my evolution

our last photograph together, at the italian bakery on killingsworth several years ago

There’s a shadow hanging over me, Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

with exception of the realization of the loss of my most favorite winter hat of all time, my purple stripy woolly hat with the tassles that always makes me smile, today has been made up of all the rest a girl could ask for. waking up in my own bed, dog still fast asleep in the corner of the room, hearing my friend staying over giggling as she talks to a new beau, with all the quiet and peace i love about my little casa.

i’ve gone away and returned a million times before but last night when i got home, it felt different. being gone this last week felt different. i walked in the door and let my girl wiggle and waggle and kiss and spin in her excitement, and it felt like time was limited. it felt like there wouldn’t be many more moments like this with my daisy girl. hugging her over and over when i got home and now, as i sit here on the sofa as dusk approaches, her breath softly going in and out as she sleeps on the other end, i hold these memories tight.

this morning i had breakfast with a great friend who came into my life this year and really has become like a sister to me. absolutely adore her, and she teaches me so much. she kicks my ass when it needs to be kicked and loves me unconditionally. after some harrowing experiences with family that caused me to doubt myself so intrinsically, she has helped me to see how irrational their actions were and help me learn how to ask for things and not feel bad about it. although it still is painful for me to ask for help on so many levels, as i’ve so frequently felt i’d have to negotiate to get time with people i was related to, i feel like i’m making those baby steps necessary to healing a wound i never realized was affecting me in so many ways.

it is the holidays and with the holidays comes a mixture of hope and hurt for me. it is when loss is a reminder like an icy breeze, yet new beginnings keep you warm. last year the holiday was a complete loss, with the volume of his death so loud all i could do was cover my ears and try to make myself as small as possible, so that just maybe the aching would stop. a year later and i have felt the gifts all around me – fought quite a battle this year and while i’ve got the scars to show for it, i’ve also found my life to be so utterly transformed. certain individuals have just allowed me to exhale, and i find that the people i share my time with are nothing short of exactly what i need – easy to be with, easy to laugh with, easy to share myself with.

this afternoon i took a walk in the mist, bundled up warm, billie holiday in my ears, and felt. i felt all the good coming into my life and with that comes a warmth that i have never been able to describe. when your karma is good, you feel it in every step you take. you find people reaching out to you, whether it be in conversation at the grocery store (the number of people asking me what i was baking today while i was gazing over bittersweet varieties, i wanted to see if i had a sign on my back…) or as you walk through the neighborhood. i could feel this wave over me, saying, honey, you are doing the right thing.

do you know how amazing that feeling is???? to know you are doing what you need to be doing? that no matter how foggy the future is, you know you’re going to be okay? i look back and i see my father’s eyes, i type here with tears in my eyes feeling his presence all around me and so wickedly gasping with the pain, yet i know, i KNOW he has taken a new role in my life, looking out for me in death as i wish he had in life.

i want to tell him so much. i want to tell him of the stars in my eyes and i want to go shoot the breeze over coffee and pastry and i want to stroll down the street with him to my grandmother’s home and sit in the back yard, continuing the conversation. he’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone. it echoes in my head as i remember walking from the room, calling the rabbi at 2am to help me from walking into oncoming traffic.

When my father died, I moved into the space he left inside me and found out it was where I belonged. ~Farland Fish

and somehow i made it. made it out of the most gutwrenching moments. but it never quite goes away. just on the rainy days when you let yourself think of those things that were and the life that you had to leave behind. but releasing him into the beyond released me in so many ways, and while the entire family dissipated, i found a sense of family in my friends from all their amazing and unique walks of life that has kept me so grounded, letting me float while all the while keeping me close, safe, treasured.

this was a rambler of a posting today, but as with all my writing, it’s what i need to do to find my center, to realize what is unsaid, to speak what i cannot describe, to help forgive myself each day, to embrace both sides of me – the one who reads in the corner, thinks too much for her own good at times, can’t stop writing….and the one living life out loud, laughing and dancing and letting the chips fall where they may. last night one of my friends gave me this burst of hope with some things she noticed about me, my friendships, my career. and i felt visible. she saw me. she knew me. when you allow yourself to be truly visible, vulnerability be damned – stare at it straight in the face and then go make cookies.

And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed. ~ maya angelou


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