TWENTY months old
If we look at the path we do not see the sky. We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk, is to look within, to know who we are, to see we are connected to all things and that there is no separation, only in the mind.
–Native American, source unknown
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 number they can 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 absurd 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, and we have started 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 few months ahead of him. And at least making-out isn’t a requirement to make a baby, because still, I have yet to heal and cannot kiss 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.
After TV 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 reading. 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 sit with my new habit of meditation, then 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.
However, 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, until I feel confident enough to send it out to the list of literary agents I have pinned to my vision board.
So about that meditation I casually mentioned.
I’ve consistently meditated Monday through Saturday for almost an entire month now. I set my timer for ten minutes, 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.
Countless 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 wish I could 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. At this point, I have totally accepted the fact that I’m always going to be one of those weird people who believes in spirit and energy and signs from the Universe.
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.
I’d say the best side effect from this meditation (so far), is that I’m beginning to 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.
I don’t know how sitting and breathing created that change, but it did.
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 from-Maine checkered flannel and moccasins, and she had a smart attitude with the cashier, directing which groceries went into what bags like it really mattered. She 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 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 my connection to the world all around me, comfortable in pettiness and material things, blind to the sunshine because my 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 higher my vibration (the more I appreciate, the happier I am, the better 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, 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.