We are in a happy phase right now, here at the Pearlman home. I love this cradled in comfort time of year, right after Thanksgiving and weeks before Christmas, when the weather is cool but not yet slushed with snow and that familiar anticipation awaits the happy season.
And I especially love the parties and traditions and togetherness, but ever since you transitioned from this world, Christmas has never been the same, even after all these years.
The first December came only months after you died. I ordered and bought and taped and wrapped, seventy-two presents for us four kids. Cole and Tatum were still young enough to believe the gifts came from Santa and not their big sister.
When we opened them, our house was empty of the one person who made those Christmas mornings so special and your absence ached and ate away at my insides.
I gifted Dad a big frame, holding pictures of the two of you through your shared seventeen years and he choked back tears, unable to look at them. It was devastating and confusing and I remembering wondering if I should’ve felt ashamed or accomplished for creating a present that made my unbreakable father cry.
I don’t know how he handled it, how he sat down there and watched his kids lose the magic of Christmas, as all the love we once shared seemed to shrivel and shrink and separate into individual hurting hearts.
In the years to come, I want my children to not receive seventy-two presents, but rather a reasonable amount they can anticipate and appreciate. I want them to understand that our family being together, all under the same roof, is what’s to be celebrated. And sledding and cookie baking and classic movie watching, all done as a family, is what’s to be treasured and remembered–that’s what it was always about for you, underneath the fancy parties, underneath our obscene amount of presents.
I don’t mean to sound like a sad humbug. Because I really am looking forward to this month of December. Kati is coming home from Texas, Allison turns 24, Yoga Flow is having a holiday party, my friends are getting together on numerous occasions, my father-in-law has his annual birthday dinner and we are seriously trying for baby number two.
With doubt and hesitation stopping the “trying process” for months now, I finally know it’s time. It’s safe to say Chris has a good month ahead of him.
Not much is new in the world of Everett. Each morning, he gets up around 6 a.m. and we go downstairs to watch cartoons for an hour or so. It’s our lazy time together, when I make breakfast and wake up the house, starting laundry and getting my coveted cup of coffee.
Some mornings I’m in disbelief that I get to begin my days in such a way–slow and with my babies (the dog included).
After T.V. we go upstairs and Everett sits in his room and flips through hardback books while I dry my hair and wrap it in hot rollers. On a “fun” day, I play music, singing in my bathroom that has a straight and full-view to his room.
He likes dancing to oldies and when Sherrrrrrrrry…..Sherry babyyyyy comes on, he nods his head and shakes his little body, still while readying. It’s so cute.
Everett always looks like he’s going to burst of joy–never have I met such a happy kid. He feels like my own extra special exception.
After playtime, he takes a nap, I do my little meditation and start writing until he wakes up. Sometimes I get an hour, sometimes even two, but when he’s up, I’m a mom again and I close my office door (which is really just our spare bedroom). I never want to get lost between following a personal dream and doing what makes me most happy–mothering. They have to balance and blend and not outweigh the other, otherwise, I’d have to set this book aside.
I’m proud to tell you my proposal is finished. It currently consists of over fifty pages, including parts like the books’ overview, sample chapters and a market analysis. So I’ve set aside the time between now and Christmas, to proof and rearrange and edit it over and over, l until I feel confident enough to send it out to the list of literary agents I have pinned to my vision board.
And I sent my query letter, a piece of writing some agents ask for before even agreeing to open your proposal, to a past professor of mine. I had her each semester in college and credit her ability to critique my writing more than anyone else. Her revisions were the pair of proofing eyes I needed before moving forward.
I feel pressure, I feel scared, but more than anything, I’m excited. I wrote a book proposal!
Some more news.
I’ve consistently meditated Monday through Saturday for almost an entire month now, starting with eight minutes in the morning. I’ve upped my time to ten minutes now–oooooh, and that’s all together one hour per week that I get to sit, breathe, clear my mind and make space for more good and positivity.
So many times before, I’d quit the commitment after a few days because it just seemed too simple to be of any benefit. But meditating is now starting to feel necessary, like every person in the world should try it.
The most important thing I have learned in ten years of practicing yoga is breathing. It’s not forward bending, not standing on my hands, not even learning how to teach. It’s simply the breath.
And breathing is key for meditation. It creates a rhythm, an awareness and the ability to connect with the greater power that gives me the energy to inhale and exhale in the first place.
When I close my eyes and seal my lips and start slowly breathing through my nose, I’m taken to a place in my head that I want to always stay. My focus is strong and my thoughts are intentional, rather than covered up by the constant background noise I wish I could just shut up.
And I’ll get an idea about somewhere to go, something to write about, someone to call….which all feels right, like something divine is guiding me and the thought that comes.
I can’t explain it without sounding strange. I’ve tried to tell Chris about my “meditating findings” and knew he was keeping his crazy pedometer on stand-by while still trying to be respectful of his wife.
However, I know I can tell you without receiving judgement. Because you exist in that powerful, yet calm place I’m learning to become a part of.
While meditating a few days ago, I asked “you” (which is the same as asking Source Energy or God or the Universe because everything is connected) to send me a reassuring sign that I’m choosing the right title for this book.
I want to call it Blue Jays and Lilies.
As soon as I was done and my ten minute timer went off, before moving my body, I picked up my phone and searched “mother journal magazine” on Google, hoping to find something that I could potentially write an essay for, in order to beef up my proposal’s bio section. When I hit enter, a bird magazine came up (why, I don’t know) with a blue jay on its cover.
And then a few hours later, I impulsively opened Instagram for the first time in a few days. Meghan’s posted calligraphy photo popped up and as I admired her art, I noticed a ruler in her picture’s background. It was branded Lily and Val and I immediately thought of our Lily of the Valley flower.
I got chills and smiled and kicked my heels thinking oh my freaking shit this stuff works.
So Blue Jays and Lilies is my book title. I know I’ve already shared with you the lily’s significance, but blue jays have been appearing in my dreams, in books and I find their feathers and see them flying on our walks. Every time, I’m reminded of you.
Because in these signs, I’m assured there is a way to connect with you. They make me feel like I’m a part of life and the energy that makes up this Universe, not a victim to the circumstances or happenings that occur in my experience.
“The moment you have the audacity to start believing in the not-yet unseen, your reality will begin to shift. You have to change your thinking first, and then the evidence appears. Our big mistake is that we do it the other way around. We demand to see the evidence before we believe it to be true.” -Jen Sincero
I cannot be connected with a higher power if I’m sad and depressed and stuck in my mind. I cannot receive the magical evidence, like the blue jays, if I don’t believe there’s a higher power at work. And I cannot feel close to you if I believe you’ve permanently disappeared.
It’s all like comparing a closed flower to an open one–the sunshine simply cannot get in.
The only “price” I have to pay in order to stay connected and open, is put myself in the happy, positive and believing mindset that attracts the good stuff. But why does that sometimes feel so hard, even though my life is so wonderful?
Everett and I were at Whole Foods yesterday and at the checkout line, there was an older woman in front of us, dressed up like she was coming out of a meeting, with a silk scarf squaring her shoulders and a huge diamond ring that shined as she swiped her credit card. She was with her daughter, who had a baby, and for a moment I felt that pitted pang of jealousy, thinking, why can’t I have my mother like she does?
I caught the ringed one looking at me funny, probably judging my checkered flannel and moccasins, and she had a smart attitude with the cashier, directing which groceries went into what bags like it really mattered. Her and her daughter kept bickering at each other, keeping me entertained live while waiting in line.
But instead of letting any of their bad vibes absorb into mine, I understood their gloomy mood had nothing to do with me and tried to remember that I get to have you in a more special way than merely physical–that you were indeed there with Everett and I.
After they left and I was rung up, my total came to $23.45, the least amount of money I’ve ever walked into that store paying, but look at the pattern of the numbers.
While walking to our car, I discovered their Mercedes was parked right next to mine and smiled at the synchronicity.
I felt like I was gliding on water, a very part of the sunshine and clear sky and my ever-present mother who always seems to have a way of “showing up” when I need her.
I thought about the fact that if I never lost you, I would’ve remained a closed flower, just like that woman and her daughter, unaware of their connection to the world, comfortable in pettiness and material things, blind to the sunshine because their petals are pulled shut.
Because you cannot be miserable and expect miracles to manifest.
We are energetic creatures in an energetic Universe, where everything vibrates at certain frequencies. The better my vibration (the more I appreciate, the happier I am, the healthier my thoughts) the closer I am to you, the closer I am to the higher power.
When you died, you returned to the energy that created the Universe. You returned to the energy we all come from, the same energy that grows the grass and shines the sun and moves the wind and gives me my beautiful breath.
As a living human being, I am an extension of that Source Energy (or God), and when my time comes to move into the non-physical, I will return to the Source, just as you did.
So there is always a connection. We are all the same stuff, tethered tightly to all things and always able to reach each other (if we would only stop whining about our lives and choose to feel good).
I feel guilty that it took your death for me to realize what now feels like the foundation of my life. I will not waste this gift you’ve given me, better than any of the hundreds of Christmas presents I gathered through childhood.
And how wonderful it is, to think that my children will grow up, never having to fear losing their parents or anyone else they’ll ever love, because in all my power, I will teach them that there is no such thing as separation in our Universe–that severance is only of the mind.