Life lessons continue

Grief is something I’ve become all too familiar with this year. I’m tired. I’m sad. A lot.
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My dad, my grams, my cousin, my aunt, and one of my students… each one left an imprint on me. Each one taught me something in their life, and in their death. Each one left this earth, this year.
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This week Micah and I had to face the reality that death and grief is not done with us.
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We are going to have to make decisions in the next month with two of our beloved dogs Eddie (13 yrs) and Otis (11 yrs) who are both declining quickly.
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The past few days I’ve been crying, trying to brainstorm how to make them better, how maybe we have more time.
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But we don’t. Their bodies and their minds are slowing. Their days are spent sleeping. They are preparing to leave us.
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Thankful my god reminded me today, we have a choice.
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Today, I choose joy.
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Joy that as of today, they are still with me.
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Joy that they both have been great companions, they’ve lived good and long lives.
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Joy that they’ll be joining my dad in heaven (because yes, I believe animals go there too) without pain and without suffering.
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For today, I am going to focus on joy.
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Because I have a choice.
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And my friend, so do you.
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Whatever life is throwing at you, you have a choice in how to respond.
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There are times for all the feelings….
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But today, in this moment, what will you choose?
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I pray it’s peace, love, selflessness, kindness, forgiveness,
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and joy.

Buckle up.

We’re all searching aren’t we?
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Miles, he’s searching for Waldo.
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Me? I’m searching too, but what it is I’m searching for, isn’t as easy as a man with a striped red and white shirt and glasses.
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At any point in life we are trying to figure out: what’s next, what do I need to change? What can I do to make __ better/different?
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This pandemic has made a lot of people (self included) wonder; is this a time to pivot? We search. We question.
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I wish there was a magic place to find all the answers. I wish there was someone who would just say “This is what’s next”.
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But instead, I feel like I’m being told to buckle up, keep my arms in at all times, and enjoy the ride… without being able to see whats in the distance.
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It. Is. Scary.
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But if there is one thing I continue to learn, it is that we are never alone. Even (and especially) in the midst of uncertainty.
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He sits with us in the quiet, in the still. He gives us community in friends and family. We aren’t meant to go it alone, ever. It is up to us on who we do life with. He hopes he can be part of the equation, but he also gives us choice in our community.
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We are all searching. Maybe, it’s for life’s next chapter, or maybe it’s Waldo….
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But whatever the search, remember this; You. Are. Not. Alone.
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So buckle up. Arms in (or out, because let’s be honest, rides are more fun that way) and enjoy the ride.
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Don’t shut your eyes. Keep them open. And if it gets scary, hold the hand of the one sitting with you, and give a squeeze.
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You got this.