How Do You Hold on to What You Will Inevitably Lose?

First, Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope today finds you, number one, loving and approving of yourself; and, number two, having someone special to love and love you back!

As for me, I have to say that time has been getting the best of me this past week!  Lots of changes going on around here.   All positive, don’t worry!

I was really happy to get back to doing some quick tutorials, which are really my favorite thing about blogging; but I have missed blogging about my deep-thinking shenanigans, too!

I wrote the title of this post, literally, about three weeks ago, and have been itching to get back to it ever since.  I’d love to share mine and hear your thoughts on this topic, and tips and tricks to hold on to what must be let go.  Because, really, in the grand scheme of things, nothing is under our control.   There is birth; there is life; there is death.  It is all a natural cycle –  independent of our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.  And we all have to cope with some aspect of this cycle at one time or another.

I remember when I was preparing for the birth of my first child.  One of my sweet friends, who is also an alternative healthcare provider, told me that the biggest thing to remember during labor was that I would have to relax and just “let go.”  She said that that would afford me a much more relaxed and quicker labor.  She said that symbolically asthmatics (which I am) have trouble letting go.  (Something about holding on to precious air in a subconscious fear that this breath may be your last.)  It made perfect sense to me, and I’ve applied this thought process to many things in the last five years.

(For the record, my first labor was 21 hours of natural intensity and insanity; and then three hours of glorious epidural-induced calm.  Letting go was HARD!)

Anyway, personally, at present, I have two “letting go” issues that are on my everyday radar — the passing childhood of my children and the rapid aging of my best friend (my sweetie-pie grandfather).  (You may want to get up and grab something to dab your eyes if you’re softie!)

I know that the present is a special gift that I take for granted each and every day, because I am human and I am incapable of handling it any other way.  It is entirely possible to recognize and appreciate the present, but it is also inevitable to fall off the wagon and forget the importance of each and every moment.   Memories that you think will last forever do not.  They get overtaken by more current, “better” memories.

I don’t want to forget any experience that has shaped my being and my soul, so I must be my own recorder.

To tackle this fleeting time with the kids, I keep a journal.  I try to write to the kids once a month and on any special occasions, i.e., first day of school, first day of dance, what outfits are their favorites (they are both fashionista(o?)s).   I am very specific in my writing as far as location, time, clothing, my feelings, their feelings – basically any detail I can add in, I do.

I have been doing this since A.S.’s third birthday, when I picked up a little journal at the dollar store and decided to have everyone who attended her birthday party to write a letter to/about her on her special day.   I have decided to put this journal out on every birthday from now on (of course, I forgot to set it out for her fourth!?).   I hope it will be as much a gift to her as it is to me.

And now that A.W. is coming-of-age, I will start one for him, too.  He is mentioned throughout A.S.’s journal, but he deserves his own.

So this little journal, I hope, will hold all the wonderful (and not-so-wonderful, but real!) childhood memories of my beautiful, smart, difficult-to-deal-with-at-times little girl:

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As for my other pressing issue with my grandfather; I realize from the last months that I spent with my grandmother, who I lost last year, that time is the most valuable thing in the world when you reach a certain age.  I refuse to let myself get too busy to slow down and update him on our lives and what’s going on outside of his nursing home walls.   I want to keep him connected to us as long as I possibly can.  I want him to see the kids often enough that they don’t look and act like different people every time he sees them.  I want to do my best to help him stay calm and relaxed and comfortable as he goes through the not-so-pleasant phase of the cycle of life that he is in.

My solution to not letting time get away from me has been to stop sewing my first-ever quilt (that I will complete; I have started others) when I’m not with him.  This is the best I could come up with.  He doesn’t know this, and I’ll never tell him, but I have made a promise to myself that every Friday evening of mine for the rest of his days are his and mine together.  I fold up this quilt and my little sewing kit and sit and sew and talk with him about old times, wild times, good times.  He talks about his kids as kids, our ancestors, how his mom used to knit and crochet and craft like I do.  Sometimes he talks about how I’m going to be rich when I sell my quilts and other things I’ve made, and he says he’ll help me take care of “all that money.”  I just stitch and smile and think to myself how funny that he doesn’t realize we’ve been working on this same little tiny quilt for three months now.

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And in the spirit of transparency, my cheeks are covered in tears.  But I’m very proud of myself for the ability to self-observe and not let this precious time slip away from me without fighting back a little.

With that, I would ask you to ask yourself (and share with me, if you want to), how do you hold on to what you will inevitably lose?

Ahhh, I feel so much lighter now! :O)

C

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3 thoughts on “How Do You Hold on to What You Will Inevitably Lose?

  1. What a read! Thanks for sharing! The thing you do with your grandfather is beautiful.
    I too, struggle with enjoying every day and letting time fleet. I don’t keep journal (shame) but what I do I snap random pics on my cell phone. I have one good camera but it’s bulky and I get frustrated with the lights, shadows etc. And let’s be honest, I just need to capture a moment right there and then and the cellphone is perfect for that. I snap them while they are eating breakfast, while they are at the ballet practice, in the park, being silly in the bed, baby’s first toothless grin in the morning, bathtime…..the pics are not perfect, but they don’t have to be. One day I will make a photobook out of all those snapshots 🙂

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  2. I am taking the one month tutorial offering through wordpress called Blogging 101. One of my assignments this week is to comment on a blog I have never seen before. I chose to search under the tag “quilting” – one of my many hobbies that I struggle to spend time on these days – and am very impressed by your content and heart-warming post here, in particular. I will definitely continue to visit for inspiration. I too value the importance of treasuring moments, people, activities before we lose them….it is my intention, {before I get too old to do so} to complete a full size quilt…completely by hand…just like my maternal grandma used to do.

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  3. Colleen, thank you so much for your kind words! I popped over to your blog and really enjoyed what I saw, too. I am impressed and excited that you will be continuing the legacy of hand quilting as your grandmother had done. I will be checking in on your blog in the future, too. Would love to see your finished quilt. IM nowhere near where you are with the livestock, but we are excitedly starting with chickens this spring. I will have to check and see if you’ve written anything about the topic for newbies!
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours on the ranch!

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