Just a couple of months ago, I was preparing for the Nashville Needlework Market and going crazy as usual. Then my dad had a heart attack and everything changed. If you read my business blog, you know that he died on February 28th after two weeks of trying to get better mostly for his daughters and a little for himself. He tried hard, but it just wasn't meant to be. Dad was in Arizona when all of this happened, so all five of his daughters ended up in Arizona just before he died in Hospice. With all the hustle and bustle of getting things prepared for the memorial service and then back in Minnesota to sift though a life time of belongings; it seems like I haven't had time to properly sift though the memories of my life with my dad. After the frentic activity that accompanied dad's death the ensuiing time has either been filled with the activity of catching up on the things left undone or avoiding doing anything at all.
Grieving is a process that shouldn't wait and yet it does wait until it can wait no more. Remembering is a part of that process. So, I have come back to Arizona for a brief time. Rick and I are looking at homes out here as possible retirement possibilities. It has been strange entering my dad's place here for the first time since all of the activity surrounding his death. I missed having him there to greet Rick and I when we arrived. My sisters have long since returned to their daily lives, so it is quiet here without them.
Although his physical presence is gone now, I still feel his spirit here where he loved to come in the winter to drive away the cold of Minnesota. I often drove him from Minnesota to Arizona and on those trecks across country we sometimes talked and sometimes just watched the scenery pass by. There were times when he would comment on the beauty of the countryside and then there were times he would want to play the game of seeing who could find the most white horses and chalk up the most points. I will miss those trips with him...a daughter spending time with a father who has given so much of himself to his family, friends and strangers over the 95 years of his life.
On the way out here, Rick and I stopped at the rest stop where dad and I always stopped. It is a beautiful desert area with rocks piled precariously on top of one another as though ready to fall at any moment. I remembered on one of those stops, dad saw a woman with a sign asking for help for her family and herself. Dad didn't hesitate...he pulled out a twenty and gave it to her. In this current age of busy people passing each other by without a thought or word, my dad stopped to make a difference in a stranger's life. Most people would think...wait a minute...what if this woman was going to spend her money on drugs or booze or some other activity that wasn't really helpful to herself or her family. Instead of wondering about this, dad just acted and trusted that the forces of the universe would help to provide what was needed in this woman's life. Sure the money could have been spent unwisely, but it was the loving, generous attitude with which he gave the money that mattered in the larger picture of life.
So, as I meet life today I hope that I can greet the unpredictable circumstances that surround me with an open, caring and generous spirit rather than acting out of fear or cynicism. May you find the time to do what you need to do for your spirit today.
Till next time,