Monthly Archives: April 2014

To the Girl at the Bar

“He’s not your prince charming if he doesn’t make sure you know that you’re his princess.”
― Demi Lovato

Dear Girl from the Bar,

I’m sure you don’t remember me.  But I certainly remember you.  In fact, I don’t think a day has gone by since I saw you over a month ago that you haven’t crossed my mind.

“Saw you?”  Hmmm.  That’s probably not the right term.  “Stalked you” might be more like it.  I could not stop watching you.  You commanded my attention and it has taken me weeks to figure out why that is.  That’s why I’m writing you this letter today.

womaninbarI’m sure you didn’t notice me.  I was the girl sitting with the other wives/girlfriends of the band.  We weren’t typical attendees of this particular bar, so we sort of grouped together in our little corner – just there to watch the guys in our lives do what they love.  But I couldn’t help but notice you.  I’m not sure at what point it was that you caught my attention exactly.  I just know that at some time during the night, I started watching you paying an awful lot of attention to some guy.

Now, see, I’m a people watcher. When I first noticed this attention you were giving this guy, I assumed you were a couple.  Why wouldn’t I? You were draped across him, rubbing his back, standing right next to him…things like that.  But the more I watched, the more I started to see that my initial assumption was incorrect.

This guy just flat out didn’t like you.

I know that may sound harsh, but I have to call it like I see it.  The more you touched him, the more he pulled away.  The more you asked him to dance, the more he seemed to not want to.  You would practically barge your way into his line of sight, and he would physically turn his body so that he wasn’t looking at you.

Now, I know that sometimes it’s easier to see things when you’re “out of the box” so to speak. I know that maybe my vantage point called for a better view than yours, but surely you couldn’t have been entirely immune to this treatment.  Could you?

I even saw you kiss him at one point, for Heaven’s sake. The guy was completely taken aback.  By this point, you had become a laughing stock among he and his friends. Once you turned your back to him, he made a show of wiping the kiss off of his face and laughing with the guys about it.  I don’t know how else to tell you this, other than to just come out and say it…

You made an absolute fool of yourself.

Now, why have you stayed on my mind?  Why have I thought of you almost daily since that night?  Why did your embarrassing scenario strike such a chord with me?

Oh, I know why.

Lord, honey, I’ve been there.  I’ve soooo been there.

Now, granted, I’ve never planted a kiss on a stranger at a bar, per se.  And I suppose I’ve never exactly thrown myself at a guy I barely know. But you know what I have done?

Stayed somewhere I wasn’t wanted.

I have hung around in relationships way past their expiration date.  And why?  Because I was idiot.  Like you.  (No offense.)  I thought if I just tried a little harder, maybe he’d finally see me.  You know?  If I just did this a little better, or that a little better, maybe then he’d finally realize I was worthy of his attention. Of his affection.  But you know what?

It never worked.  Not once.

I wonder what happened when you got home.  Did you cry? Did you wonder what you did wrong?  Did you wonder what’s wrong with you?  Oh yeah, been there.  I’ve looked at myself in the mirror with such confusion and hatred before that it was scary. I’ve picked myself apart…my fuzzy curly hair, my flawed complexion, my crooked teeth. I’ve yelled at myself for being too outspoken, too demanding, too talkative.  Too this.  Too that.  I’ve been more mean to me than anyone else ever has.  And why did I do that?

Because some guy didn’t like me.

Some stupid, inconsequential guy.  I let a stranger’s value of me replace my own value of myself.  I adopted their view of me and replaced it for my own.

What an idiot I was.  What an idiot you are.

Anyway.  I know you won’t see this.  I know you don’t remember me.  But again, I just wanted to let you know that you’re on my mind.  I wanted to let you know that for a moment, our lives crossed, and I saw myself in your defeat.  You reminded me of how I never want to feel again. You reminded me of how ridiculous it is to place my worth in someone else’s hands.

You reminded me that when I’m loved, I’ll know it.  I won’t have to chase it.  It will chase me.

And better yet, you reminded me that the real love I should be worried about – is the love I have for myself.

Thank you for crossing my path.  I hope you learn to love yourself one day too.

Love,

One Who Gets It

[P.S.  You are waaaaay too good for that guy.  He was a dork.]

***

“When your self-worth goes up, your net worth goes up with it.”
– Mark Victor Hansen

Flower Garden Theory

heartgarden

Flower Garden Theory

Our hearts are flower gardens.
Each morning we arise and tend to them –
Water
Soil
Fertilizer
…and out we step into the world.
People pass by.
Hurriedly, we share our garden with pride
“Look!
Isn’t it beautiful?
Here, take a flower for a while!
Just bring it back, ok?”

And what happens?

Some bring the flowers back
Beautiful and bright as ever
Well–tended
Sometimes in even better shape than before
We put them back in their rightful place –
The garden is as perfect as ever.

But sometimes.

Some bring the flowers back…not so beautiful
They haven’t taken care of them at all
They are wilted
Withered
Thirsty
We put them back in as best we can
But they no longer belong.
They are changed.

And sometimes still.

Some don’t bring the flowers back at all.
They didn’t realize they weren’t theirs to keep
They have cast them aside
Forgotten
(Or maybe they are thieves)
The garden now has an empty spot.

Our hearts are flower gardens.
Each morning we arise and tend to them –
Water
Soil
We make adjustments.
We remove the dead flowers from yesterday
(They didn’t make it through the night)
We adjust the borders to fill in the empty spots
Our garden is smaller
But still beautiful
…and out we step into the world.
People pass by.
We share our garden with pride
(Perhaps a little less pride than yesterday, however)
“Look!
Isn’t it beautiful?
Here, take a flower for a while!
Just bring it back, ok?”

The cycle repeats.

Our hearts are flower gardens.
Each morning we arise and tend to them –
Water
Soil
We make further adjustments.
We remove more dead flowers
Adjust the borders for even more empty spots.
Our garden is smaller
But still beautiful
(Sort of)
…and out we step into the world.
People pass by.
We start to share our garden…
But the pride has decreased
(Is it worth showing anymore?
Can they be trusted?)

We change our minds.
We keep our gardens to ourselves

For if we keep sharing…
They may disappear.

Our hearts are flower gardens.
Fenced-in.
Private.
Secure.

Passive Aggressive

“This is passive-aggression in action.”
– Chuck Palahniuk

passiveaggressive2So, I was recently accused of writing a “passive aggressive” blog. (This one in particular.)  And while I don’t feel the need to explain myself to anyone, this particular critique struck a nerve.  And here’s why.

I’m going to define passive aggressive.  Not using Webster or anything – no, this is 100% Melissa.  Passive aggressive means that you get a point across in a sneaky way without being blunt and obvious.  Am I right?  Fair definition?  Well, here’s what I say to that.

Duuuuuh!

This blog should be renamed
“missyspublicpassiveaggressivejunk.”
Of course, every blog I write is passive aggressive.  Sheesh.

For instance, I write a blog about having been falsely accused of something I didn’t do.  Do I say JimBob accused me of telling his wife Bertha that he’s cheating on her?  Of course not.  You people don’t know JimBob and Bertha.  You can’t relate with specifics, but you can relate with a generality.  JimBob never accused you of telling Bertha anything, so what do you care?  But I’ll bet money on the fact that you’ve probably been accused of something unfairly, am I correct?  You can relate to what I’m saying because you can substitute your situation with mine when I write in generalities.

Or, I may write about a problem that Richard and I are having and the events that took place surrounding the argument.  Do I tell you what the problem is?  Of course not.  That’s personal.  And besides, our problem was probably pretty specific and you most likely couldn’t relate with it.  But have you had a problem with your significant other?  Sure you have! If I write non-specifically, you can relate with what I’m saying.

I could keep listing examples of blogs from the past, but there’s no point.  They are ALL the same. I don’t come right out and use specific situations and specific names because that would defeat my purpose.

I have a confession to make.  Recently, I’ve been a little disappointed with my blog’s views.  They have gone down quite a bit lately.  When I expressed my hesitation in continuing the blog, someone asked me this question.

“Well, who are you writing it for?  You or them?”

And you know what my answer is to that question?

THEM.

passiveaggressiveIf I were writing this for myself, I’d write a journal or a diary. I’d use specific names like nobody’s business.  And I probably wouldn’t be nearly as nice about it, I can guarantee you that.  But I’m not writing for me.  I’m writing in the hopes that someone somewhere can see themselves in my situations.  They can take my life experiences, replace their own in the story, and come away with two things.  One, the knowledge that they are not alone (we never are); and two, a slightly different perspective on what might be a negative situation.

I recently wrote a blog about a visit to the nursing home to see my Alzheimer’s-ridden grandmother.  Someone that I don’t know from Adam sent me a message telling me how much that blog meant to them.  It gave them a new perspective on their own parent who has Alzheimer’s.  It made them see her in a different way.  She said that she would remember what I said for a very long time and that it made her understand her parent like she hadn’t up until the point she read my words.

Why do I write?  That is why.

If you see yourself in my writing, there’s probably a reason.  If it helps, I’m thrilled.  If it steps on your toes, well.  Frankly, forgive me for being blunt, but I’m not a bit sorry. I didn’t mention your name – if you put yourself in it, that’s you that did that.  Not me.  And you might want to ask yourself why that is.

I am a very public person.  That’s just the way it is.  It’s the way I was made, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  The stories that I have to tell are going to be told. I’m not going to use specifics in most cases unless I’m given permission. My stories are mine, and I am going to keep telling them.

Yes, I get frustrated sometimes when they don’t seem to be read as much as usual (as I mentioned above). But like my daughter said in a recent conversation:

Me: My blog views are dropping drastically.
Her: How do you know?
Me: Well, I can look at the stats.  A story that may have gotten 100 views before is now only getting 25.  I think maybe I should quit.
Her: Then you’re going to have 25 disappointed people.

Ah, the wisdom of youth.

So, yes, I’m going to continue writing.  And yes, I fully admit that most everything I write from here on out will be passive aggressive. It’s what I do.  If I write something that you feel is about you or directed at you, please – see me about it.  I can assure you that the passive aggressiveness is only found in this blog, not in real life.  I promise you I’ll let you know exactly what you want to know.

Pretending (unless I’m on a stage) is just not my thing.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

***

passiveblog

 

I’m Sorry (Well, sort of.) (Ok, not really.)

“I can’t tell you the key to success; but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.”
– Ed Sheeran

Let me tell you about the kind of person I used to be…

sorry6Oh, wait.  Never mind!  I found an old picture of myself.  Maybe that will be enough of an explanation.

I’m serious, people, I was the biggest doormat you’d ever meet in your life.  I would bend and bend and bend until I felt broken. The word “no” was not in my vocabulary. If someone wanted/needed something, I was there (regardless of whatever personal sacrifice had to be made in order to do so).  If plans were made and I wasn’t involved in the planning or it wasn’t convenient to participate, you’d still see me trotting along with everyone else anyway.  Going with the flow – making sure no toes were stepped on.  (Except my own, of course.)

sorry7Well, to be perfectly honest, not a whole lot has changed.  But as I get older, there does seem to be a slight shift.  Now, here’s how it generally plays out.

Someone asks if I’ll do something (or in some cases informs me that I’m already signed up to do it without my knowledge), and what do I do?  I throw a hissy fit.  Oh yeah, gone are the “oh sure, no problem” days of my past. I gripe, I complain, I shout all the reasons why I’m certainly not going to do it and stand my ground.  And then what happens after that?

*Sigh.*

I do it.

And what happens after that?  I apologize for the way I acted when I said I wasn’t going to do it because I’m so afraid that I may have hurt someone’s feelings or made them uncomfortable.

sorryBut you know what?  I’m not really sorry. Rather than just trusting my instinct – trusting my gut -I fall back into my old ways and just do what is expected of me to try to not rock the boat.  The only difference is that I’m a little more verbal than I used to be about why I don’t really want to be doing it.  In other words, I’m still a doormat, I’m just a bitchy doormat now.

And that’s not cool.

Riding the fence like this is not going to get me anywhere.  Nobody likes a bitchy doormat.

So, here’s what needs to happen.  I have two choices.  I need to:

A) Go back to the way I was. Be the girl who keeps her mouth shut, goes with the flow and does what is expected of her regardless of personal sacrifice or gut instinct, and yet have bunches and bunches of “friends” because of it.

-Or-

B) Cut the balancing act and just slip full force into sticking to my guns.  Sure, I may lose friends (which I think I probably already have by being in bitchy doormat mode, so that’s nothing entirely new), but I will stop sacrificing the friendship that actually matters – the friendship with myself.

Well, guess what?  I think I may be just a little too far over the edge of the fence to be able to turn around and go back at this point. I’m thinking it’s going to be choice “B” for me for now on.  (And you can let that capital “B” stand for whatever you’d like…)

Let me go ahead and issue my public service announcement:

sorry2

I have a feeling that disclaimer is necessary.  But while others are reading that disclaimer, let me just go ahead and give myself a little reminder as well:

I’m tired of saying no to myself in order to say yes to everyone else.  I deserve the same respect that I have been giving to others, don’t I?

Don’t you?

Just a thought.

***

“No more bitchy doormat-ism.”
– Melissa Halsey Caudill

Weed ‘Em and Reap

“Don’t water your weeds.”
– Proverb

Plant1Now, let me just start this blog out by letting you know that I know nothing – and I mean NOTHING – about gardening.  Or even about keeping a plant alive.  Case in point, the poor little plant you see here to the right.

*sigh*

This picture is the reason I’ve never had plants.  THIS is what happens to them.

Now, in my defense, this poor little fella got left behind in a major move.  My boyfriend Richard’s family did a little house swapping and then I followed close behind by moving into the home with Richard.  In the midst of all the moves, this plant was left sitting on a shelf by a window.  Neglected.  Once we got moved in and settled, I finally noticed the poor little fella and went to work on trying to save it.  I diligently remembered to keep it watered and turn it towards the sunlight, etc. etc.  And what happened?

Um, well, nothing.

The plant looked exactly the way it looks in the picture for months.  And yet – somehow the parts that were alive (or at least I assume they were – they were still green), just kept going amidst all the dead stuff.  So, finally, it dawned on me that maybe I should treat the plant like you do gardens.  Get rid of the weeds to make room for the stuff that is still alive to be able to grow.

Hmmmm.

Eh, I didn’t know if it would work, but I figured it would at least make things look a little better, right?  So, I went to work.  After a full morning of picking and prodding and trying my best to efficiently differentiate between green and brown, I was left with…well…a much smaller plant.

Plant2Bless its heart.

(And hey, I didn’t even though that little fern-looking thingy was even in there!  How about that!?)

So, yeah, the little fella was looking a little pruned, so to speak, but I still had to admit he looked a heck of a lot better.  Right?

And that’s when that writer’s brain of mine kicked in.  Suddenly, all of those “weeding” quotes I’ve always heard began to make sense to me.  Looking at this little plant in front of me made me realize something important.

This is what it takes to change your life.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably faced some moments in your life when you realized that something just wasn’t ‘right.’  You know what I mean?  No matter how much you tried – no matter how many things you crammed into your life to try to fulfill some void that you were certain would top off that internal happiness meter – nothing seemed to work.  You tried this, you tried that, you packed your life with so many places and people and things just trying and trying to find that “thing” that would make your life perfect…and still.  Nothing.

And then, suddenly, when you realize that you can’t fit a single thing else in your life, it dawns on you.  There’s just no more room.  None.  You’re spreading yourself thin by trying to take care of all the things on your plate (or “in your pot” so to speak) that there’s just no more energy (or “water”) left.  And then, when you look even closer, you start to realize how useless some of these things are to begin with.  You’re putting precious energy into things that aren’t even serving you anymore, and maybe never even were to begin with.  And sometimes those ‘things’ are actually ‘people.’

In other words, you’ve been watering the weeds.

Kinda stupid, huh?  Sound familiar?  No?  Hmmm.

Think maybe it needs to?

I don’t know – maybe the way I am is unique.  Maybe I’m the only one who has crammed their life full of crap to no avail. But if the responses I’ve gotten from many of my blogs in the past tell me anything, I’m thinking I’m probably not unique at all.  I think we are a whole lot more alike than we may realize.  All of us.  And I’m betting someone out there probably needed to hear this today.  Was it you?

Get rid of the weeds, people.  You might feel a little empty to start with.  A little bare, maybe.  But what’s left will be worth taking care of.  And you’ll actually have the energy (“water”) to do it.  And before you know it, you’re going to have nothing but a pot full of life.

Doesn’t that sound kinda awesome?

***

“We’re like a gardener with a hose and our attention is water – we can water flowers or we can water weeds.”
– Josh Radnor

Take The Cookie

“The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Yesterday, was one of those ‘take the cookie’ days in my life.

Ok, let me explain what the heck I’m talking about.

A while back, I decided to go on a diet.  Well, sort of.  By diet, I mean I’m just going to try to watch what I’m doing and not put so much crap into my body.  Back when I was running regularly, it was easy to somewhat ignore what I was eating because I’d just work it off.  But now that I’ve been injured for a while (torn/strained ligament in my right foot), all that junk eating combined with no exercise was starting to show on my thighs, if ya know what I mean.  So, I decided to buckle down and do something about it.

And then one day my daughter and I were headed to her dance class and she decided she wanted a cookie from Subway.  So, we swung by and I gave her some money and sent her in to grab one for herself.  When she came back, she not only had hers, but she also had one for me – a scrumptious raspberry/white chocolate – my FAVORITE.  Immediately, guilt rushed over me since I’m not ‘supposed’ to be eating that kind of stuff, but how could I turn it down after she brought it back just for me knowing that it was my favorite?  Of course I couldn’t do that.  So, I took the cookie.

(And it was YUMMY!)

Since that day, I’ve decided to use that phrase periodically.  Anytime I have to veer from the ‘rules’ a little, I call it “taking the cookie.”  It’s basically my way of reminding myself that there are going to be exceptions.  Sometimes, you just need to take the cookie.

IMG_20140406_164232_652

Ready to ride

And yesterday?  Well, yesterday was one of those times.  And boy, was that cookie awesome.

My boyfriend Richard and I had a rare day free from responsibility.  Our kids were at their other parents’ houses for the day (ahhh, the dynamics of the modern-day blended families…), neither of us had to work, and there were no other pressing engagements that we had to be involved in.  So, of course, we both started piddling with our own hobbies.  He started learning a new song to play (he’s a musician), and I started thinking about all the things I needed to be writing (I need to work on my novel, get a blog done, etc.).  But before either of us could get too far in, we made an impulsive decision to just head outside and take a ride on the four-wheeler, something we very rarely ever have time to do.

IMG_20140406_211922

Tag-along

I mulled over the decision for a bit because I knew this would be a perfect opportunity to get some writing done, but finally I decided that this was one of those times when I just needed to ‘take the cookie.’  (Really – I actually said that to myself.)  No more thinking of what I ‘should’ be doing – just hop on the four-wheeler and take a break.

IMG_20140406_212035

Back we go!

So, off we went!  Well, our first attempt was somewhat short-lived since we had a tag-along.  We had to turn back and lead her back to the house and tie her up.  Bless her heart.  Oh, and we also had to go put more gas in the four-wheeler.  Oops.

But then we were finally ready.  So, off we went again!

IMG_20140406_211656

Gorgeous creek that runs by our house

Richard took me around and showed me the land that he grew up on – showed me all the places he played as a kid and even told me some of the stories of trouble he got into (not sweet little Richard!).  I was amazed that I had known him so long and have lived in this area for months now and had no idea how beautiful it was.  All the memories that are tied to this place and that make the man I love who he is – I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on this day of getting to know him and this land that he loves so much.

IMG_20140406_211609

The Peak

The whole time we were riding along, I was overcome with how blessed I am.  I live in this gorgeous area, I’m in love with an even more gorgeous guy (with a heart to match), I’m healthy, my kids are healthy…the list goes on and on.  Sometimes I get too busy and too loaded down with worries (money, scheduling, etc. etc. etc.) to remember to take the time to realize all the things that are good in my life.

No, not just good.  Fantastic.

And if I hadn’t allowed myself to “take the cookie,” I would have missed out on such an awesome reminder.

IMG_20140406_211454

Wind in my hair 🙂

Yes, I could have been at home getting some writing done.  But what I did end up getting done was more important.  I was falling even more in love with the guy who stole my heart over two years ago.  And I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

There is an old Doug Stone song called Too Busy Being in Love.  The lyrics kept running through my mind while we were riding along:

“I could have written a play so sweet and so funny
Given old Mr. Shakespeare a run for his money
Written the words to the prettiest tune
That would never leave a dry eye in the room
My only excuse for not doing enough…
I was too busy being in love.
Yes, I was too busy being in love.”

IMG_20140406_205853Yes, who knows what I may have written if I had stayed at home and took the time to be doing what I ‘should have’ been doing.  Better yet, though…who cares? 🙂  I think what Richard wrote was better than anything I could have ever written anyway…

IMG_20140406_205925

Don’t forget to take the cookie on occasion, my friends.  Trust me.  You’ll be glad you did.

“I could have written a poem to make young lovers crazy
Written a movie for Hepburn and Tracy
A beautiful song and it starts with your name
Written my way into fortune and fame
But I have no regrets for not doing enough
I was too busy being in love
Yes, I was too busy being in love.”

IMG_20140406_211816

Purpose

“The important thing is that men should have a purpose in life. It should be something useful, something good.”
– Dalai Lama

purposeblog2I visited my grandmother in the nursing home over the weekend.  She has Alzheimer’s Disease and is, unfortunately, in the later stages.  Meaning, she has no idea who any of us are.  And while this is still heartbreaking, most of us in the family have gotten used to it.  We know what’s coming when we visit her.  We’re ready for it, and we expect it.  We’ve learned to live with it.

Unfortunately, however, she hasn’t.

One thing she kept repeating over and over again during our visit was this one same question, “What am I supposed to be doing?”

Each time she asked the question (not remembering she had just asked it seconds earlier), I would respond the same way, “You’re not supposed to be doing anything, MawMaw. Nothing at all.” And each time, she’d say, “I’m supposed to just sit here?”  I’d tell her yes, and then the cycle would repeat itself.

And then, in addition to her question, I started noticing other things around the room that seemed connected to what she was getting at.

Now, we weren’t visiting in my MawMaw’s private room.  When we arrived at the nursing home, she had been moved to the ‘day room’ for activities with the other residents (which she didn’t seem to want to participate in).  So, while visiting her, we also saw a lot of the other patients.  And while there were a variety of levels of illness (as well as a wide variety of personalities), one common theme seemed to stand out at me.  The theme that my sweet grandmother was trying to convey with that one question she kept asking me.

The search for purpose.

Take one lady for instance.  She kept pushing her little wheelchair around firmly explaining to people that they were not allowed to go certain places.  In fact, she’d block their path if they tried.  (Which in one case resulted in a kick to the leg of the other person in his wheelchair as he was simply trying to go through the doorway. Yikes!)  While little Miss Bossy Pants was an annoyance to all concerned, I started to realize that she was just appointing herself with a purpose.  A misconstrued purpose, maybe, but a purpose nonetheless.  Her job was to tell people where to go and not to go.

And this same lady at one point (when everyone was apparently in their appointed places and she had allowed herself a break from guard duty), rolled herself over to a hamper near the door and, with curiosity, opened the lid and peered in.  What she saw was a mound of dirty, used towels.  So, what does she do?  One by one (until the nurse caught and stopped her), she pulled them out, placed them neatly into her lap, and started folding them and putting them back into the hamper.

She had found a purpose. Folding laundry.

Another woman sat at her table and made bread. No, she didn’t have any flour or shortening or bowls or an oven or any of that. Not that you or I could see, anyway.  But nevertheless, she sat at her table and mixed and kneaded the dough, placed it on the table, patted it out, etc. It took me a while to figure out what she was doing, but once I did, that same thing hit me again.  She had found her purpose.  She had to bake biscuits.  And she was content in doing so.

In every person lay the same idea.  One woman chose to sing, another chose to yell at her kids (who weren’t there)…the list goes on and on.  What looks to those of us in our “right” minds as unnecessary chatter and activities, to them are anything but unnecessary.  They are, in fact, very necessary.  To their livelihood.  To their well-being.

To their sense of purpose.

Which brings me back to my MawMaw.  While sitting there, I was reminded of a quote I once heard.  I couldn’t remember it exactly, but when I got home, I looked it up.

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.”
– Og Mandino

Those are some powerful words there.  How much do we take our purpose for granted?  How much do we complain when we have to go to work, or when we have to drive kids here and there, or when we have yet another activity to have to show up at or to have to devote time to?  Do we ever just stop to bask in the beautiful, yet forgotten, meaning of it all?

We have a purpose.

I turned to my sweet grandmother, with all of this on my mind, and I finally had an answer for her.  The next time she asked me, “What am I supposed to be doing?,” I had her answer.

“MawMaw.  All you have to do is just let us love you.”

purposeblog1

It’s time to rest.

I know that wasn’t enough for her.  And I know she won’t remember my answer for any length of time.  But regardless of whether it seeps into her aging mind on some level, it still remains true.  No, there are no more children to take care of.  No more laundry to fold.  No more dinners to cook or beds to make or groceries to be shopped for.  My MawMaw is right – there is nothing left that she is supposed to ‘do.’  It is time for her, whether she wants to or not, to simply rest.  That’s all.  Just rest.  And to a woman who spent her life as a wife, mother of nine, step-mother to many others, and grandmother and great-grandmother to too many to count, I’m sure that’s a tough blow to take.  But whether she realizes it or not, although there are no physical activities left for her to take care of, her purpose still remains strong and true.

She’s still here because she still has a lesson to teach us.

She may not realize that, but I do.

Thank you, MawMaw.  Because you are serving your purpose, I’ll now go on to serve mine.

(And I’ll try to remember to appreciate every moment of it….)

***

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”
– Carl Jung