I feel quite reflective...it was just about a year ago that
I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I will never
forget the haste my primary doctor used in scheduling
a mammogram & ultrasound at Mayo for the day after my
physical. When they asked me to step in for a second
ultrasound that day, I figured it was not a good sign. I sat
alone in a waiting room with a woman with a rich Russian accent.
I will always remember her saying, "don't cry". Couldn't
promise that, wasn't sure why I had chosen to go it alone
that day......the independent rebel in me I guess.
Lesson one, letting go may require some support.
So there it is, this journey called "life". I do believe one lesson we
all face as part of our test is to let go. As someone who likes a tad
bit of control, letting go is a hard lesson to learn. But I've done it...
we all do it. Call it faith, hope or simply coping, we do it.
Through letting go as our children leave home. Through letting go as our parents
pass on. Through letting go as age visits us and easy endeavors are
less easy. We learn this lesson over & over until we figure it out.....kind of.
As a teacher, I knew the importance of celebrating arrival & departure with my
kiddos. We always had some routine that marked the start & end of
our time together. We needed to honor each "hello" and each "good bye".
I would help them learn about making choices, doing it by themselves and
how to move on to the next adventure. I travel these same lessons to
my parenting...and relish when my Ian still calls home for advice on starting
or ending an adventure.
I always figure it takes a full year after a significant loss to begin to let go. It
feels like we have to carry it through every season, introduce the change to
each ritual, to each holiday, to each month. Testing how the change effects
us, similar to putting our toes in the water. Once we get through the year, it
still remains with us, but perhaps in a new way...a life affirming way. It can
actually make us wiser, stronger, and ready for what awaits us next.
Letting go. Living on a farm has also tested my resilience & calm fortitude. When
you watch a storm build across the fields & head in your direction, you can only
"batten down so many hatches". At some point you have to let go. To know
that this is bigger than you, out of your control and that you will get through it.
So, what are the lessons I feel have gotten me here, a year later....changed, but perhaps
a bit stronger:
1. Storms happen.
2. The only way through loss is t h r o u g h it.
3. Letting go does not mean giving up control, just changing our perspective.
4. Kindness matters.
5. We make it. We all will & do. And it will change us.
6. Finally, celebrate the journey, through each arrival & each departure.