The Real Me

The Real Me

Monday, February 25, 2013

Endings and beginnings

February 25, 2013

When I considered writing this yesterday, my first line was going to be "In the past four months I have lost two of the most significant women in my life.  My own mother, who passed in October, and the woman I refer to as "my other mother", Jeanie, my art teacher, spiritual teacher, and lifelong confidante from the age of 13."

Then, this morning, I learned of the passing of another dear soul -  beautiful, graceful, inspirational Evana.

It was a magical morning from the beginning.  Though I had to be at my office job at 9am, I found time this morning before work to paint, and to walk my delightful girl-dog Rosie, in the midst of what I described as "fairy tale land."  It had snowed last night, lightly, on top of some rain, so the snow froze to the trees - white outlines against the cold February landscape.  Magical.

Then the phone rang, and I learned of Evana's passing.

I wasn't as connected to Evana as to the other two moms.  I'd known her for about ten years, rather than  40 or 50.  But the news hit me hard.  She was influential in ways too numerous to count, and I'm certain that I didn't thank her nearly often enough, or deeply enough, for all that she offered to me.   She carried herself with such confidence and grace that I know, absolutely know, that she has most certainly moved on to angel status.

Which leads me to believe that even her passing, saddened as I was by it, crying in the shower, tears just behind my eyes at the office all day as I put on the happy face and did my work, it has to be somehow connected to the magic of the morning.

When I sat down to write this yesterday, I was going to talk about losing my mother.  I was going to share with you the journey of the past four months.  I wanted to post her eulogy for you to read, in case you didn't get to hear it.

But instead, I am sitting here contemplating how I move forward.  That magic of this morning feels life changing.

Two quotes come to mind.  The first, one that I read on someone else's Facebook page yesterday, that carries far more significance to me tonight.  It says the following:  Making a big life change is pretty scary.  But, you know what's even scarier?  Regret."

The second, from Apple founder Steve Jobs, that was how I finished that eulogy.  I was going to try to summarize it, but here it is in full:  “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right."

It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” 

I find myself, in this moment, in a very different place than I was just 24 hours ago.  Instead of looking back, in sadness, I am considering, quite seriously, what I am to do with my time that lies ahead.

We never know how much time that is.  I do not wish to live with regret.  I will make decisions to embrace joy.

Thank you, Mary May Schlichter, Jeanie Moyer, and Evana Maggiore, for the love and guidance that you shared with me, each in your own unique way.
Sunset 2/25/2013

I've got three new angels in my corner.

What choices do I need to make, right now, in order to move forward without regret?  In order to be certain to use my gifts to the benefit of as many as I possibly can?   I can't share those right now, but hopefully they will unfold in future blog posts.

I wish each of you who has read through this far great joy, blessings, and love in your own lives. Take a moment to tell someone you love them.  Take the risk of saying I love you.

THANK YOU, abundant thanks, for being part of my life.

With love and blessings,