I’ve read and appreciated many blog posts over the past few weeks, as 2013 came to a close. Most were looks back, reflective pieces putting another year’s events into perspective. I have had one of my own rolling around in my heart and mind for some time. There are a few things I’d maybe rather not remember about this year; there was plenty to regret, of death and pain, but in the end, it truly was a year filled with power and with blessing.
A couple of weeks ago I was fixing lunches when I spilled some nuts onto the floor. And it hit me like a kick in the guts. I really missed the dog, his wet nose snuffling and whuffling about on the floor to vacuum up the treat, his tail wagging, his sweet big brown eyes always hoping for more. We lost him to old age and disease this last spring.
Two days later, I was scrambling eggs at breakfast. As I stirred the pan, the eggs suddenly became fluffy piles of golden yellow loveliness, as they do at a certain point in the cooking, if you do it right. It hit me like a kick in the guts. I really missed my father-in-law, his lessons on making perfect scrambled eggs, his sweet rolls, his big-hearted personality that filled a room. It’s been a few years since we lost him, on a day shortly before Christmas.
A week or so later I was getting ready to upload the files of a book for publishing. It wasn’t just any book that I was readying for publication as part of the small press I inherited from my Dad. It was the last book he himself wrote before his death last February. And it hit me like a kick in the guts. I really, really miss my Dad, his unshakable tenderness toward the world, his brilliant mind, the delightful ideas we shared. Last time I had done this job, uploading to the print on demand service we use, I had Dad on the phone. I was very afraid of making a mistake. He talked me through all the steps, helped me to get it right. This time, I had to do it on my own.
I have an image of each of those beloved missing in my mind. I have a hole in my heart for each of them, an ache in my gut. I could simply end on this note, you know, all sad and empty.
But missing the loved ones is also the honoring of them. In reality, it is the way to carry forward each of those beloved. Remember the hole in my heart for each one of them? That is the perfect place for the memories to fit.