Monday, December 1, 2014

It's OK to Remember; It's OK to Continue to Mourn

It's not that I go around each day focused on my life that used to be. 

I don't "live in the past" and I truly have few regrets.

For me, it's a few triggers of sight or sound that bring to the surface feelings and near tears, even, after almost four years for my husband and almost one year for my Mom.

Please don’t let well meaning friends or relatives tell you to “move on” or to shake their heads and remind you HOW LONG it’s been and you’re still here and so on and so on.

As with so much of life, it’s in the actual day to day living where we understand what the walk of life we’re taking actually is. Anyone who believes they know “best” or at least “better” always walks away, remember that!

Yesterday I went to a mall; with our financial situation, that’s a rarity. I had business to do. Work to do. And a short window of time when I thought I’d just walk through a local department store that’s been an anchor of the center for decades.

The competition and changes are everywhere. The day after Black Friday and the store didn’t look like it had been “picked over” but more like it had been “looked over” – meaning people chose to go and spend elsewhere.

Interesting to remember when we had a small business and our landlord put a direct competitor in one of our primary retail sales areas into the same center claiming “competition is healthy”. 

Actually, as can be seen throughout the retail sales chain today, there are various levels of competition and some levels actually undermine and cause the demise of long standing businesses. So appears to be the case for the retailer I visited yesterday.

Some effect could have been the last few day’s of protesting brought into our local area Malls by demonstrators from Ferguson. 

This Mall and many others are far removed from Ferguson but many people from the area shop beyond the community as Malls in their direct area closed many years ago due to merchants having challenges with declining sales and rising incidents not positive for their business. So, they moved elsewhere.

What tugged at my heart was walking past a department where last year I looked for an outfit for Mom. 

It was a particular maker that made clothing for the more “mature” figure. Elasticized pants that had become totally necessary as pulling up and closing a zipper, buttoning a small button and a waistband that didn’t “give” with the challenges of standing and sitting, were too uncomfortable and too difficult for her and unwanted by staff who assisted Mom in so many daily needs.

It was the realization there would be no Christmas shared with Mom this year; no scrimping and saving and looking for a bargain as we had for so many years to continue to ensure she, at least, had a little “joy of the season”.

Daughter and I couldn’t afford to buy anything for one another; day to day, struggling to bring in money to make the mortgage payment and utilities, put gas in the car (the car we were given as a gift by my younger son; older and many miles but still moving and keeping us able to work), and food on the table. 

We’d stopped “celebrating” holidays and birthdays for ourselves except to wish one another a happy day and make the best of whatever we had since husband’s medical challenges and family needs took us to this level. But we always found ways to ensure their needs were met and beyond their needs, too.

We could give up the house; my last ability to have something to fall back on when my day comes to “go forth” and out into that dreaded life of living in a “home”. 

As with my Mom, don’t want, really prefer to “go” before that happens but facing through living the realities, how possible this time is and how important it is to have something to “buy your way into” a facility. Otherwise, you’re really at the mercy of availability and get the lowest possible living arrangements because you’re, as Mom used to put it, “on welfare”.

Not the best choice. Even with recent challenges. We move forward and we move onward. Daughter and I support one another; some see this as “unnatural” yet these same people are the first ones to tell us how it “should be” and, of course, walk away.

Mourning. Living. Coping. Surviving. Sometimes we’re fortunate to have someone come alongside. Sometimes we struggle alone. It’s life in all its complexities, like Mourning.

Mourning/morning. Words that sound alike and are alike in many ways. Both represent beginnings after endings – life and a day. Both bring changes and Seasons. Each provides a place to start, a time to go through – a transition.

Life is a journey. Remember it’s your journey. 

Honor others but listen to your heart, to advice from those who care and to those who truly care about YOU as those will be your best guidelines and guideposts as you move forward.

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