A week in the life…

Wednesday, August 31: Clean and organize living space much of the day, followed by a night at the movies with my mother. Third full day home from a visit with friends in Iowa….trying to ignore invading memories from this time last year.

Thursday, September 1: My mother and I shop with my daughter for dresses to her wedding. I have gained weight and look horrible in every green dress I try on…..although green is normally a great color for me and the color my daughter sees me in for the occasion. My mother, who doesn’t think she looks good in anything, finds a very flattering and classy dress for herself. Eventually, I try on two A-line dresses that I think will look great on me. They are not green, but I look gorgeous (and I say that as humbly as possible.) The difference of night and day…..

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

Friday, September 2: A much needed walk by myself to just be, contemplate, and reflect…..followed by a late lunch, coffee, and conversation with my daughter. Personal reflection revolves around the past year….how even when we let go, some things and people don’t let go of us. And although letting go is a part of life, it is in the overall acceptance of change that we find peace. Even in our relationships, there is the ebb and flow…..the letting go and the “coming again.” Maybe each takes a different form (one person leaves and another enters)…..or maybe they take the same form with a person who once left deciding to re-enter. I say the “same” form, but that’s not even entirely accurate, either…..because even when the same person comes and goes, they aren’t really ever the same. Even when WE come and go in the lives of others, we aren’t the same. Joint experience, as well as individual experience while together or apart changes us. Our lives are all different with each “hello” and each “good-bye”……and each experience, encounter, and moment of our lives. WE are different.

Saturday, September 3: My first lantern release takes place at the Missouri Botanical Garden Japanese Festival. I write on my lantern a message of love to friends and family on their personal journeys, including the names of a few particular people…….my daughter and soon to be son-in-law, my mother, three friends, and one particular person special to me.

Sunday, September 4: I visit a local vegan cafe and meet a young woman who is also a writer. We share a bit of our lives and writing, as the essay on “aging” I’m currently working on gets put on hold until another day. It’s a great conversation…..one that has me contemplating motherhood, career choices, and how outwardly different people, choices, and circumstances can still result in similar growth and evolution. Inside, we are the same….and age really doesn’t matter.

Monday, September 5: Another trip to the botanical garden…..this time with my daughter, her fiance, and my oldest son, Alex. We eat sushi, kabobs, and attempt to speak Japanese while buying novelty items and attending a Sumo wrestling demonstration. My legs are sore from doing 100 squats the night before…..a direct result of an ever building desire to prepare and better myself for things to come…..a desire fueled by the memory of someone who makes me want to be a better person in all respects. Perhaps this is how we honor people and our love for them. It’s so easy to show one’s love for another person directly, but I’m realizing more as time goes on how one’s love also can be directed in the care of one’s self and goodwill we express and cultivate in the world.

Tuesday, September 6: I happily notice that the bare spot in my new “feather” tattoo is in the shape of a heart and not quite the imperfection I was thinking. I also meet a friend for coffee and lend an ear. She has (in-hand) a book on “The power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. While our conversation centers around making time for ourselves, doing what we love while we can, and bringing about the changes in our lives we wish to see, I have several thoughts….the first which is the importance of taking time each day to sit with ourselves, being present, and cultivating peace within. The second thought has to do with the love that people put into their efforts…..whatever they are. It’s important….that whatever one puts himself into, he should put the best of himself into it. And in my mind, the best of anyone is the love they embody and hold within…..their energy and passion and how this can be channeled into making the world a better place….bringing that love to the world. And with this thought, I decide I might opt out of a touch-up on the tattoo….and keep the heart. It’s perfect.

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