Ending and Beginning
The end of the year brought with it a new arrangement of the lives in intimate connection to ours. A baby. A brand new baby was born (not to me) to my brother. A sweet and beautiful baby girl to remind us of the wonder and awe of the miracle that is this life. A reminder of the infinite possibilities spread before us.
My 2-week-old niece being held by her Granddaddy
And on the last night of the year a slipping away of Max's Granny as she 'checked-out' (as she put it in a note to her beloveds). To remind us that life is indeed beautiful, hopefully long, and filled with moments of choice.
Granny and Max's mom at our wedding
I share this idea of moments of choice as I write of Granny because that is exactly how she lived her life. She chose to LIVE when many of the strongest of us might have crumbled. My husband's family is a private family and I'll respect that as I write. But I will share that during our last visit with Granny a few weeks ago we asked her about her time during the war and she described "awful, terrible times" which made me blush for thinking I had it so terrible when I was a young mother. This after watching her father be murdered when she was 17. But what was so remarkable was that she did not let any of this kill her spirit. All of the tragic and trying events of her early adult years did nothing to dampen her sense of purpose in living her life.
It was a choice she made. A conscious choice to turn to Life rather than tragedy. To make the most of it and to make the world better by being in it.
This year I will begin again as a mother. This year will begin again with my practice in many ways. This year I will begin again in building a family and a career melding in whatever the arrival of this new spirit will bring into our lives.
This year, may I choose, as Granny did, to turn towards Life, towards making each moment meaningful, towards making the world a better place.
I'll leave you with Granny's mantra:
"Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou return
Was not spoken of the soul."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow