Life Lessons Remembered
How Nail Polish and Pedicures reminded me of hard-won lessons.
Today I had a poignant reminder to take time for loved ones and indulge in small pleasures, no matter what obstacles life throws your way.
I have to say, it was timely.
I’m in the middle of a move at the moment and super excited!
And a little scared.
And entirely too busy.
And extremely focused on the fact that soon I’ll be back to civilization – yay!
A Poignant Reminder of a Distant Life Lesson
And apparently one I didn’t learn very well.
I’ve been juggling working for my brother and working my coaching business, all while getting packed, cleaning for open houses, etc., etc.
I must say, I’m not a great juggler.
My friends may call me The Jester, but juggling is not my thang.
An Added Complication:
My intention when I go, is that my coaching business be my sole source of financial support.
I’m MOST excited about that – I’m really passionate about helping people to maneuver through their life lessons with ease, rather than having to repeat them over and over again.
But, it’s also something I’ve had feelings of complete and utter failure around.
I know and have put to rest the subconscious fears that were holding me back in the past, but there’s still a certain amount of fear involved in getting back on that bike and riding.
This thing, this being so focused on my business that I don’t make time for the little things – it’s something that bit me in the ass before.
I was saved by a pedicure.
Yesterday that BS came to a screeching halt when for some reason, I became mesmerized by the nail polish I was weeding out in preparation for my move and decided I MUST have a pedicure.
I had to run a few errands before I did and on my way home, I heard the song Far Away by The Offspring.
Suddenly it hit me – Today marks the day 2 years ago when I lost my best friend, Dee.
I did get my pedicure.
And remembered that Dee was a fanatic for OPI nail polish.
I can’t tell you the number of times we sat and gave ourselves pedicures while sipping wine and watching old movies. So that explains that.
It was a bitter-sweet memory, but a great reminder all the same.
I still miss her so much!
I hope you find meaning in this
And perhaps, even a little light in the darkness. xoxox ~M
Finding Beauty in the Darkness
A week ago today, I lost one of my best friends suddenly and unexpectedly. I knew when I received a phone call from her mother this time last week that it likely wouldn’t be something I wanted to hear, but I was brought to my knees when she told me they had found my friend dead in bed at the age of 40.
She was my rock (-ish. More on that later), the biggest cheerleader for my business success, kind and loving. She could be selfish at times, but just as often she was selfless.
A couple of years ago she suddenly developed epilepsy. They still hadn’t gotten the seizures completely under control, but a year ago this news would have been much less a surprise.
For the first year-and-a-half or so, they had her so medicated that she could barely function. Finally she had found a doctor who took her off much of the medication. She was finally starting to really live again, rather than just exist.
My last conversation with her, she told me “I’m getting my life back.” She was determined. She knew that 90% of the situation was mental. She was taking a stand.
On top of losing one of my very best friends,
my life has been turned completely upside down.
For a time, I was caring for both her and her seventy-two-year-old mother (she was 72 at the time, anyway), running them both to doctor’s appointments; grocery shopping; making sure my friend was taking her meds on those days it was all she could do to stay awake long enough to make it the bathroom.
The doctor’s appointments in themselves were no small feat. Her mother is suffering from kidney failure. They were in the midst of preparing her for dialysis which included installing a shunt which wasn’t successful the first time so had to be redone. It seemed there was a doctor’s appointment or some other activity on the calendar every single day. The worst part was that whomever didn’t have the doctor’s appointment seemed to keep me up until the wee hours of the night. I was so sleep deprived for a time that another friend of mine was concerned I was becoming suicidal.
I was extremely frustrated, though not suicidal. It was tough. It went on for months. There was no hope of my being able to find a job without running myself into an early grave. There just wasn’t enough time in the day. Luckily, my friend’s mother had a decent retirement that paid all of the bills. Eventually, things got less hectic – we got her mother through her surgeries at least and I was able to get a job.
One of them keeping me up half the night, however, still continued. And my friend still needed someone looking out for her. Sometime in the midst of all of this her mother became very angry and mean-spirited. I mentioned to Dee that her mother might be developing senility. The things she was doing were uncharacteristic. I don’t know if she ever pursued that with her mother’s doctor, because in the kindest possible way, my friend told me I needed to find someplace else to live.
I was worried about her every day, but what could I do? I suspect the decision came down from her mother, but I’ll never know for sure.
What I do know is that I seemed to be a good target for her mother’s anger. Hell, we both were. Unfortunately, that anger and bitterness has made dealing with Dee’s death all that much more difficult. I was still driving Dee’s truck, which she had told me she wanted me to keep even once I had my own. I put more money into fixing the clutch on it than it was worth, so it seemed fair to me.
Dee helped me out a ton. Unfortunately, that left me pretty dependent on her. I still had personal property – most of my property in fact, at her house. My cell phone was on her account. Her mother’s anger seems to have not dissipated in light of Dee’s passing. Which isn’t surprising. I know she must be devastated, however I’m doubly hurt by the fact that she won’t return my calls; not even to let me know whether there were services planned for her daughter.
Needless to say, I’m surrounded by a good amount of darkness; not just the darkness of losing my friend, but the darkness of her mother’s anger. I’ll find out this weekend for sure, but it appears the personal property I had at Dee’s house was gotten rid of before I even had a chance to make it down to retrieve it.
I’m not blaming anyone. Had I been thinking with more clarity, that much could have been avoided. As for the rest of it though…
How does one turn darkness such as this into light?
When I found out my friend had died, I immediately began looking for the lesson. What am I to learn from this?
To open up more to life and love. I missed out on a movie date the Sunday before Dee passed because I was “too busy with my business.” Upon her death, when I began calling friends I’ve gathered since my move here, I discovered many of the phone numbers were no longer valid.
I realized I’ve been closing myself off from life and from people. I’m an extrovert by nature, so it’s not completely like me, but there have been circumstances and excuses I’ve allowed to keep me stuck. Stuck in seclusion.
The friends I have been able to reach though…
I’m embracing those friendships. I’m making time for people and worrying less about things; not just material things, but things like my business. Obviously I can’t just abandon my business, but there needs to be a balance.
I’ve allowed myself a week to heal a little emotionally. I’ve reached out to people I was hesitant to contact – not because I was afraid of rejection, but in the past I wouldn’t have wanted to be a reminder to them of a painful experience. I’ve stepped out of myself and given them the opportunity to make their own decision about whether I’m a painful reminder or a fellow sufferer and someone to reminisce with.
Perhaps most importantly, I’ve opened up and been receptive to a lot of people I’d been keeping up a certain guard with. People who loved me openly, but who I was not completely vulnerable with.
I’ve engaged in lots of forgiveness. Forgiveness of petty little slights that aren’t worth losing a friendship over.
This is how I’ve found the beauty in the darkness of losing my dear friend, Dee.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you relate to this and if so, how you’ve been able to find beauty in darkness.