The Smell of Home

We all have those moments where a certain smell brings back a flood of memories and emotions.  It could be a recipe cooking, a perfume, whatever. Tonight for me it was clothing.  As I was cleaning my Dad’s room out, finishing up and straighten up what remains, I found some sweatshirts that I did not know where here.  As I looked at them I caught a scent…familiar and comforting.

I brought the shirts closer and breathed in deeply. And there it was, so strong, so clear and wonderful – the scent of my mother.  Over nine months since her passing, and clothes still smell like her.  She had such a presence.

And something happened, as I took more deep breaths in, wanting to soak up every bit of fragrance that I could…I felt warm and happy.  For the first time since she passed, I felt happy, a true sense of joy and comfort finding such a reminder.  I was not sad at all.

And wonderful memories came flooding back: Laughter, smiles, conversations on the back porch in the morning while having coffee, watching movies at night with wine.  Playing card games like Rummy 500 (she always won) and Poker. And so, so much love. I felt at home with her scent, remembering my safe place of so many years. It was her little gift to me, those shirts.

And I realized finally, my life is coming back to me.  Through all the grief and struggle, there is happiness and joy, slowly coming in.  It is like rays of sunshine coming in out of dirty windows, and a glimpse of a rainbow. Leave it to a mother to provide hope and love.

There will still be bad days, and bad moments where I break down and cry. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays and holidays. But right now, today, tonight, at this moment, I am happy. My heart is full.

I am figuring out who I am now,since I will never be the same as before.  I can be better, stronger, more compassionate, more understanding and deeper than before.  I am finally regaining my balance, my equilibrium.  Finally my feet are under me.

There has been prayer, meditation, going to church, having faith, leaning on friends for support, cleaning out, yelling, screaming, crying, working, staying focused and trying so very hard. I am eating right, exercising, paying attention to what I need and taking the opportunity to take care of myself instead of everyone else…..and finally it has paid off.  Now all that is needed is to rinse and repeat. Things are falling into place as life has adjusted to the new normal. And it fits well.

I cherish each and every moment of memories of my wonderful parents. And I know I will be OK. More than that, I will be happy.

Truth and Lies

I will never understand why if given a choice, some people will choose to lie.  Is it fear of rejection?  Fear of being ridiculed or judged?  Or maybe it is pride ort just …I don’t even know. But I would love to understand why?

It is easier to admit I made a mistake or an error in judgement, than it is to lie about it – whatever it is.  If I did something wrong, or hurt someone, I will gladly admit it. Because quite honestly, to me lying takes so much energy.  Why not admit the wrongdoing or mistake and be done with it?  Then it is up to the other person to accept the truth, not you.  You know that you have done the right thing, and can walk away from the situation with a clear conscience and peace of mind.

Every one of us have made mistakes, because we are all human.  We have all made errors in judgement that have had unexpected results. We have all done things that backfired. Or that we just realized was the wrong thing to do.  We have all lashed out when hurt at some point in our lives, and we have all been angry or felt regret or guilt about those things later.

That is all part of the human experience.  We try, we fail, we get up and try again.  That is called life.  And along the way, sometimes we lie, but we should tell the truth more often than not.  And when someone confronts us with the truth…why not just own up to it?  Why not just say, “Yes, you know what? I did that.  And I am sorry…”

Studies have shown that people who own up to the mistakes they have made actually build trust and forgiveness in others.  How many politicians have come out and admitted to mistakes and lies?  Finally telling the truth, asking for compassion and forgiveness.  And they usually get it.

There is a lesson to be learned.  When you make a mistake or an error in judgement, tell the truth.  Make amends.  To hide under a lie or to get defensive is a coward’s way out.  And while we are all human, not all of us are cowards.  Because it takes courage to face up to a lie.  It takes courage and humility to admit to a mistake.  And it takes strength to ask for forgiveness after coming clean.

And if I can do it, so can anyone else. Because I have made mistakes and had terrible judgement. I have done things that I am not proud of, even ashamed.  And I have had to apologize for being human in this life. I have owned up to my shortcomings, and begged for forgiveness.  Is it pleasant? No.  But it is all part of life. And you have to be willing to experience it, if you want to grow, if you want to be better, if you want to bring a life that is truly full of love.

What if someone never admits to a lie or mistake?  Then you don’t need them on your life.  Lies build mistrust. And while everyone makes mistakes and has errors in judgement, if someone is constantly lying, then you cannot have them in your life.  Because they will only cause havoc and misery.  They will always blame you instead of facing their own shortcomings.  And that means they will never correct the behaviors.

So stand up and admit to being human. After all, that is part of life.