What a year brings

A year ago this morning at 2am I got the call from Tanya at the hospital that mom had let go and gone to join dad in heaven.

I remember our middle of the night drive in when I turned to my sister and said we are orphans! And she responded with Im too young to be an orphan! I totally agreed. I don’t feel equipped to not have parents.

But what a lot I’ve learned in a year.

First I learned how much mom did, how much she helped us grieve, and how much estate work she did when dad died. I felt like my sister and I were a part of that process, but now what we’ve been doing it ourselves I realize how much mom did. And how she was there to lean on when we grieved.

I’ve learned how important my sister is to me. I don’t know how I would have made it through without her to cry and laugh with. I feel like our friendship has deepened in a way it wouldn’t have without sharing this grief together.

I’ve learned how fortunate I am to come from this tribe. My family and my friends have carried me through some dark days and brightened my smile on some lighter ones. We cannot do this thing called life alone.

I’ve learned how incredibly important my faith is.

I’ve learned how to say goodbye whether I want to or not.

And I’ve learned that at the end of the day all there is is love 💕. The rest is just noise.


Embrace the season

We put up our tree today. I’m still going back and forth between knowing Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and knowing that this year is my first Christmas as ah orphan (just an old one).

The kids make me remember why I want to celebrate Christmas. We all need the reminder of the birth of Christ and the love of family.

And as soon as the kitchen was Christmas decorated we felt the Christmas spirit. It’s all about the love


Out hometown

More and more the kids are expressing how at home they feel here. They’ve said that previously they always felt like there was no point in putting down roots since they knew we were always moving.

But now, here, in cochrane, they’ve built their own tribe. They’ve got the family one they were lucky enough to be born into, and my lifelong friends, but they’re making their own circle as well.

The girl said today on her way to a party how she now feels like no matter where life takes her she’s got a home here.

Thank goodness for that. We have been seeking grounding and stability for most (all) of their lives. Funny how we had to return to what we left to find it.


Explain yourself

I was telling the kids today how someone close to me had spent a lot of time trying to explain their actions – maybe justify their actions is a better way to put it. The boy looked at me and said

You should never have to explain your actions to someone else. If you’re doing the right thing – there’s never any explanation for your actions needed. Look at Grandpa – he never had to explain or justify what he did or who he was – he lived with integrity and you never had to doubt that what he said and what he did was the right thing.

I was so proud of my kid for picking up on that and understanding what it means to live by your word. I’m so grateful that my kids had my dad as a role model for as long as they did.


The power of friends

I spent some time today reconnecting with some girlfriends. We all get busy and have responsibilities and other priorities, but there’s nothing like good friends to make a soul smile.

I’m continuously grateful that we are home and I have my lifelong tribe around me again. It was good for me to learn how to make friends during our gypsy years, but man am I happy we are back where we belong.

Sometimes we need people to help hold us up, sometimes we need to be the ones doing that for others. But however it’s going, we need people we can count on in our lives.


Historical preservation day

We set up at our community hall this morning and began our project of collecting community photos.

I had so much fun hearing some of the people come in and share old stories and memories of the hall and early ranch life out here. My cousin and I spent hours looking through old pictures and sharing our own thoughts about how our family has grown and who we are.

I’m so grateful I was able to be part of this process.

Even found an old wedding photo of my parents from 1967 in an old box