My Great Grandma Pearl ended her journey in this realm and entered another where her soul was freed. I don't handle death well and being very in tune with my emotions at all times I feel deeply the effects of loss. I heard the news with only two days to say goodbye forever and I didn't take it lightly. I didn't feel like going down and saying goodbye because "been there done that never again". Before I knew it I was switching shifts around so that I could go down and say my goodbyes and be with my family. I backed out three times and ran the girl at my work crazy probably as I kept saying "wait, I can't go down. Wait, yes I can". I saddled up and I drove down. I knew in my heart I would regret missing that last goodbye. I arrived, and my vibes were all over the place. My grandma was in her home and was surrounded by her family and I couldn't bring myself to turn around and greet a single person. I walked around towards the hallway door entering my favorite place to play as a child. I sat with my niece and nephew and watched them play with the old toys that I once used in the basement I grew up in. When I went upstairs it was hard to see her. It's hard to see someone you have known your whole life be so alive and active to be so helpless laying on her couch. The more I sat and talked to my family the easier it was to live in that moment. There were laughs. Many of them. Most of them came from the words of the sweet woman laying on the couch. I sat next to her and held her hand after battling myself for hours. My sister, Laura rubbed her other hand and I felt the calmest I had felt in those few days.
I drove an hour North and had a lot of time to think about what I was feeling. I tried to process the emotions I had because they were unusual. I will tell you what I didn't feel. I didn't feel upset or sad, angry or confused. Those are my immediate feelings during a time like this. I felt calm and I understood what was happening. My grandma was ready. God was ready for her to come home. You hear it all the time how when God takes you back it's because you finished your duties here in this life and you're needed for what is beyond. You never really understand it until, well, until you understand it. I finally get it. Flashbacks of my life with my grandma came flooding and I pulled over my truck to embrace them in the happiest tears I never knew I'd shed. She was there when I turned eight and gave me a "My Baptism" activity coloring book. She laid down with me on my living room floor after my baptism and we did the entire book together. That memory has kept coming to light constantly since she left us. My grandma was hilarious, and she was SO full of life. I miss her.
I got the message the next night that she had passed and I still didn't feel my typical emotions, instead I looked up and smiled for her. Two days later, I left to Australia thus missing the funeral. I was okay with missing it. Really. I felt and still feel that she is safe. Her passing made me feel like it was okay to rejoice her life. I will never forget her and if anything, she brought the family closer together.
I will see her again. Until then, I won't stop growing and I will keep finding purpose to breathe. Which now brings me to my trip that changed everything.
Every year on my birthday I would wish for two things. Disneyland and Australia. Every year it didn't come, but that didn't stop me. This year my sister surprised me by taking me to Disney to meet my favorite FAVORITE princess -Ariel of course(; and I came home to news I would be leaving to surprise my Auntie Larni for her birthday in Australia. As I processed this, all I could think about was how I blogged, and continued to tell myself everyday that this was MY year. And it is. Being in Australia was wasn't really all that different from being home. I didn't have any major culture shocks because I went there with an open mind that I was going to make the absolute best of my trip no matter what. I wanted to learn and I wanted to grow. Trees in an abundance. Chop one down, plant 100 more. Meat pies (steak and tomato!). All the candy and Tim Tams. I saw things I wanted to see. Animals and family and oceans and lakes. I am an observer by nature and that usually classifieds me as the "quiet girl". I observed my family and the ways that they interacted with each other and their friends. How they really are when no ones watching. It all comes down to one thing. Love. I have been striving to find simplicity in my life. I have also been thinking a lot about religion.
I sat around a table with my aunties and uncles with their friends and watched how they just didn't have a care in the world. They weren't talking about stresses in their lives or the bills they still had to pay. They sat around a table and talked to each other about fishing, boating, what they were gonna eat for tea later. They laughed and it was full belly laughs. I went to bed one night and was overwhelmed by my emotions because here at home, I am consumed by what I didn't get done that day. I don't sit around a table with my friends and family because I am so busy doing the things I think I HAVE to get done and so much time has passed and the only thing I have to show for my "hard work" is a pat on the back. Where is the love that I crave daily? Where are the hugs and kissed cheeks? I have decided that if something doesn't serve me with love and space to grow I don't need it. I don't want to fill my heart with hatred for people who have wronged me. I want to show them mercy. I am human too. I want more table conversations where we talk about the meaning of life, how much we love each other and most importantly I want to talk about what we DON'T have to do today but what we want to do.
For the few weeks I was in Australia it didn't hurt to think. Things came easily to me mentally. I opened my soul and embraced Australia for the beauty I knew it would be. I never talk about religious things because I never really labeled myself "religious". I believe in God. But I believe that my relationship is mine and only mine. I can parade around all day talking about what me and God talk to each other about but that's not going to make you believe it's just going to make me look like an idiot who is obsessed with God haha. God is love. God is accepting. God is simplicity. God isn't judgement. God isn't hatred. God doesn't shun. God forgives. God is inside of me. I felt his embrace as I walked along the beach. I felt him as for once I handled being around my mom for days on end and neither of us wanted to punch each other in the throat. He has made me gentle. I am a hard shell. I speak loud, I yell loud, I am everywhere always mentally and physically. Since coming home, I feel soft. I feel happy and that's what matters.
Don't let what you have to get done consume your world. Don't let what people said about you make you hard. Don't let what happened to you in the past turn your heart dark. I came from a very dark place and I got through it. If I can help just ONE person turn their heart to love instead of hate then I have served my purpose here in this life. I battle myself everyday but I have more angels in my life than demons and that is what helps me shut them up. If what you are doing doesn't serve you complete happiness then you don't need it. Give it up, you'll be happy you did.