This week’s mantra: Be here now. Trying to focus on the here and now and not get too caught up in the tangling possibilities of the future.
Death has many effects on people. When we find out that someone we love will no longer be able to answer our phone calls or hug us when we are lonely, our minds, our souls, and our hearts goes into overdrive.
Our mind has us examine everything we have ever been taught. It is in our mind that we replay every single second with our loved one that we can remember. It is with our mind that we picture their faces and their smile and hope that our mind will not ever let these images become faint. It is with our mind that we figure out the arrangements that must be made, the things that goes here and the people who get what. We must somehow work out a way to survive without this person. We must think of ways in which we can continue on without them. We are forced to think of a future world without them and are completely made to reinvent any idea of our lives. Our mind tells us that while nothing will be the same again we will be able to go on. We will find a strategy, we will compute, we will go on.
Our soul feels lost. Our soul searches for an answer late at night through blurry eyes from a higher power. Our soul feels empty, which feels like someone has managed to scoop out the deepest of your insides. Our soul silently prays for a sign, any sign, just to know that their soul has not left ours, and this is a process that will haunt you for the rest of your own life if you do not find an answer. Our souls search within ourselves to see the ways in which our loved one has changed us. The way in which they have inspired us and pushed us and saved us. Our soul looks for this and always seems to find it. Our soul feels our loved one in the warm summer sun, or the way the flowers grew just right this spring or the way a ladybug seems to always be near. Once our soul doesn’t feel empty anymore, once it finds the connections we have made to their soul we are able to feel ok again. Our soul searches for an answer, our soul fills us and gives us hope when our mind tells us they are gone. Our soul knows that they will never truly be.
Our heart takes us on another journey. One filled with questions and longing. Our heart makes us hug our children and little tighter at night and reminds us to pray before we sleep. It makes eggs and toast taste extra delicious and it makes us rethink the fight we had with our significant other. It makes us call up that person that we seemed to push away and it makes us crave forgiveness for our many past mistakes. It makes us cry and show emotion when we normally keep to ourselves. It makes us hug and love much harder than we have in a long time. It is our heart that forces us to realize the uncertainty of time and also the way in which we have decided to fill it. Our heart makes us forgive our friend and give a parent a second chance. Our heart makes us notice the way our lives have ended up and gives us hope to change it. It is with our heart that we see how the person would have wanted us to live. While our mind reprograms and our soul searches, it is our heart that tells us the right way to go. Our heart that takes a death and a loss and uses it to reshape our lives.
Have you ever wondered why you remember little tiny details from your life, usually lasting only a few moments and that seem to hold no real value? Because, if you are like me, I cant seem to remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, was it toast or, maybe cheerios. I mean its rather clear why I can graphically recall flipping over my handlebars and skidding down the drive way at the ripe age of four or the moment when I was eleven and my mother sat us down to tell us she had cancer, but what about the tiny, seemingly random moments that you can not seem to forget. Why do I remember being six and my brother being three and “riding” our magic carpets (our blankies laying on the floor of my childhood house). Why do I perfectly recall sitting in the passenger seat of my grandparents old, roughly worn truck seat and singing a christmas song with my grandfather. Its so clear that I can picture sitting there, my small hands covered in white mittens and riding the smooth country road to his house. Why do I recount the smell of buttery popcorn being made on the stove of our tiny house. I can see my beautiful mother standing there telling us it’s almost ready and her laughing about a joke that has drifted along with my memory. Why can I see myself riding down the block, wind in my hair, pink handlebars and all, on my way to my very best childhood friends house. Why do I remember laying in the backyard, the sun hitting us just right as my brother and I lay in the warm green grass. These random things I can not forget. Will they show me something about myself in the future, did I do something life changing without knowing, will I be shown these moments five people you meet in heaven style. Maybe we all remember these tiny moments because, while they were small, they were perfect. Maybe we felt an enormous amount of love, or happiness, or just flat out joy. As I grow older I cant think of a better afternoon than laying in the grass with my brother, and what I wouldn’t give to be sitting in that cold, old truck with my warm, perfect grandfather. Memories are all we have, as we get older. People leave us, you move away from home, and the world never ceases to change. Memories are what ground us, what inspire us and what makes us feel at home. While most are random and seem to hold no true value, if you think about it, most of these memories are perfect. Simple, short, and perfect.
My rearview mirror fills,
With a skyline I once knew,
Though I know the skyline remains the same,
What’s different can’t be viewed.
The memories fill my mind,
As I take a look around,
Of the trees that changed from green to gold and all the buildings that don’t make a sound,
A smile creeps upon my face,
As I think of our time in this place,
Our laughter that once filled the streets,
When time came easy and love came free,
With every brick I step upon,
Your memories fill my mind,
Of a time that was so magical it forever changed my life.
So when you’re down and lonely,
Or you happen to stumble across downtown,
Remember though surrounding change,
What we have remains all the same,
A time when the future was only tomorrow,
The past just yesterday,
A time when we came together and simply enjoyed one another,
The skyline slips out of view,
As I drive away,
But the happiness we once shared and a smile still remains.
Who knows exactly where we are headed in life. All I know are these things. All I know is that I want to move people and more importantly move myself. I want to love on a large scale and love myself on a larger one. I want to do things with so much heart that no one can repay me for.I want to travel the entire world and in turn be thankful for everything in mine. I want to be remembered as the girl who was always smiling and the one who never gave up.I want to forgive the people whom don’t ask for it. I want to write until my hands wont allow me to do so anymore and I want to take photographs and videos to remember the wonderful life I have been given when my memory doesn’t cut it. I want to make my family proud and more importantly I want to be proud of myself. I may not know where I am headed exactly, but I sure do know what I’m after.
They were already there when we found a place to sit at the other end of the long worn down leather bench. I sat on the bench and you sat across from me just as she sat on the bench and her husband sat across from here. A simple bench length separated a lifetime. As they were eating and chatty quietly a couldn’t help but to sneak a peek. I began to see you and I at that age, I began to see our future flash through my mind like a reel of a movie. In five minutes the extension of our lives played for me like a prime time movie. I saw myself walking down the aisle in an overpriced lace gown toward you. I saw myself tucked quietly beside you in our large and cozy bed. I envisioned you and I dancing around our new home with smooth wood floors and a colorful doorway. I saw us drinking wine in Italy and taking pictures by the Eiffel tower. I saw our hair begin to grey and I felt the way your dark skin began to feel after holding mine for 50 years. I watched our lives, or rather my hopes and dreams of our lives play in rapid speed across the well traveled free way of my mind. When reality forced my derailment off the free way, I finished with a look at the people on the other side of the bench, hoping that one day, 70 years from now that would be you and I.
During her soft discussion with her husband over lunch, she couldn’t help but to take a sneak peek at the young couple at the other end of the bench. While her husbands voice began to tailor off her mind went into rewind. She saw the first day she met him on the crystal summer day on that beach in July of 1940. She saw the long days and nights she cried over her bed waiting and praying for him to return from war. She saw the way he grabbed her by the waist and gave her that kiss that would forever burn on her lips, in his sailor uniform the first day he got home. Her memories flew through the time he got down on one knee on that beach 5 years later and asked for her hand. She saw herself walk down the aisle in her mothers soft dress and the new home they saved up for. She saw their first child being born and the over worked hand that he still holds hers with. The reality of the restaurant snapped her back into the world at hand and stopped her black and white rewind reel. She stopped her husband mid speech and held his hand. She gave him the same look that she gave him that blue sky day they met so many years ago.
Each couple secretly sneaked peeks of each other from the ends of that smooth leather bench over lunch that day. One woman looked at the end of the bench and her mind flew into fast forward, one into rewind. Both not knowing that the other is wishing for their beautiful lives.