Sunday, June 24, 2018

Family Dream

I realized that my two cats with terminal conditions may be on their way to the rainbow bridge sooner than I'd like. I realized that although I am following the Spirit moving back to Upstate New York, I am sad to leave Olympic National Park so far away. I also realized that while the Lord blesses us all, I may never find a partner to share my life with. 
I wept and prayed. I knew that Christ understood the loneliness better than I ever could and asked Heavenly Father to help me remember the loneliness that Christ felt throughout his life. 
He sent me a beautiful dream of my parents and siblings gathered around the Christmas tree in our tiny home when we were young. I was so happy to see my deceased mother, as I had not dreamed of her for a very long time. We were singing, "I Am a Child of God." I woke with a great sense of peace that I am never alone, and when I am sealed to both parents and my deceased brother my link to my ancestors will be very real. It is a great comfort to my sorrow.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Grief

I knew I would grieve.

I knew I would be sad.

I did not know grief would wrap me in a cold blanket and drag me to the bottom of a frozen lake. I did not know it would rob me of my very desire to breathe, to move, to think. I did not know.

I did not know clothing would hurt. I did not know.

I did not know I would be so tired. I didn't know I would be so lonely. I did not know I would not care.

About anything.

I did not know that food would taste bad. I did not know that cooking was a burden. I did not know chewing was exhausting.

I did not know moving would hurt. I did not know walking would exhaust me. did not know turning over in bed would be impossible. I just did not know.

I did not know I could fit so many dirty dishes in the sink. I did not know that cat boxes could smell so bad. I did not know I could look at cat puke and walk on by. I just did not know.

I did not know that I could carry on day after day, feeling this burden that would break me weigh on my heart. I did not know that I could smile for some one and lift their hearts, then return to my own shattered abyss.  I did not know.

Change

I remember a saying from a Dine woman on the CBC show, "North of Sixty." She said, "Its good to cry when things change.

The tears started when I planned to donate my field guides of the Pacific Northwest and Olympic National Park. How can I move so far away from my beloved Olympic green mountains and coastal rainforest? How can I truly move back to Upstate New York?

I have to let myself grieve. Although I trust the spirit I am following, I am sad. Although I love the job I am leaving, I am sad. But, although I am doing a hard thing, I am going. And I am sad.

So, its good to cry when things change.

This move has been brewing for many years. I long for music of the crickets at night, the cicadas at noon. I yearn for the taste of winter on the wind and the crack of summer thunder. I ache for the silence of remote graveyards, the sunset over distant hills. I crave New York.

Home. I am going home. The home I didn't want to leave for the live I had to live. I can go back now; it's time.


Big Changes

Last fall I decided to move from my home in Washington State back to Big Flats, New York, on my beloved Allegheny Plateau. I had been missing home for many recent years, and the thought that I could perhaps live more cheaply and not have to work for my mortgage was very appealing. Plus, Dad had been gone for 8 months already and my step-mom was living alone. She still is; her health seems to be stable. So, I made the decision...and it was tough.

As I look back, I had really been making this decision for the last 5 years. When I finally said it out loud to a colleague last June, I felt like I had given birth. A burden was lifted. I admitted to myself in real words with real intent that I wanted to go back home.

And so I struggled.

I had accepted a position as a chemistry teacher at our brand new district high school... a job for which I was trained but had never actually done. I worked in an alternative program for 16 years and wanted to try something new. I was terrified. The staff, school culture and diversity got me through the year. It was a good, hard year.

And now the burden is lifted. I go to clean my classroom out tomorrow and say goodbye to my newest dear friends. I cried last week when my students left. Some of them cried, too. When my supervising administrator asked me what I was proudest of this year, I replied, "I tell the kids every day that I love them....and some days they tell me they love me back."

An adventure in love is what this year really was. Loving my content, loving my students, but most of all loving myself, and allowing myself the bravery to change.

So, here's to a good, hard summer...of packing and cleaning the house, accepting a good offer on it, signing the sale papers and road tripping back to New York! With two cats, no less! (And hopefully a friend and her dog.) Should be a marvelous event in history!