Today marks the one year anniversary of my mom's death. She had a devastating disease (Myotonic Dystrophy) that impacted her health, happiness and energy for the previous 20 years, as well as breast and ovarian cancers toward the end. It was hard to watch. My sister passed away six months before my mom of the same devastating disease. That was a terrible year.
The year since then has been challenging for me too, but in a different way. I've been managing the grief. All kinds of emotions; guilt that I wasn't more understanding, emptiness from the reality that half of my childhood family was just "poof-gone", sadness that I couldn't talk with either of them in person or on the phone, relief that they were no longer suffering, relief that I no longer worried about how they were feeling, and gratitude that I still had my dad as well as my husband and kids.
Then my gratitude grew. I realized there were so many people around me who made my life better; friends, family, neighbors, friendly co-workers. Some negative influences faded out of my life, and new, positive friends and experiences arrived. I became in awe of the universe and the potential of so many paths crossing.
My sister loved purple. It's also my favorite color but I never really "saw" it before. Now, I regularly notice brilliant purple around me. On one of my favorite photos of my mother when she was younger she wore a butterfly pin on the lapel of her jacket. Butterflies now represent freedom, flight and beauty of life that I believe my mom is now expeirencing free of the physical and emotional restrictions that kept her "trapped" in her condition.
I spent many years noticing the negative, the heartbreak, the illness and sadness that was around me and overshadowed the love, happiness and joy that was there too. Now that they have passed on and are free of all of the negative, I realized that I am free of that too. I want to be the positive force in my own life as well as the lives of my family and friends. Especially my husband and kids.
As I let go of my mom and sister as I knew them in the human world, my faith in their new world, whatever it really is, I have also let go of my anger, sadness and negative energy about that experience and my life in general. I took stock of what I was unhappy with in my own life and did something about it. With some things I just changed the way I looked at it, or changed by expectations, or changed my reactions. With other things, I took different actions to physically change my path or experience.
When it is my time to go, I want to look back and know that I went through some very hard times, but that they made me a better person. For every negative experience I want to see that I made a positive outcome of some sort. I want to know that I gave all of me to myself and my dreams, as well as my husband, my children, my family, my friends and the legacy I will leave behind. I thank my mom and sister for guiding me to this point.
I wish you all a positive lense through which you will travel your journey and leave your own legacy.