Bette Davis said, “Getting old isn’t for sissies.” While I don’t think I yet qualify as “old,” (whenever that is), I have passed through many of life’s stages. A year ago I was experiencing my first Christmas as a widow. I’d had a nice Thanksgiving with my daughters, but they had flown home by early December. I needed to have a quiet time put an end to My Goodbye Year (see post of 12/2013).
I pulled out a long-neglected manuscript (Proud Heart), and dove into one of the first stories I had written. I cleaned up some newbie-writing problems and enjoyed re-discovering my characters. The inspiration for the heroine had been my Grandma Rose. I am glad I finally published her story.
2014 was a year of new birth. In February, almost exactly a year from the passing of my husband, David, our younger daughter, Cary, gave birth to Noah David in Hawaii. After spending nearly a month in the Manoa Valley helping shepherd Noah into the world, I returned to my solitary existence in California. I now had three grandchildren, two in Missouri and one in Hawaii. I took stock of my life. The California house had been in my family since 1963. It was comfortable, but it was mighty lonely. I could spend years as my father and grandmother had done, living alone and waiting for people to visit. Oh, I had friends and many activities, but home is where the heart is and those grandkids are my joy.
So, I prayed and asked for a LOT of help to ready the house for sale and start a new chapter of life. My spiritual helpers were on it. A friendly, helpful , professional realtor came my way. (You’re the best Tom Fosmire!) A great handyman, Ron, appeared to patch, paint, and repair all the little upgrades needed to make the house market-worthy. Closets were cleaned, several lifetimes of photographs shipped to Missouri, and the barest of personal belongings kept. Several friends helped with the obligatory garage sale in July. By September a young couple ready to begin their life together had made an offer and I walked out of the carved wooden front door for the last time.
First stop was Missouri, where my cat and I settled into the top floor of my daughter and son-in-law’s lovely house. It’s a big house and I’ve been happy to pitch in with housekeeping chores, cooking, and child care. I’ve read the first three Harry Potter books aloud to six-year-old Will and specialize in funny faces in the mirror before tucking him into bed.
Several outdoor cats provide much feline drama and entertainment. I enjoyed the colors of fall and the first dusting of snow. I will enjoy my first Missouri Christmas and after the New Year I will be heading to Hawaii to ride out the winter in the tropics with Baby Noah.
I don’t feel old, but I do sense that every day is a gift and each year passes quickly. I begin each morning in prayer and meditation, sending love to friends, family, and the world. I ask for guidance and my spiritual “team” steers me in the paths I take. I am amazed at the grace I receive.
2015 is bound to be full of surprises. Where will I live? Will I make new friends? How will I lead the most meaningful life? Whatever happens, I am counting on Spirit to give me the courage I need to embrace challenges and definitely not be a “sissy.”
Blessings to all for the Holidays—
Enjoy my holiday stories