Hi mum. Hi dad.
It's been awhile.
Ten long years.
You haven't called. You haven't written. You haven't stopped by. Would love for you to just show up at my door one day. ding dong... and there'd you'd be. Big smiles, tears in your eyes, "We haven't got long," you'd say "but we just wanted to stop by and give you a hug." And I'd fly into your arms and sob.
So, where are you, anyway? My kids keep asking. I used to think I knew for sure, but I don't know anything for sure anymore. Are you with us always? resting with your FatherGod? Reborn? Are you waiting somewhere?
I wish I knew. It would be great comfort to know for sure.
I know you didn't just disappear, because there were those 5 white doves on the lawn that night... and there were those two times I woke up and saw you there watching me...
I'm doing good. Everything's changed since you left, though. Everything.
I chose Brent after you left. For real. To be my everything, just like you said. I learned what real love is, and also what it isn't. I thought I knew all those years. But to be honest, 10 years ago I had no idea. I've learned just how precious little I truly knew. and still know. about anything. But you knew that. You tried to tell me, but I couldn't hear it then. But really, thank you for all the things you tried to teach me. So many things you said have come to me in powerful ways over the last 10 years and grabbed on in my soul, somehow. I'm so grateful for everything you were, everything you shared, everything... Everything. I wish I knew then so I could've told you, shown you, but ... well, I'm telling you now.
I've learned how powerful fear is. 10 years ago I don't think I'd ever been truly afraid. That night I fell to the ground when I heard you'd gone... My first thought was that I would die too, that I couldn't possibly go on without you... Fear nearly swallowed me whole that night... But somehow those last words from my big brother "Tyler and Silka are gone too..." saved me. I learned that night the power of perspective -- it felt like I'd lost everything, but those last words put it all into perspective for me, and I knew that if he could go on with what he'd lost, I could surely find some strength too... and I did. But that dark fear definitely seeded in my soul that night and it feels like I'm only just now climbing out past the tipping point away from the side of always choosing fear first, closer closer to the side of love. Over the years every time I was challenged, my baby had a convulsion or had crooked legs or I had unexplained pains, I'd choose fear first. Fear would nearly swallow me all over again, just like that night so long ago... But somehow love would wiggle its way in, just like those white doves on the lawn that night, and the fear would disappear, and joy would return.
I do think fear is lessening its hold on me as time goes on.
It's all about balance, isn't it? I didn't know about balance then. I thought I just knew things. Now I know I didn't. and don't. Surely I've learned how precious and tenuous life is. And happiness too. I've learned how completely fear wrecks all of that and how completely gratitude fixes it. Each time I'd reach for fear, in that same instant I'd lose all of my joy. I could see myself doing it... but slowly slowly slowly I'm learning to take a deep breath, ground myself, and choose love instead. Slowly but surely. If nothing else I've learned how entwined love and fear are and how completely devoid of joy the side of fear is.
I'm learning what brings me joy, what fills my cup, what grounds me, what keeps me on the side of love. I'm learning how powerful connection is for me and how lonely disconnection is. I don't know much about that yet, but enough to know that I want and need to stay connected with myself, and Brent, and the children if I want to hold onto my authenticity. And I've learned the power of authenticity and that it's the only way I want to live. Looking good, being right, being admired... it all pales to the power of being authentic, being my word, keeping enough of my energy to nurture us first, being grounded in my own power... I'm learning.
It feels like I've lived my whole life in the ten years since I last heard your voices, since I last hugged and was hugged by you, since I last felt your hand around mine... The girl who travelled the world, sipped tea with the orangutans in Singapore, dove for conch shells and rode elephants in Malaysia, rode the trains and bartered for yards of silk in Thailand, hiked the Himilayas and rode camels in the Cholistan, studied giraffes in Africa, strode around buying cheese in Amsterdam, discovered her strength in Florida, fished the rivers in Alaska and all that... feels like someone else. I see photos of her, with you two usually close by, big grins on all your faces, and I think she still lives that life somewhere, with the both of you. I wonder what adventures you're all having now? Yes, that wild-hearted girl is forever young, forever daughter to the most amazing parents there ever was...
Meanwhile I am 41 years old!! The child of yours seems completely separate from this 40 something me that has emerged... The me that embraces my role as wife to an amazing man who adores me, is grateful for me, admires me for the me I truly am... while the me that is juggles three incredible children, learning, laughing, loving, living, growing up together... while I plant my garden and decorate my soul and build my soil, searching for ways to make more more more compost and cutting flowers to bring sunshine inside our hearts and home... while I struggle with finding time to keep my body healthy and moving and strong... while I search for ways to hang onto the woman that I am, nurturing her along with the mother and wife and friend that I'm more familiar with...
I don't know. Would you know me now? Would you still see the girl from then in the me that is now? I wonder...
Well, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, I hope you know that I love you, that you are a big part of our lives, that my children know you and adore you and miss you too...
And hey, if you're ever in these parts, do drop by! We'd love to see you.
xoxoxo, your d.d.