I am a beautiful glass vase that keeps being filled with flowers that then rot and die.
Now the vase has been dropped and broken into shards of glass. The pieces are uneven and sharp. Some are beautiful. Many are ugly. It might not ever fit back the way it was before. But that’s a good thing.
It’s a crazy mess and I want to share some shards with you.
*Floating down the Truckee River with my crazy mom, the beautiful Liz and all the kids. Water fights with strangers. Laughing so hard as we crashed into things like rocks, rafts and bridges.
*Watching my daughter lose it. Completely. Screaming and calling me the worst mom in the world while people floated by on their rafts. I may or may not have wished to drown at that point.
*Getting a text that one of my oldest, dearest friends, my dear Angy, her mom Gloria was in the hospital. My arms literally ached to hold her and be there for her.
*Finally being with Angy as she had to see her mom like that. Hearing words that nobody wants to hear. Feeling like the most important thing in the world was being there.
*Knowing I could trust my mother and my friend Liz with my children, so I could release that and be present.
*Seeing the strength, courage and poise with which Angy handled things. She has been and always will be a beacon of light in my life. She is a truly amazing person.
*Seeing her father Earl broken as he couldn’t bear to see his love like that. The love they shared was so intense and present that I felt it was a physical thing I could see.
*Sitting with Earl as he told me story after story about Gloria – how they met, courted, fragments of memories they shared. “I was never nothin’, but she made me feel like somethin’.” Those words are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard in my life.
*Holding my friend as her mother died. Feeling that intense pain like a physical stab. A pain we all have to endure over and over. Knowing that just being with her, holding her, crying with her, was some comfort. Feeling our humanity and fragility together.
*Watching my son learn to shoot a BB gun with Earl. As they knocked down cans in the backyard, it was like time was stopped. I was a kid again, but I had my boy with me.
*Trying to understand my husbands’ reaction and realizing that some pain never goes away. Some things can’t be fixed.
*Knowing my grandfather is battling cancer and that I won’t be able to be there with him. Hurting that I can’t see his beautiful eyes in person again or hear him play his guitar and sing.
*Making the decision to send my mom to see her dad. Makes no sense financially, but seeing the tears in her eyes as I told her to pack and that she was going…worth everything.
*The kids and I drove her to San Francisco for her flight. It was stressful, the kids had to pee, their was traffic and we almost didn’t make it. But she did. She is there. She is probably hugging her dad right now as I type this. That makes my heart sing.
*Realizing it was 3:30 p.m. in San Francisco and that there was no way I wanted to sit in traffic for hours. So, with tank tops and not much of a plan, we parked at Fisherman’s Wharf. We walked around and froze. Ended up on an amphibious vehicle. It drove around S.F. then drove into the bay. Kids got to steer. Talked with the sweetest couple from Denmark celebrating their 10th anniversary. Love was pouring out of them.
*Sitting in my friend Sondra’s backyard drinking coffee and hearing our kids play together. Knowing she will be by my side always. She loves all of my pieces..and I hers.
*Coming to terms with my own unhappiness and realizing that I can’t fix everything. Breaking down and discovering that I try to make everyone happy, but that I cannot. I can only really make me happy and I’m failing. I’m not responsible for others happiness. Still not sure I believe that.
*Seeing how many people care for me. They are coming out of the woodwork and they are all saying the same thing, “so glad you are back, we missed you.”
*Making a plan to work on my strength. I need to get strong, physically and mentally. It’s the path I need to be on. It’s the hard work I need to do.
*Playing babies with my daughter, seeing her love and care for my old doll Nathaniel wearing clothes and diapers from Cooper’s baby wardrobe. She can be so gentle and kind.
*Ironing my beautiful, white tablecloth for Gloria’s celebration of life tonight. Spraying it with starch and fighting all the wrinkles. It will be filled with flowers and pictures. Nobody will see the imperfections. They will see the beauty of the cloth. The beauty of life. The beauty of Gloria and the love she inspired.
So, those are the shards – glorious, sharp, jagged and uneven. I’m fitting them back together. It’s going to be a beautiful, strong vase that you can count on. It will just take time.