You know how Facebook alerts you to the posts you’ve made on this day in years past? Those memories typically have one of three effects on me…
First, I can read those and want to crack up – most of those memories involve my children and something wack they said that I wanted to document. For instance, not too long ago, I was reminded of a time when Emma and I were having ‘a moment,’ which was followed by her saying something to the effect of, “momma, your teeth are really brown, maybe it’s because of all the coffee you drink.” WOW.
Another feeling I can have is that of reminiscing on days in which I felt particularly stronger or weaker, depending on the circumstances of my life at the time. As I’m sure we all have, there were times in my life when I felt like She-Ra and could take on the world and nothing was going to stop me. I’ve also had times in my life in which I felt so weak that the slightest breeze could have toppled me.
The third, and most frequent feeling I have, which brings us to this post today, is that of melancholy. Just yesterday, I gave my students a list of ‘common’ words and asked them to come up with more descriptive synonyms. One of the common words was ‘sad.’ As we know, there are many shades of sadness. Many students came up with the word ‘depressed’ as a more descriptive synonym. But the synonym that resonates with me the deepest today is melancholy.
Dictionary.com defines melancholy as, “sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness.” This perfectly describes my feelings today.
Today is the day we set aside to ‘officially’ say our goodbyes to my sweet Grandma. I use quotes because is there ever an official goodbye to someone you love? Even if it’s for the shortest of times, ‘goodbye’ seems so…final. I know my grandma is in heaven…waiting for me.
So, why am I in a mood of ‘sober thoughtfulness?’ Well, because I was ironing Elijah’s shirt for the funeral today and I thought to myself how much grandma would appreciate the fact that I’m ironing…I mean, who irons anything anymore?!?!
Which brings me to my next thought…I am in the middle of purchasing a home for me and my kiddos. The home was built in the 60’s. Guess what my daughter found when we looked at the home? She found an ironing board in the wall. Oh, how my grandma would be so tickled to know that I have an ironing board, in the wall, in my new home. I can already think of all of the ways she would be redecorating or redesigning my home. The ironic thing? I do the same thing.
When we were looking at all. of. the. houses. to possibly buy, in every one, I thought to myself, ‘Oh, I would love to do (x, y, z) in this room.’
My grandma also loved to tell me all of the things I should do, the activities I should join, the ways I should make more friends. Oh how I loathed those conversations. But guess what? I do the EXACT same thing with my daughter.
That is one thing my grandma was good at…making friends. She was also good at volunteering…helping out…lending a hand…offering advice (solicited or otherwise…lol)…
She was an amazing lady. She wasn’t perfect, though. None of us are. I can remember the times when I would discipline my daughter, and she would just shake her head and do the ‘tsk, tsk’ thing that would drive. me. crazy.
I’m going to miss that.
This wonderful woman, who had such a full life…she held onto some wrongs that were done to her. She had hung onto them for far too long. I suspect she carried them with her right up until Jesus met her at the pearly gates and told her she didn’t have to carry the weight of that load anymore.
I have a tendency to hold a grudge too. I would love to learn from my mother how to let some things just roll off my back. I guess I’m a work in progress.
Most of the time (especially in public), I’m a pretty stoic person. I have learned how to ‘stuff’ things until I’m ready to deal with them. Oftentimes, I never reach the place where I’m ‘ready’ to deal with them…I get so caught up in the ‘what’s next on my list to accomplish,’ ‘I have so much to do.’ This does not a healthy woman make. We have to take the time to process our grief and our disappointments. It’s how we learn and how we grow. (Plus it’s just healthy for our souls)
However, as I type this in the privacy of my own home, surrounded only by my children and my dog, I am getting emotional.
I am emotional for all of the words left unsaid. All of the times I ‘intended’ to take my grandma to Goodwill – her favorite place – this summer. All of the times I held onto anger and frustration toward her, when she really just wanted things to be ‘perfect’ for me. I should have let those things go.
And then one day, you wake, and you learn that there is no more time. See, I think that’s the lesson she was trying to get me to see then and is still trying to get me to see even now, after her death. One day, there will be no more ‘one – days,’ and all you’ll be left with are the empty promises and regrets of the things left undone.
I’m teaching 8th grade English again this year. I have to tell you, as much as these kids make me crazy sometimes, this is really the BEST age. Anyway, our principal asked us to choose one word to be our focus for this year. One word that will carry us through the daily grind. One word that we can cling to when the crazy kicks in. One word that will sustain us when we want to give up.
My word is intentional.
I don’t want to be in this same ‘place’ in two years or even two months. I want to grow. I want to build deeper connections with other. I want to stretch myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. But so many times, it’s easier to just ‘go with the flow.’ I told my students last week when they were grumbling about how HARD a writing assignment I had given them was, that, ‘If it were easy everyone would do it.’
Guess I should live by my own words. Or eat them…historically, words you have to eat don’t taste very good.
If you’re still with me and you’re still reading…thank you. I was able to write all of this, pretty much non-stop, in about 15 minutes. So, thank you for reading my words.
If you’re still reading this, please, I beg you, help me to be accountable. Ask me how my one word living is going. Being held accountable is the only way we can grow.
If you’re still reading this and you want to be held accountable as well, leave me a comment with your one word. I can’t promise it will be this week or even next, but I will check in with you to see how your one word living is going.
Until next time, peace and love to you all.