I shared with the kids the tweets about what life would be like for women if men had a 9pm curfew. Some of the responses were even a surprise for me – not that women would feel safer, could walk around at night, or walk in general without needing to always let someone know where they were etc. – those kinds of things have become such a normal part of my life that I don’t think much of it (sad as that is). What surprised me was that the men who were responding had no idea that this is how so many women feel.

How did they not know this? We are their mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, friends… I just assumed everyone knew this is how we felt.

The boy listened to it, didn’t seem that interested, I didn’t want to lecture – just have him hear it- and I thought that was the end of it.

He said today he talked with a group of his friends about what it would be like for women if men had a 9pm curfew. He said he was surprised at how many of his (male) friends immediately said how much safer the women would likely feel. It amazed him that these high school guys were as tuned into the feelings of women as they were – impressed me as well.

I don’t know that a 9pm curfew would change what needs to be changed – for us  the male who was the scariest of all lived with us so having him off the street wouldn’t really have helped us – but I love that we are talking about these things. I know my boy – he’s got a good heart and he’s sensitive and kind to women, men, animals, all of God’s creatures – but I think it’s so good that he’s listening and learning. This will hopefully be an entirely new generation of men and women who start learning to value and honour each other in more loving ways.

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happiness

Cranberry juice

We were grocery shopping this afternoon and I had a loud request for cranberry juice. Mom always kept the stuff by the gallon here when she was alive, it was her favourite drink, and so it was also that of my children. The boy (as he was pleading for me to buy some) said that one of his first memories was of sitting in the chair and Nana bringing him a glass of cranberry juice so they could sit and watch Mary Poppins.

The closer we get to this final internment the more I realize how far I have still to go in the grieving process for my mom. I mean, I’m still in the middle of grieving my dad. Yet here we are, and I’m glad they will be buried together as they belong together. I’m also glad we have all of these memories to share of the love they blessed us with.

Because it was so much more than cranberry juice. It was the gift of time and love that she gave the kids (and us). She loved having us all around, she loved sharing time with her grandchildren, she loved how they enjoyed doing things with her.

I’ve been thinking a lot about love, unconditional love, true love, lately. Whatever ups and downs, bumps in the road, or issues we had – I always knew that my parents loved me unconditionally. It’s a rare gift to grow up knowing that you are loved no matter what, and one that I am able to pass onto my kids because I know how to do it, because I was shown it and I was taught it. And the kids have the memories of that in little things like cranberry juice.

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