When I set up the TrulyMadlyDeeply Happy website the intention was that it would be about connecting with you. But sometimes I’m going to indulge in a story about myself. I’ll only ever do this if I think it may give you food for thought, and help in some way.
I’m interested in sharing my experiences, and wisdom gathered thus far, 60+ years, with one person at a time. It’s you that I see when I’m sitting in front of my computer writing posts like this. And I have to confess, that I do it as much for me as for you, as a reminder that we’re all worth it. They say (who the hec are they?) that you teach what you need to learn for yourself. I think they’re right.
Anyway, I’ve chosen today to talk about something that really brought it home to me how you can find gratitude in the most unlikely places, where you don’t want to feel grateful at all. Here’s a little story.
My Mum died four years ago. She was the queen in terms of producing pots of lemon butter for her church, to which she was devoted. People loved her, and by God they loved her jars of lemon butter. Mum wore it like a badge of honour. Even in her last stages of Alzheimers, I’d cook up a batch and dispatch it to the church and she was thrilled. I think it was a link to a time where she felt like she mattered.
Two years after she had passed, my son called and said, ‘You know how Nana used to make lemon butter …I thought it would be great to take some over to the Church Spring Fete, do you have her recipe Mum? Then we can take it over, and people will remember her.’
Loving my son right then, even more than I usually do.
But here’s the thing. I had resistance.
- The fete was in the grounds of the church where I said goodbye to my mother for the last time. Where the big black car took her away for the last time.
- The fete day was also my daughter’s birthday. She lives in New York. I missed her. Terribly.
- It also meant that I had to revisit my childhood territory, that incredible childhood home of fun, food and familiarity, if you know what I mean, the sameness that was my life for 50 years.
I was loving what my son wanted, and at the same time felt ill equipped to deal with it. But let’s fast track.
I am sitting in the sunshine, at the fete, sharing a devonshire tea with my son, Rory, and his beautiful partner Mim, and my grand daughter, Audrey. Lemon Butter jars delivered and sitting on nearby table.
We are sitting in the exact spot that the hearse that contained my mother’s body was located. The choir group, assembled for the fete, strikes up, singing something that makes me want to cry.
Audrey climbs onto my lap, puts both her hands onto my face, and says ‘I love you Nana’. There it is. It brought me straight back to the present. Did she know? My guess would be that the Universe works in amazing ways, and that love was delivered to me exactly at the time that I needed it.
My point? No matter how much you are filled with grief, something will come along to make you realise that you have a new thing to be grateful for.
I got into my car and sobbed away, but not for the loss of my mother. Something had shifted. Now I felt sheer gratitude of my son who wanted to do this thing, and gratitude that he had the sort of attributes that I think will serve him well in this life, and gratitude for my grand-daughter who somehow knew how to give me what I needed right at that moment in time.
Maybe you’ll relate to this, maybe you won’t. I just wanted to share this this with you. With love as always,