26 March 2017

the art of racing in the rain

Last night I went to celebrate the birthday of the first boy that stole my heart.  As we begin this year of 40, it is just the beginning of numerous parties and celebrations.  It was nice though, to see him and his family and friends from that part of my life.  Amazing how quickly 25 years can pass.  I do feel very grateful that, (spare 1 very abusive relationship,) I have stayed pretty great friends with every boy that I have dated.  Our loves are perhaps just moments in time, stops along a great path to get us to our ultimate love. I just think that once you share something so intimate as your heart with someone, there will always be a piece of you attached to each other.

My gift to Rich was a copy of my favourite book, The Art of Racing in The Rain by Garth Stein.  This book is written from the perspective of Enzo the dog, whose "human" was a race car driver and many of the lessons taught in the subtext of the book were given in the context of racing.  One of my favourites was "In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." What we put out is what we receive back.  And there is no dishonour in losing, it is only in never trying.  Which is equatable to love - we cannot be afraid to love because we have a fear of it not working out.  If we never try, we will certainly never succeed or receive love.  "That which you manifest, is before you." We are the creators of our own destiny.  Life, like race car driving, isn't only about going fast or winning.  The importance of living well is staying present and enjoying each moment.  Racing in the rain is about balance, anticipation and perspective.  Rain is an obstacle, and we will always have obstacles in our lives but it doesn't mean that we have to stop racing, living, or loving.   My birthday wish to him was love and peace and the ability to stay present and enjoy every moment that life has to offer.  I am thankful that he loved me so much all those years ago. 

I have to say it was a lovely experience to get to hug my first love.  I don't think that many get to have that.  I am grateful to have had that heart experience all those years ago, at a time that I definitely wasn't ready to accept the love that he wanted to give me.  It overwhelmed me then, that someone could care so much about me.  As we enter this milestone year, I think it's natural that we get a bit more introspective and think about where we are in our lives, what we have and what we desire.  And that isn't necessarily a bad thing to step back and evaluate.  Hopefully by looking at all that we have to be grateful for, we can find satisfaction in our present state rather than always worry about the future or wish for what is to come.  Sometimes it is important to stand still. Being still is necessary before moving forward. Stillness allows us to be satisfied with our current state, with what we have and where we are on our journey.  Perhaps we all need a bit more stillness to be grateful and present.  Perhaps that these moments and reflections are not only the gifts I choose give to others, but that they are a gift to myself in the same moment as I learn and grow.  Perhaps the gift isn't in the receiving, but in the giving. 

23 March 2017

the luckiest....

Last night before bed I wrote two slips for the gratitude jar, one of which said that I was thankful for my dining room table.  It is 6 feet of solid wood, flanked by two long benches on either side.  As opposed to chairs, when you sit with others it actually causes you to be in closer proximity to them; to feel their energy, their vibrations. I recently thought of exchanging this table for something newer, fancier with pretty little chairs around it but I am so happy that I stuck with my gut on this one.  This table has water stains, scratches and a giant chunk out of one of the benches.  So needless to say it's perfect.  I've been so home focused the past few months - cleaning, purging and reorganizing.  I've been making my space more mine and it feels wonderful.  It's really just like me - cozy, comfortable, a little messy, eclectic and welcoming.  So many times in the past year I've contemplated moving to a smaller space since it is just me in there but I am so happy that I've chosen to stay.  

But back to my table.... Last night was "Craft Night" so the ladies were over and in typical fashion we brought out the food & wine and took our places in the dining room.  I glued a few things back together as we sat and caught up but no one else even reached for their supplies.  Everyone was content to sit around the table, sip Cab Sauv and eat wayyyyy too much cheese.  I can't even begin to recant all of the conversation but there were moments where we were laughing so hard that my head was actually resting on the table trying to catch breath.  I believe it could have been when we were trying to help Sandra figure out how to stand her ground in the boys-club of the banking world and Sarah's best advice when a client hit on her was to pretend that she had diarrhea. Admittedly probably not the best advice in the world but certainly more effective than mine of standing in Superwoman stance before a meeting. These girls have only come into my life over the past few years, since returning to Canada but my gosh have they become such a lovely part of my world.  I am so thankful.  

Last week Ash & Ne came over for Saturday night dinner & drinks and we never left the table. The entire evening we sat, ate, talked and opened bottle after bottle of wine.  I mean you know you've had too much when one of you (Ne) creates a special, secret facebook group where only the three of you are allowed! But here we were - NeNe I've known since her birth and so will always be a sister to me, Ash again I've only known a few years but has become so dear to me and the two of them only recent friends.   But sitting there all together it was as though the friendship had just always been.  That dining room table has hosted the Wilderness Girls, all of my family, Danah my ladybug, morning coffee with Julie, couples dinner parties and even romantic dinners for two. There has probably been every kind of food and beverage served on that surface.  Those around it have told endless stories, laughed, cried and cursed.  A part of each of these amazing circles of friends who I have somehow circled into my world have all sat on those benches and became a part of my home.  


Part of losing my father was gaining insight to the similarities between us that I wasn't really aware of while he was alive.  It was something I noted in his eulogy - that one of the best things about him was that wherever he went, he made a friend. And now, losing him, even my dad's friends reach out to me now to check in and make sure we are all ok.  Hearing from John last week really helped because my heart felt super heavy missing Dad.  Sometimes, like last night and on the drive in to work today, I can take a step back and see just how lucky I am for all the people who I carry in my heart.  I am so blessed.  I tend to make friends easily and I put a lot of effort into these relationships.  This poster sits next to my gratitude jar so I can read it daily - it perfectly sums up what I believe my life purpose to be, and that is to LOVE. I have many groups of friends from all times and areas of my life - some of which have now intertwined as well which makes me happy.  I am so blessed to have both the Rossi Posse and the Wilderness Girls, all who have been in my life since High School.  A few even from elementary school! We have bonds unlike any others and have literally seen each other through everything in life.  Love, heartbreak, marriage, divorce, children, infertility, career changes, new homes, losing parents... I have friends like Amanda whom I met playing travel softball at 15 and friends from University whose main contact is still penpal letters.  I have those who are newer friends that were made after returning to Canada - fellow Walkervillians and business owners in the 'hood. Craft Ladies. The Babes of WECHU. My strongest friendships are those within my own family, my sister and cousins and their children whose bond is forever unbreakable.  I am actually the luckiest! These people have all sat around that worn-in, comfortable dining room table and made their mark on my life and I wouldn't trade it for all the riches in the world.  My only hope is truly that at the end of my life, when I look back I can say that I Have Loved. And I hope that in whomever says my eulogy, their words include that "wherever she went, she made a friend." xo 

20 March 2017

spring


Well here we are ...Officially the Spring Equinox and the International Day of Happiness! That would seem to be a pretty good mix!  I just completed 108 sun salutations with my Moksha sangha and I am still feeling the love and energy of that crew.  My life has been about making space since the start of this year.  Space in my home, in my mind, in my body and most of all in my heart.  It's a time to open up and let things go and welcome new blossoms.  I've been feeling a mixture of hurt and anger for the past week because of one word in a sentence that I'm sure probably hasn't been given much of a second thought.  That said, today being a day of beginning, my intention is to release these thoughts and try my best to leave it behind me.  How lucky are we to have Spring and this beautiful reminder of all the possibility that lies ahead? 

Admittedly I am a pretty easy going gal - even faced with things of great pain or adversity, I usually find a way to come through with acceptance and optimism.  It take a lot for me to be upset or offended, but that said, when others take my simplicity & lightness as a pass to condescend it hurts my heart.  I am a smart, well-educated woman and I refuse to ever accept being spoken down to.  People have differing ways of thinking but that does not make one more important than the other.  There is no way that I have weathered all of these storms, picked myself up from darkness and carried through, without having the strength and self-knowledge to decide what is, in fact, best for me. I appreciate when someone is looking out for me, however I think it is the assumption behind these words which has hurt me.  I primarily do think with my heart first but my head is not far behind.  I've taken a lot of flack for loving people long after they have turned their back to me but that's ok.  Not a lot of people love the way that I do. Once you are in my heart, you are there forever.  I will hold your hand when you falter and I will hold you in my arms when you fall.  Words are important to me and so when they feel hurtful, it is disappointing.  For the past week, this word has been echoing in my head but standing here on the brink of this new season, I leave it behind me.  

Today, as the first day of Spring, we create intentions of what new beginnings we hope for and ask for the peace and strength to release where we are venturing from. I need to accept that we don't always get the opportunity to speak the words that we'd like to. The Spring Equinox is a time to honour yourself and your journey.  We spend a great deal of our lives running away from darkness, pain or sadness, when in fact we need these emotions to understand the complexity of light, happiness and gratitude.  We need Winter to have Spring, the mud to have the lotus. We are all on this same journey and today is a day to honour that.  All of these moments that we experience both together and on our own -  good & bad, beginnings & endings, chaos & peace.  With each movement that we took together tonight as a group, we fed off the energy of each other and pushed ourselves to welcome this new season as one.  No matter what, i always get to carry with me each lesson that I have learned and reminders of every path that has lead to me where I stand today.  On my mat, breathing strong and saluting that beautiful sun 108 times.  I felt so unbelievably strong and grounded tonight.  Even if often misunderstood, I am so very happy that I lead with heart and that I choose to allow it to fill with light. 


The rebirth of Spring is so much more anticipated than the other seasons because we come out of this time of cold, hibernation, and endings.  Today is our first day balanced equally between darkness and light. May we continue to strive for that balance in all areas of our lives and even between our heads and our hearts.  May we accept that not all words get to be spoken and that sometimes we forgive without an apology.  Every ending is truly a new beginning so as we let go, we also create space for the next adventure that lies ahead.  Happy Spring! xo 

01 March 2017

spread love...

In looking at my life, this quote pretty much sums it up.  I was asked why I write this blog when secretly I hope that no one I know is reading it.  The answer is simply to hope that if some stranger out there in wherever, stumbles up on this and finds words that they connect to - either those that are uplifting or even reading through the moments that are challenging.   I hope that as I sometimes share what seems to be a struggle, that if someone can read it and know that they aren't alone perhaps in what they feel then it may serve as a bit of a lift.  My goal is to put happiness, gratitude and positivity out into the universe because i do believe that we get back what we give out.  But (as much as I live in a world of rainbows & unicorns) I also know that there are going to be moments of struggle and change because that is how we grow.  Sometimes when we feel most alone is when we just need that simple connection to know that someone understands us, and that tomorrow is always another day.  For me, when I'm thinking through something I feel weighted down and as soon as I can put them into words it's as though that has been lifted.  

Today begins the 40 days of Lent - a time of sacrifice and reflection as we prepare for the one of the most important times in Catholicism, Easter.  I do tend to give up items that are a challenge as a way to cleanse my body however over the past few years I chose to not only focus on what was going into my mouth, but coming out of it as well.  So over the next few weeks, I will also send out 40 pieces of "happy" mail to friends and family thanking them for being a part of my life. I've cut zillions of little hearts to go in each envelope so that literally I'll be spreading love all over the gosh darn place! 

So here we are with an opportunity to reflect over these last few weeks of winter and begin to prepare to come out of hibernation as spring unfolds.  It's a time of rebirth and a time of extended light - all of which make me excited to see what lies ahead.  Over the past few days of struggling with some pretty dark thoughts, today I feel lighter just knowing that I have thought them through, felt them and now released them.  I accept what I cannot change and look ahead knowing that there must be something wonderful just beyond my reach.  I realize that I don't want someone who so swiftly will walk away from me without discussion - I want a partnership and that entails two imperfect people willing to talk things through, to see the other person's point of view, compromise when there is disagreement and forgive when there is hurt. All I know is I have learned so much in this past year and I feel as though my heart came alive again.  It's hard to believe that it was this time last year when JC and I began really talking again and though it certainly did not end up as I had hoped, I am a much better person for having loved him.  And in the end what matters most is that people leave us happier, stronger, better and loved.  So over the next 40 days take a moment and tell someone you love them or share with them a memory that you treasure and light up their day.  Put good into our world. xo

27 February 2017

ego, paired with a dose of regret & hints of shame...

Many a teacher has said that our yoga practice is a reflection of our life - that our mat is a mirror inwards. This week, that has become even more apparent. I realize that my own insecurity in my practice and in my heart are what holds me back. After extended reflection, I can see more clearly that my ego often makes me afraid to try and from that, stems regret. Sometimes I have to sit with something a while until it makes sense to me - which has been the case with even this post, taking me close to a week to organize my thoughts.

At the studio, I often shy away from classes that I think are beyond me. However, this past week I took a Flow Fly class for the first time in an attempt to push myself out of my comfort zone. My therapist has asked me to make good on the "do something that makes me uncomfortable" intention on that darned "40 before 40" list. Sarah's intention in class was for us not to tell ourselves that we are "weak" in moments where we struggle with something, but rather to take that as an opportunity to find strength. There were a lot of poses that I couldn't get and I heard the familiar voice inside me say "you can't do this - you're not strong enough, you're not good enough." But with each breath, I could also hear Sarah say "this is where you grow," and I was determined to keep trying. This is where yoga makes me stronger - it makes me recognize my insecurities and accept them rather than hide from them. I do realize that yes I could continue my regular practice but how amazing could it be if I could, in fact, learn to fly?

Thinking back to NYE I was not expecting the kind of revelation that I received. From it, a lot of things became clearer and I recognized that I've hidden from some things long enough. Maybe it's because this is the first time I've loved again post-divorce, but this heartbreak is long to heal and I think this week I've finally realized why. First I just don't want to give up on it yet and maybe it is because I am full of regret and I don't know how to resolve that. Yet. I feel like I didn't give it a real chance because I held back. Because of my own insecurities, words I wrote were taken incorrectly and have hurt someone I love. I don't know if I can ever clear that up and that, more than anything, hurts my heart knowing that I hurt his.

Ego & regret play such a role in many areas of our life and sometimes, without reflection, we are blind to it. Our egos get in the way of us pushing past our limits. They often hold us back from doing what scares us because we are so darn afraid of failure. In life. On our mat. There is a constant struggle of holding on and letting go. It's often why we are so scared to tell others how we feel because we fear lack of reciprocation. But we shouldn't care for others only because we want it in return. We feel what we feel because it is ours to feel. I am quite free with sharing when I care with others, but I do so well aware that those sentiments may not be returned and without expectation. I will say I am happy or I love you when I feel it because I have felt the regret of missing that chance with others in my life.

Regret is not a feeling I enjoy living with. I realize that I've been quick to assign the "disconnect" in our relationship to him, yet through reflection (and a bit of external professional guidance) I realize and accept that I am equally a part of that blame. As much as he may have kept his heart guarded, I am just as guilty of holding back. My ego kept me from fully allowing him to see me and though I was sharing parts of myself, I was guarded. My battered ego brought out the feeling of judgement - self-judgement - on not being "enough". Not at all because he made me feel this way, but because I was in such a place that I didn't feel as though I deserved someone like him.
I remember writing in my journal sometime mid-summer that I wished I could just talk with him all day and all night. I wished that I could tell him everything and I wished I could listen to all of his stories, his thoughts, his memories. Thinking that we had forever, I felt no need to rush - I assumed that I had so much time to tell him. I regret taking that time for granted.

I find strength in written words, however I often hid behind them. I am sometimes hesitant to verbalize what I feel or what I am thinking because I know that I can't do so without breaking down or remaining stoic. I'm learning more of why that is, of why I have this constant need to be perceived as strong and that is a story for another day. If I had the chance to say them, my apology would be something like this...

I don't know how to put into words the feeling of absolute shame and foolishness that one feels when they have been cheated on, over and over again, seeing the signs and being naive to the excuses. It's like you never want to look someone in the eye again because you wonder if they are judging you. Obviously I was not a good enough wife or a good enough girlfriend because I was cheated on. How did someone I love, someone I pledged my life to, play me for a fool? A decade of lies with one man. Then the few others post divorce treated me just as badly. However, there truly was not ever a moment where I doubted JC - never. For the absolute first time in my adult life I completely trusted someone again. And that was something I never thought I would feel. Before him, I resigned myself to never wanting to ever marry someone again because I was sure that I never feel that trust again but there he was... And for the first time in a very long time I believed. But in the moments where I felt insecure, I held back rather than just sharing that with him. My insecurity was my demon. I don't know if it would have changed anything but I would have asked more questions which I think would have put myself at ease. I tried to keep the serious conversations to a minimum out of respect of his request to go slow.

When things ended, it came completely out of the blue to me and I wondered how I could be feeling like everything was happy and then bam it's just done. Was I completely off base? Was I a total fool for thinking that he was falling in love with me? The first question out of everyone's mouth was "what happened? is there someone else?" and my answer was easily "No, that is not him." Even when Cheryl told me about Shelley thinking that him and her were something, I easily dismissed it knowing that it was probably just his sweetness being misconstrued. But as I tried to make sense of it all my ego got in the way. My ego whispered "Don't be a fool again. If you say it first, then you won't look like an idiot. So even though 99.9% of me was certain that it was just him pulling away and not another woman, I put that guard up by saying that "maybe there was someone else he saw himself with." The catch is I never actually thought there was another person or that he was ever unfaithful but I simply felt hurt in that possibly as he got to know me more, it made him realize that he wanted someone different than I was. I can now see that it implied I thought there was someone else and I feel absolutely horrible about that. How do you let someone you love think that you questioned their integrity? Even when I asked about the girl he was visiting in China, I didn't ask because I thought that he was with her while we were together. I asked to clarify if it was the beginning of something because I was still holding on to hope of us finding our way back together. There was still such a connection between us at the time and to be honest I thought that we just needed to step back a little. I asked about her because if there was something I wanted to respect his moving on and allow myself to finally accept that we were over. He had every right to be with whomever he wanted. But instead I offended him.


Today it felt like Nena was inside of my head with her intention but it was a reminder that sometimes things are revealed to us, in moments where we least expect them and only once we've quieted our mind to allow the lessons to come. I suppose that the only thing I can take from these regrets is to recognize them as learning experiences:

1. I have to be me. I was so worried that he would look at us and see differences, that I held back. I am clumsy and silly and oddly competitive, though a really good sport. I am outgoing and introverted at the same time. I am going to want to take care of you, snuggle next to you and sing at the top of my lungs in the car. I want a partner to see me, all of me, and love that girl.

2. Stop being afraid. I need to trust in myself and my own strength. I was afraid to fall because it scared the crap out of me that I possibly wouldn't be able to get back up again. I've been kicked down a lot in life and you know what, I've gotten up every time. Sometimes slower, sometimes with caution but I have risen. I need to have faith in myself that given this track record, I'm pretty fucking resilient.

3. Cut myself a little slack. Last year was the end to a crazy decade and I need to accept that things have happened through my life that have given me these insecurities. Rather than hide from them or try to hide them from others, I need to accept them and be honest about them. They are now a part of me and no one is perfect.

4. People can leave our lives but their lessons stay. All of a sudden it seems as though there is a wall - it certainly didn't exist for the months post breakup when we still talked almost daily and stayed connected. But now there is a definite boundary and as much as I would like to continue a friendship, I don't know if that is the case for him and I suppose I just need to accept that. If I don't get to have him in my life going forward, all the wonderful things he taught me in this past year will still remain with me. I am forever thankful for this heart experience.

5. Sometimes we have to forgive ourselves too. For too long, I blamed myself for things way beyond me. My dad's father left our family = I wasn't enough. Tim was unfaithful to me = I let it happen. I. Was. A. Fool. One man I dated insisted no one could know we were together & cheated constantly = I allowed this treatment. These are not my indiscretions, I cannot accept the blame. Forgiveness of self, it's time.

6. Look forward. As someone once said, there is a reason why the rear-view mirror is small and the windshield is large, it is proportionate to the importance of future vs. past. Stay present every day and look forward at all the wonderful possibility of life ahead of us.

7. Do things that make us uncomfortable - it's how we grow into better people. Challenge ourselves, face fears and accept that we may fail. It is in the attempt - in the moment of uncomfort where we question our strength - that truly, we find the opportunity to grow.

8. Don't hold back. I feel like I need this tattooed somewhere ugh because I seem to keep forgetting. Be the amazing, wonderful human that you are - with every imperfection and with every scar. No one can choose you if you don't allow them to see you. Just be.

9. When in doubt, get on your mat. Take a moment of stillness and allow the truth to reveal itself to you.

10. Don't be afraid to make a mistake. I was so afraid after Tim to choose "wrong" again that I just never chose anyone at all. I dated men that were completely wrong for me because somewhere inside of me there was this feeling that if I knew it could never be, then it wouldn't be me making the wrong choice again.


Until JC I never imagined that I would ever want to share my life with someone again - I never thought I could ever trust another man with my heart because I thought I would always be suspect. Not once did I doubt his loyalty or his integrity. I think of all the regrets I currently have in my heart, him feeling as though I doubted him is the worst of them all. I walked out of a meeting on Friday with this feeling of contentment - of knowing that I was in the right place and that all of these choices and endings brought me to where I exactly needed to be. I felt great and happy and empowered. And then I felt sad. Sad because the first person I wanted to call and share it with was him. I miss him as my person, as my friend - that may be the hardest part to let go of. I hate that I'm not a part of his day any more, I'm barely a part of his life. I do honestly only want love and happiness for him because there is no one I've met yet in my life that I think deserves that more. Someone who deserves to be chosen. I hope that he finds whomever it is that makes his heart come alive. Eventually I will stop wishing that it was me.

I realize that everything needs to happen as it does because if it didn't, I likely wouldn't be here in the place that I am now learning even more about myself. I will keep coming to my yoga practice with the intention of taking those moments of vulnerability with the hope that I keep pushing further and allow my mat to be the mirror. To find those moments of stillness where the emotions rush out and tears cleanse the soul. To allow for the possibility of falling but all the while knowing that the same possibility for flight exists. Sometimes it is in learning to trust ourselves again, that we then can fathom trusting others in the same manner. Every moment is lesson. xo

14 February 2017

alis volat propriis

Six years and 34 steps ago.  I stood at the bottom of the staircase unable to really breathe, as I was holding back both tears and vomit.  I stood there scared out of my fucking mind that I was making the biggest mistake of my life.  I was so unsure of myself.  I questioned if I was actually brave enough to do this.  I was unsure that I had enough strength to climb each of those stairs to the security check-point in International Departures. I had just checked all my treasured possessions packed in three luggage and a pet carrier (Ruby).  I was about to say good-bye to a life, knowing I'd likely never return.  I took a taxi to the airport all on my own, determined to fly by my own wings.

I'd like to say that it was the day I confidently chose to love myself first.  That it was some empowering day of spreading my wings and saying goodbye.   In reality when I got to the top of those stairs I had a panic attack and I frantically called Tim to see if I should really walk through those doors of security or if he changed his mind and wanted to plead with me to stay. Obviously we know there was no such gesture of love and devotion and onward I went. It was the worst flight of my entire life - with so much turbulence and nose-diving that I actually held the stranger's hand sitting next to me.  Looking back it's oddly telling of how I was feeling that day.  I've struggled with feeling like it wasn't really my choice but the choice that I did make was to leave with grace and dignity.  (Minus of course the 5 minutes I melted down before security.)  Through it all I never yelled, I never fought.  I calmed asked if this was it or if there was any way to work through it, though deep down I knew that I would never be able to trust him again after knowing all the deceit.  I could have fought but it would have been for money or possessions and I valued my peace more.   

Six years ago, being in the air, away from all things lovey-dovey and Valentines seemed like the best day to leave my husband.   In hindsight I recognize that it really just adds to the amount that I dislike this holiday. It's a giant red and pink, glittery, flashing reminder of that day and the end to that chapter in my life.   Truth be told I've never been much of a Valentines Day fan... I just believe that really every day should be when we do nice things for the people that we love.  But this year, which I believe is a year of beginnings, I take this day as a reminder of being able to find within me, some sort of invincible summer.  That after every heartbreak, there is an invincible love.  And that even with moments where I have questioned my bravery, I know that through it all there is a better, stronger me that has resulted.  This year I celebrate me and a milestone birthday.  I celebrate all that I have endured and risen from. I celebrate that every ending will become a beginning because I choose to believe.  I celebrate all the love that surrounds me knowing that I am making space for even more to come in.  I am proud that in the moments where I felt fear, I didn't walk away.  I rose to it. There will always be moments in our life that scare the living shit out of us.  Sometimes they are quite happy moments - like when you feel like you are falling for someone and you're not quite sure if you are ready to put your heart on the line.  In all of these moments, it is our choice to jump in or back away; to choose fear or to choose hope. Just remember, it is usually in those moments where we are on the brink of something amazing and we have to trust that our wings will carry us.  We have to believe that love & hope trump fear. xo 

06 February 2017

blessings

On my way home from work I stopped at the graveyard to talk to my dad - his official name plate finally was installed which was nice but it was weird to see both my parents name there.  It's still hard for me to believe sometimes that he is really gone.  I still expect him to come lumbering up the stairs when I get to their house.  I still hear his voice say "Yeah Linds" or "Hey kid" when I'm there in that space.  Sometimes like tonight when I just want to talk to him and it hits that he's really gone.  Not that it stopped me because I just sat there on the ground in front of him and hoped that some how he could hear me.  But what I wouldn't give to be able to wrap my arms around him and lean in for one of those giant bear hugs.  

We spent the night at the funeral home tonight - paying our respects to Alissia's Nonna who passed last week.  Sometimes like tonight it hits me just how lucky I am to have such wonderful family and friends.  All of our parents are able to visit with each other and watch all of us and how we carry each other through times like this.  From Mary's dad teasing me and reminding me of how I'll always be the bad influence to his girl, to my mom sitting with Christie and chatting away. The fact that we can all so easily get along with and care for our families and the families of those who are a part of our lives reminds me that this isn't a blessing that everyone gets to experience.  To know that our lives have intersected so closely warms my heart so much and I realize that even in the moments where I may feel lonely I am surrounded by love and for that I am more than grateful. 

They love the real me.  The broken me, the confused me, the one that loves a little too much and laughs a little too loudly.  We love each other without judgement and with a fierceness that is second to none.  These are the people who make my life so much brighter and even in the darkest moments like losing a loved one, we come together and stand side-by-side in support.  It goes without question that we will all just show up and be there as one.  They make my life better.  They make me a better person.  They make my heart feel so very full.  I know I've been struggling with changes and then there are nights like tonight where I can spend hours with them, letting every guard down and being my true self and I finally feel like as much as letting go is breaking my heart, these girls will always hold me up.  Tonight I count them in my blessings and remember just how full my life truly is.  xo