In February, much of Texas experienced one of the coldest storms in our state’s history. A strange mix of historically low temperatures, rain, ice, and snow ran our state into the ground. Our power grid failed, and most of Texas was left in the bitter cold for days. My mom and I lost power for about 40 hours total. We were fortunate enough to have a gas fireplace and stove, so we could huddle around the fire to keep warm and cook the food that was ironically thawing in our dark freezer.
The Art of Patience and Compassion: 3 Mistakes I Keep Making and 5 Ways I Continue to Try to Master Them
With everyone still mostly cooped up due to the pandemic, I’m seeing more and more people frustrated from feeling trapped indoors. In fact, right here in my own home, after almost a year of staying home, I find myself truly longing to escape to a solo retreat somewhere. It’s not that I don’t love my roommate (who also happens to be my mother). It’s just- the truth is, living with and caring for family members, especially elderly loved ones, requires an enormous amount of patience and compassion, and sharing spaces all day these days just seems to exacerbate this situation.
One of my 25 tips for dealing with aging parents is to read the super-short book "Gone From My Sight". The book, which is really more of a booklet, is literally 13 easy-to-read pages. The subject within, however, is not an easy one. This book is about the realities of death and what to expect from our loved ones during their last few months and through their final hours.
I have a dear friend, Shane. We met when I went to work at my very first ever “real” job. He’s brilliant and clever and the only person I’ve ever known who could have been a cast member on Saturday Night Live. I love his colorful outlook on life and the fact that he told me I favored Martina McBride.
"Grief is Love with Nowhere to Go."
Dolly Parton always helps complete my holidays. It’s not really Christmas if you don’t tear up to “Hard Candy Christmas” at least once, is it? My mom and I recently watched her Christmas on the Square movie. Towards the end of the movie, an angel-in-training softly states, “Grief is love with nowhere to go.” I looked at Mom, and she looked at me. Having both gone through our share of grief, why hadn’t we thought of this before? I know grief is love, but I’ve never thought about how this typically wonderful emotion causes so much pain simply because it’s trapped inside our hearts.
If I could hug you in person, I would. Instead, I’m sending virtual hugs to all of you. This time of year is already exhausting, but for so many of you, your holiday world looks different this year. Or, maybe it looks like it did last year, only it’s harder now.
Even though it’s been years since my father passed away, I am still frustrated by the fact that I do not have access to his wealth of knowledge and random trivial facts. The man just seemed to know something about everything. I’m even more concerned with the thought of losing my mom and all her collective wisdom. What would I do if my mom died unexpectedly tomorrow? What support systems would I use to help with those tough life questions- the ones only older people and over-sized cartoon owls seem to be able to answer?
For months I’ve been writing steadily as a creative outlet, but my writing hasn’t really had a collective theme or a home. I’ve also been pondering my life’s journey- where I’ve been and where I’m headed. (And who isn’t pondering everything? It’s 2020, after all.)
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