I've spent a lot of time in quiet thought and prayer and today I woke up feeling a little better. I woke up feeling like I'd slept. I woke up without memories of terrible dreams. I woke up wishing I could sleep more since I finally had a little rest.
Last Wednesday evening after work I headed home to Oklahoma. It was comforting to be home among family and friends. I just wanted to help. To do something, anything. I certainly couldn't focus on work. Thursday we spent the day finishing the funeral arrangements. Part of that meant that I spent hours and hours going through family photos. That was very hard. But, I knew my Aunt could not do it. Photos like these.
|My cousin and I about age 3|
|It's Oklahoma, what can I say.|
There are so many more. We went to the cemetery, the funeral home, ran some errands. There is a lot of paperwork and chores associated with death. Hard decisions to make. I've learned that you really need to sit down and put in writing your wishes so it's not so hard on your family. My husband and I are going to work on this very soon.
The funeral was.....a good service. There were so many people there which is good for the support, but bad because you almost feel like your grief is on public display. But, that is how it's done. And then there was the food.
I don't know about where you are from, but in the south death=food. People start bringing stuff the minute the news gets out and continues for days and days. It's wonderful and yet not. At least we didn't have to think about food and the house was full of people so we didn't have to entertain or prepare anything. It's just another way people can show you that they care. And if you read my blog you know how food=love in my family.
On the bright side, I learned that my new body really does have to move. I hadn't worked out all week and when I woke up Thursday, I had to. HAD to. I decided to go for a walk/jog. I did C25K. I learned one thing. Running while crying is damn hard. Between the cool air, the pollen and the tears, it wasn't too easy and I didn't go very fast. I didn't realize how many angry and sad songs I have on my iphone. Gotta work on that. Anyway, after I felt a little better. I did some TKD practice and stretches after.
I can't tell you how many people told me how different I looked. How good I looked. How they didn't even recognize me at first. I've gotten used to these sorts of comments. It was just weird when I felt so bad on the inside.
Saturday I drove my Aunt and my Great-Aunt to the beauty shop. Another southern "old lady" thing. Saturday morning you get your hair fixed for church the next day. I was surprised she wanted to go, but I guess routine is a comfort in some ways. By chance there was a park next door with a walking track. So I went out, in the cold, and by cold I mean 45ish, and walked. I did 1.5 miles.
I also woke up this morning realizing that this crap-food fest I've been on has to be over. For one thing I gained 4 pounds. I am bloated and just plain icky. My stomach was queasy and gross last night after the Arby's drive through we had on the way home. I can't even begin to tell you how many calories I've consumed. There's been cake, cookies, Cokes, alcohol, pies, fried chicken, baked beans, greek food, pizza, lasagna and so much more. The truth is I didn't enjoy it nearly as much I used to. I found myself eating out of habit. I'm a little ashamed about that.
So now I am getting back on track. With my eating, with my exercise, with my emotions, with my schedule. As hard as it is, life must go on. And I'll be damned if the hard work I've done to improve my life is undone by tragedy. There are those in this world dealing with much worse than I. I will turn my thoughts and prayers toward gratitude. For the times and memories I have of my cousin. For the love of my family and friends. For the career and talents God has given me. For the things I've learned over the last year of healthy changes. For the things I can do now that I couldn't before. For the future whatever it may hold. I will focus on my blessings and that will get me through.
What are you grateful for today? Have you had those difficult conversations with your family about your wishes? How are you waking up on this Monday morning?