Life Goes On

Life Goes On - Riding the Ups and Downs

This summer has been an incredible rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, twists and turns. A snapshot of what life is truly all about. And a reminder of what’s truly important—my family and my approach to life. I realize above all else, that my loved ones are what counts most of all. And, when I can move through my days with gratitude and grace, I’m living life to the best of my ability.

My grandchildren have continued to flourish and I’m so appreciative to have them close by. They remind me that we all start out as perfect human beings. Every smile is a gift and every sound they make is music to my ears. Wanting to do something truly special for them, I learned to knit and crochet from my 85-year-old neighbor. She is a lot like my mother, whose birthday we commemorated on August 8th, a woman full of patience and wisdom. Going over to my neighbor’s house and having her coach me has filled a place left by my mom’s death. I’ve now completed blankets for all three grandchildren, plus a blanket I’d started for my youngest son, Matt, five years ago. The feeling of accomplishment was tremendous, especially knowing that I created something with my own two hands for those I love.

Blanket 01Blanket 02Working on those blankets was also an exercise in “present moment awareness.” No matter what else is going on, when we focus on something—whether it’s music, or exercise, or reading, or a craft—we have the chance to experience the present. It lets us be in the flow. It slows the heart rate and the mind and allows for some peace to settle in. Ahh…pure enjoyment!

My mom’s birthday was different this year. It wasn’t “awful,” because I’m finding new ways to acknowledge it. Rather than being a time of intense grief, this year was a “marking” of the day and doing things in honor of her. With her birthday this year, I saw how life does evolve and transition. Things change…and life goes on. There are moments when life feels painful and almost unbearable, but then, there are times of shifting and settling and acceptance—times of understanding that she’s really with me and always will be. Knowing that I carry her love in my heart brings tremendous peace.

Matt Blanket 01So, like a rollercoaster ride, life is full of huge climbs to the top, when you don’t know what you’ll see when you get there. Then come big dips and bends, when your heart races to keep pace with life’s twists and turns. And, of course, there are those moments when things move slowly, like a meandering river. If we’re able to stay buckled in and keep our eyes on where we’re going, we can move through whatever shows up in our path—whether it’s a death, a birth, an illness, a new opportunity, or just simply time to pull out the grill and enjoy a meal in our summertime backyard. No matter what, being willing to ride the ups and downs is truly worth it. Life is worth living. And doing it with “present moment awareness” is even better.

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