i’ve just returned from london and my suitcases are mostly unpacked. christmas decorations are on my kitchen table and needing to go back to their dusty garage boxes to be opened 12 months from now. i move in less than a month to a new home, which means more packing and unpacking, throwing out and what do i take with me. and my brother died on december 3rd and now, i have his things to unpack and store away for some future date. it’s the deciding of which things to have handy now and which things will need more time than i can give. then having the wisdom to be gracious with myself about the fact that i’m not superhuman and i need time.
but now, the urgent is calling. there are students whom i haven’t seen in 2 weeks and bills to be paid and always something present. i’m ready to get back to life with teaching and the “things i do”. to the safety net of routines and daily walking to get the mail. a neighbor who shows up at my door, with my plant that she was watching while i was away, and then the ensuing conversation. it’s the stuff of today. but there are things i’m unpacking today. like ….
gratitude for my 3 sisters and the beautiful provision of their presence in my life. their existence is one of my “it wasn’t supposed to be this way” stories, personal to me. we’ve always been sisters, but the last month, have bonded us in a way beautiful and tender. we’ve laughed over french pressed coffee and sitcoms, things that have kept us sane, in the midst of awfulness of grief. God knew that the day would come when my oran would pass and i would need them. i would need my family. they call me the head of the family now. oh dear. can i do this? can i be matriarch and organizer and sometimes drill sergeant? i sure hope so. i love them as my own.
while walking colder than cold streets in london, i came upon a statue of Chopin and there was this quote: “simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties.” that is precisely the grand “where i’m at”, as i enter 2015. packing away some of the goals that i thought were important, and unpacking ones i’ve put away, in order to achieve this simplicity of mind and purpose. i have women in my mind’s eye that i prize their poise and gait as they amble down life. they’re not flapped and their purpose is unique to them. i aspire to strip down the non-essentials.
there’s more to unpack about my brother’s life, like he was my everything. like i will miss him so intensely. but i don’t have to worry about him anymore. he’s home and free. clearly, i’m not ready to unpack this yet. not yet.
stay well. stay strong. and for goodness sake, you are not superhuman. just pack the box up and deal with it later. it’s ok, really.