I’ve enjoyed the last week, returning to my life of abundance, returning to gratitude, returning to knowing in my soul I am on the path I am meant to be on. It hasn’t been easy. There are questions still around our finances, the multiple medical bills from my surgery and treatments, the holidays fast approaching. It all can crash down upon me if I let it and I can start to slip and spin into that familiar sense of lack, that familiar fear.
Yesterday, at breakfast, my girl stood next to me, looking through a toy catalog, pointing out every thing she wanted (which was pretty much every thing in the catalog!). I felt myself tense, become angry. Doesn’t she understand she can’t have everything she wants? Doesn’t she understand we are poor and can’t afford any of these things she wants? The guilt also came in, which fed the anger – if only I’d stayed in my full-time position years ago, we wouldn’t be where we are today. If only I’d done this or that or the other thing.
I felt all this negativity through my whole body. I started getting snappy with my daughter “that’s too expensive,” “you don’t need that” instead of enjoying the beauty of watching a little girl’s world expand and seeing all the amazing things that are in it, that she wants to be a part of.
I had no patience for any of it.
I took a deep breath and the tears came. She asked me what was wrong and I sobbed. I sobbed how we don’t have any money for presents this year (but not to worry, she would get presents), that mommy and daddy won’t be exchanging gifts this year. I cried tears, but didn’t share the thoughts, of not knowing if we will have a special Christmas dinner or if it will be simple, unremarkable.
My daughter’s reaction took my breath away. As I’m in the midst of a breakdown about how our Christmas isn’t going to be anything like in years past, she says matter-of-factly: “Mama, we can just make presents for each other this year”.
Her wisdom is truly beyond her five and a half years.
A week ago she and I had this conversation while folding laundry:
Her: Mama I want a peace sign toy.
Me: You mean like a pillow shaped like a peace sign?
Her: Yeah. I want you to make it mama.
Me: I think I could do that.
Her: Really? You could sew that mama? I want it as my Christmas present from you.
Me: I can absolutely make that happen.
I remembered this conversation when she said we could just make each other presents. I breathed in the beauty and truth of my daughter. I breathed in the beauty and truth of knowing that as long as we have each other, everything will be amazing.
I still felt sad, however. I love shopping for gifts, wrapping gifts, having a thousand gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. We went upstairs and I looked in her room. I again breathed in the truth of our abundance. Her room is overflowing with toys. Don’t I often complain that she has too much and need to get rid of somethings because we just don’t have space for it all? Breathing in the truth and beauty of knowing we have all we need and more.
We went into the master bedroom and I started to fold the clean laundry that had piled up over the week. So many clothes. Hers. Mine. Nick’s. I again breathed in the beauty and truth of our abundance.
The day continued like this, where I would start to feel sadness because our holidays will be different from years past and then breathing in how yes, they will be different – we have a peace and joy in our home now that we didn’t have even a year ago. We have each other. We have all become so much closer and there is so much love in our home. I wouldn’t trade the feeling of our home for any material goods.
Nick had to go to work for an hour today (his day off) and so I took a break from studying and working on my business and spent time with our girl. We pulled out two boxes from the garage and unpacked them (this month marks two years of being in our home, and we still have boxes to unpack). The boxes were marked “knick-knacks” and they were all the little statues and figurines that I haven’t wanted to find a home for. Today felt like a good time to share them all with my daughter, plus I was looking for a Mary statue for my altar.
I saw our abundance again. Heirloom figurines from mine and Nick’s childhoods. Gifts from my mom. Pieces of each of us that have been hidden away for two years. There is a small bag of these that are going to Goodwill, because tastes have changed, the realization made that our deceased family members do not inhabit their things left behind, they inhabit our hearts and souls.
I went back out to grab a third box to go through and saw a doll carrying case that was my mom’s. My daughter came out as I was grabbing it to bring in and my eyes lit up and I told her I found something for her.
We went in and opened it up – it was filled with Barbie clothes and accessories, circa the mid-1950s. There were Barbie plates and a tea set, shoes and clothes (most of them made by my grandma). She was so filled with joy. New (to her) accessories for her Barbies. She ran up to her room, grabbed her Barbie beach house and some dolls and came down to start to play.
I breathe in the beauty of these moments. The truth of these moments, knowing truly and deeply we have more than enough. We will be more than fine. We have each other, and that is all that matters.
I’m thankful for my dark moments, when all I see is the sadness, the perceived lack. Without those dark moments I couldn’t appreciate the beauty of all we have. The peace, sparkle and joy that truly fills our home, our life. Without those moments of doubt I couldn’t become more firm in my faith and belief of my path. Without those tears I can’t cleanse and heal the pain of the hurt little girl inside me. Without the darkness, we can not appreciate the light.