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

loving notes

I had an emotional moment in church today. I feel like when I’m there, and we are talking about love, and singing songs about hope and faith, it makes all the strength I’ve been faking melt away and I get very vulnerable. I was holding in my tears (badly) when the girl passed me a note she’d written. She wrote of how people come and go but the love is eternal. It was so sympathetic and genuine it made my heart smile.

I’ll be glad in some ways when we have done this final internment, but it also feels so…. final at the same time.

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happiness

8 months after

It has been 8 months since Mom died. It feels both like forever and that it’s impossible to believe it’s been that long. Seasons have changed, houses have changed, people have changed, I know for a fact that time has marched on. I watched a video the other day not realizing mom was in it – that familiar voice that I haven’t heard in what feels like so long.

It’s all part of life, this death crap, and we need to embrace the love that we received, but also the love that we have right now. Those memories are strong and I hold them dearly – but this moment in time – right now – it’s important. It’s vital we keep walking through the mourning process so that we fully embrace the beauty of the lives we are living right now, in the present moment. I think both mom and dad would like that very much.

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happiness

Light that fills your soul

I have been reminded lately how important it is to do small acts of kindness, how much it means when someone goes out of their way to bring sunshine and light to your life. It doesn’t have to be big, earth changing moments – those are nice – but it’s the small ones that add up. When someone looks at your life and sees small holes, gaps that need to be filled, and they know how to put a little bit of light in those dark spaces – it’s amazing the difference that makes.

And that stuff is contagious. The more light that fills my soul the more light I have to shine in the world – and I believe we are all that way. If we absorb gifts of love we radiate the same light back out into the world.

It’s easy to get trapped in the darkness, but it really doesn’t take much light to make that darkness go away.

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