Sunday, January 26, 2020

What's Your Word?

My word for 2019 was DELIGHT ... and last year surely was a delightful year!

I held a Soul Restoration Retreat in Las Vegas in January and then we did some traveling ... a spectacular three weeks in Okinawa, RV traveling to ghost towns and parts of Nevada I've not seen in my 37 years of living here, trips to Tampa, San Diego & Toronto for our Camp Widow weekends, off to Indiana, Michigan & Minnesota to visit friends and family and to attend my 50th (!) high school reunion & meet Jim's siblings, an RV stay near beautiful Lake Tahoe with a side trip to Vallejo & Napa where I met one of Jim's sons & family, to Incline Village for an amazing Soul Chick retreat and lots and lots of Vegas Golden Knights hockey fun. Wow!

So here it is late January and I hadn't decided on my Word for 2020. I took the DaySpring quiz again and it gave me GATHER. I immediately thought 'no' that can't possibly be my word since I'm no longer hosting Soul Restoration retreats or Soul Book gatherings. Then I considered GRATITUDE and it felt right. I am grateful, so very grateful, for the life I'm living right now.  But I still kept waffling between those two words ... until now.

This quote make me feel like GATHER is actually the perfect word for me.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Making Peace

My sister died this week. She had some health issues, but her passing was unexpected.

Shirley was 8 years older than me. In our younger years I was often the bane of her existence when  I tattled things to her boyfriends as they waited for her to get ready for a date. Luckily, she forgave me for that and she became my confidante. She & Dick married when I was 10 and I loved spending time at their home. Scary movies. Bouncing ball competitions. Board games. Sleep-overs with friends. Vern proposed to me in their living room. She was my matron of honor and Jer's extra special Auntie. She & Dick greeted hundreds of people each holiday season when they opened the doors to the big pole barn next to their house filled with beautiful Christmas village displays. She wouldn't fly, so when we moved to Nevada in 1982 I only saw her when we came back to Michigan to visit once a year.

Shirl was a devout Christian, so I am confident that she greeted her moment of passing with a joy to be going home to Heaven. But her husband of 58 years will miss her deeply, as will I and my two remaining siblings, and so many others who loved her. The death of someone close can make us acutely aware of our own mortality. I felt that after Vern died and I'm feeling it again now. It's been a tough 14 months. My sister, Bev, died in November 2018. My brother, Dick, died last month. And now Shirl.

So how should we go about living our life? Do we live as if we'll live forever?  Or do we live each day as if it were our last? Haruki Murakami said, "Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it." Maybe making peace with death is the best option. Take away the anticipation, the fear, the ending and just acknowledge that death is a part of this life we've been given and we need to live our best life each and every day. It's a lofty goal. And one I'm going to try hard to meet.