Saturday, January 18, 2014

Evolving from Grayscale to Full Color

2014 has begun.  New year.  New beginnings.

I haven't written here for awhile.  It isn't that I haven't been processing but the thought of putting it all into words seemed haphazard with an extra dose of messiness.  It still feels this way but the need to get it out and on "paper" became stronger.  So here I sit, with my laptop, trying to put into words what has transpired over the last few months.

Interestingly, today is the 18th of January...two months since my last post.

December.  The funeral home we used invited us to an evening where we honored Dad, recognizing how his presence would be missed throughout the Christmas season.  It was surprisingly beautiful (although I didn't really know what to expect) and at the same time, it ripped off the bandage to my grief / mourning and the rawness of my heart felt exposed once again.

The day that followed seemed wasted with tears and sadness.  I know it was really another step for me to take but the day passed with the accomplishment of tear-stained cheeks and recognizing that I felt completely unbalanced with a head that was ready to move on and a heart that felt stuck.

That Sunday, prayer was offered for those who would be experiencing the holidays with a loss.  I stood.  And was blessed with my Father meeting me in my unbalanced, raw state.  A number of people surrounded me but there was one who shared that God would be like a gyroscope for me - providing balance regardless of the direction my steps took.  It wasn't like the skies cleared and all was new again, but I will say that a new level of peace, with a renewed hope, filled each day that followed.

Christmas.  We hosted.  So much could be said and shared but it isn't all relevant and really, this post is already super long.  Anyway, with hosting came the comfort of following a schedule and blessing my family.  I had to excuse myself one time to be still and breathe.  Dinner time, in the midst of the conversation, stories and smiles, I was struck with recognizing that I missed my Dad's voice.  He would have loved our meal of chicken parmesan, pasta with kalamata olives, meatballs, spinach casserole, broccoli and cauliflower casserole, bread from Brooklyn, etc. and I missed his words thanking all those that contributed to the yumminess and joy of sharing time with each other.  I missed his laughter that would start as a slow boil and then spill into everything we did that day.  I missed his smile and the sparkle in his eye as we would make eye contact at dinner and exchange "I love you's".  I missed him and needed to take a moment away from everything and just breathe.  So I did.  In the bathroom.  Because really, that is sometimes the only place where you can have privacy when your house is filled with people.

New Years came and I wanted to look forward to 2014.  I embraced it but still felt, I don't know how to describe it...detached?

Couple the start of the new year with reading.  In the series, I connected to the one of the main characters in a few different ways - the most tangible being the strength that she grasped to and dug deep for in the midst of all the yuck that she was surrounded with. At one point in the midst of despair and a sense of hopelessness, she experiences a revelation inside of her and silently declared that she wanted to live.  The reality of death surrounded her and yet there was this spark inside that was crying for her to live and I connected to that.

I wasn't about to die.  Not literally.  But I recognized that the level I was living at was not where I wanted to be.  I was still living in what I will label survival mode.  I don't think it was wrong.  I actually think it was fitting since I was surviving life after my Dad died.  But I finally recognized that there was this small spark inside of me that was waiting to be recognized, wanting more for my life.

And that is the place where I am now.  I still miss my Dad.  That will never go away.  But if I want to live in the present - living in full color rather than existing in grayscale, it is life without him being physically present in my every day.

I see him in my minds-eye.  Laughing with his broad smile and twinkling blue eyes.  That's my Dad.  And he would never want me to walk away from the joys that life can bring.  The life that is still there for me to live and experience.  In fullness.  No - he'd be cheering me on, reminding me that I can do anything that I set my mind to and that with God, I've got everything that I need to be victorious in my journey.

The next leg of my journey has begun and is set with the destination of living life out loud and in full color and so I lift my foot, regardless of the mixture of my internal emotions, I know I'm empowered, and therefore, I put my foot down, taking the next step with my eyes wide open and a heart ready to live.

If the sky could draw what living in full color could look like...

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