It would be easy to call this redefined, but to me a stronger word is needed. To redefinition is to define something from scratch. When you really have no clue, but have to figure it out anyway. This is where I am.
There are a few things to redefinition in my life. First, life is great, all things considered. A great career, a great company, a wonderful relationship, amazing, supportive, loving friends. I am very lucky and blessed. But even with all of that, there is a lot of figuring out.
Happiness: Happiness after the loss of a loved one feels different. I am a happy person by default, having an upbeat disposition. But I am acutely aware of who is missing. Wanting to call and not being able. But knowing she is here with me, watching over me, saying hello with little signs. There is happiness in these things.
Family: Now the family unit must be redefinitioned (yes that is a word, at least in my dictionary). Mom is gone now. And my closest sister in age and geography has stepped out of the picture, no longer wanting to be a part of mine or Dad’s life. So I must figure out how to be a family now. Thank goodness there are 3 other siblings on which to lean and who are being very supportive. My answer? LOVE. What will that look like for Dad’s 80th birthday? Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years? I have no idea. But surely there is enough love out there to figure it out.
Adulting: Crap. This means I have to be an adult. I still have trouble putting my pants on without falling on my face. I have no idea what I am doing, or how to do it. Unless it involves falling, tripping and breaking my toes. I would like to think that I will get through this with Grace and Humor. More than likely it will be a lot of long pauses, awkward moments and blank stares. The role of Humor will be played by those who are watching. I know, you aren’t laughing at me, you are laughing near me…
Love: Holy crap, do I have enough love to fill the void of Mom, sister, her three sons? I have no idea, but certainly with faith and prayer I will find out. It’s going to be rough, but it can be done. People do it every day, so we can too. And no doubt there will be plenty of laughter along the way, as there always is. That is the thing about life – we may never know or understand the roads on which we end up traveling, but we can at least make the best of it.
Grief: I have no idea what grief looks like, but I have a feeling that I am deeply in the middle of a staring contest with it. I am going to win too. After going through all of the phases, which I am not even sure of what they are called. But a rose by any other name…so does it really matter? I imagine grief and I will become quite good friends before the end. So I hope it likes coffee and wine. And soft pillows.
Every day: Slowly I am getting my groove back. Getting back to work, being productive…not bursting out in tears every hour. That is pretty huge. My co-workers were beginning to think my puffy eyes and red nose were a permanent thing. Life is getting back to being a series of serious and comedic moments. Living with an 80-year-old is an adventure. He likes it really warm. As in 90 degrees feels good to him. Like when we ordered pizza. And he wanted to eat it outside. When it was 93 degrees. My boyfriend and I are melting, trying to eat this hot pizza, sweat pouring out of use like were are made of holes. Meanwhile, Dad is oblivious, even putting hot sauce on his slice commenting on what a nice evening it was. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Holidays: See above family. Just an expansion. Mom held everything together. Now we have to figure it out on our own. For sure there will be a big Christmas tree. Her ornaments. Wrapping. And wrapping. And wrapping. Hot chocolate. Cats. A big fireplace. And not sure what else. We will figure it out when we get there. Redefinition.
Decoration: I already had a stuffed house before my boyfriend moved in. Now more things with Dad. I am discovering the lost art of cleaning out, throwing away things I haven’t used or worn in years to make room for…more stuff. It is liberating and slightly scary. When was the last time you looked in those boxes that have been packed for the last 20 years?? Yep, did that a few weeks ago. And everywhere you look, there is a painting, picture, piece of furniture. And whatever you do, do not open that closet door!
Dinner time: We usually cook every night anyway, but it is pretty cool to have another at the dinner table at night. And then after dinner conversations. Beer or wine on the patio. TV? At some point I will have to binge watch everything I have missed and am missing. I may need to book at “Bedcation” to catch up.
Gardening: In addition to lots of stuff, I have inherited about 40 plants. Except I am not good with plants, but I am determined to changed that. Everything from a Delicious Monster, or a Staghorn Fern, to rubber tree plants, to a ficus benjamina, to many cacti, to other green things, this is going to be a very leafy adventure (hopefully). There are plants everywhere in the yard, and this winter, my house will be the greenhouse. Should be interesting with the cats…
Working out: Help! My fat pants seem to have shrunk in the laundry…Or maybe I just need to get to the gym, eventually. Between working and everything else, the gym, or even working out at home, seems like a distant fantasy. It’s a shame redefinitioning doesn’t burn any calories, because if it did I would be in my skinny jeans.
No doubt many others have redefinitioned these things too, and more. The great thing about life is that we do get to make up our own rules, we do get to write how we want it. And whatever these things are, I want them to be stuffed with Love. Like a giant stuff olive (can you tell I am hungry?)