Most of you know that I rarely advocate looking back at your personal past. I do believe wholeheartedly that looking back is essential to your personal growth – just don’t get stuck there. Looking back on occasion is also essential to see how far you’ve come, and telling your past stories is also of great benefit when used to help others.
Lately, I’ve been looking back for another reason. I recently gained possession of my family mementos, photos, slides, and movies. I found my Nana’s Coconut Cake recipe, and my great grandmother’s DAR pin. I found my letters from summer camp, and my father’s US Navy personnel file.
I’ve had so much fun discovering so many treasures! I love the photos of my son and my nieces & nephews, and, my siblings’ report cards – my heart has been so full since starting this “family historian” project.
And then, a week ago today, my father passed away.
(Let me just tell you right here and right now, even though you may think you are prepared and ready for that, you’re not. You are just not. Thanks to dementia, my father has been “gone” for many years. So many years in fact that I mistakenly thought I was ready for him to go. Oh, I was ready for him to not be suffering. I was ready for my family to have relief that he is no longer suffering. But I was so NOT ready for him to physically be gone.)
Anyway, then I looked through our family photos for a different reason – I was on a mission to find all the photos of my Dad that I could.
For days, I sat in my shop every evening looking through box after box. I laughed. I cried. I smiled. I remembered. I found treasure after treasure.
These last few weeks have been rough, but I’ve been on the receiving end of so much love, care and support. Through tears and laughter, I’ve managed to put one foot in front of the other.
“My People” have called, texted, sent cards, and, sent messages. Some of them check on me every day. Some check on me a few times a day.
I’ve learned a lot in the last several months about who My People are. Some I’ve known for years, and some I’ve known for a few months. Some know me very well, and some barely know me at all.
During one of the conversations over the weekend, I said, “I’m at peace but I’m just empty. I’m not numb. I just feel empty.” It was suggested to me that it might be helpful for me to look back and make a list of the “major” events that have shaped the last five years of my life. So, I did:
- One of my favorite people committed suicide
- Sold my beloved Whispering Winds Farm
- Bought a house in a new town and moved
- Changed jobs
- Got married
- Euthanized my favorite horse ever
- Divorced my mother
- My Dad no longer recognized me
- Very sick for many months due to mold/mildew in my office
- Euthanized my favorite dog ever
- Discovered my husband conned me and married me for money
- Found out some truly disturbing things about my estranged husband’s past and separated from said husband
- Sold house and moved
- Bought Daidream Believer Farm
- My “second mother” died
- My friend and beloved trail riding partner died
- My “cheerleader” and natural horse care guru friend died
- My Dad died
Well, no shit, I’m tired and I’m empty!
And thanks to My People it’s okay that I feel empty. I have My People. They are here for me. They understand why I’m tired and I’m empty – some of them have lived it with me. One even said, “I’ve been waiting for you to crash and burn”.
I’ve said it a hundred times over the last 18 months or so, “I get by with a little help from my friends“. It’s a Universal Law – if you allow it, your friends will get your through. Find Your People. Or not. Because they’ll find you. Trust me. They will.
When they do, you’ll know what I mean about Your People.
Thank God for My People.