Losing my dad changed me. It made me reevaluate almost every aspect of my life and decide what is important to me. I've become really preoccupied with heaven and trying to build and strengthen a relationship with my dad and his memory. I made a commitment to doing things that nourish my body and soul. I'm reading The Artist Way, which has really been the roadmap for clearing my head and rediscovering who I am. It involves daily journaling and weekly "artist dates" where you spend time alone. It's focused my mind. I've cleaned out my closet and junk spaces. I've started meditating. It makes me want to take care of myself, so I'm doing Whole 30. I also signed up for a gym, but then I injured my back pretty severely, so I had to take a break.
I feel more like myself than I have since I was a little girl. My marriage is better. I took a break from social media for a week, so I wasn't on my phone much. Jimmy and I talked and had wonderful discussions about what life is about and our goals in this one. It felt like we were dating again.
I'm cooking most nights, and Oliver is old enough to help. I'm a better mom because I'm not distracted, and I'm getting even more joy out of my amazing kids. I talk to my dad in my head all the time and believe he's with me. I can hear his catch phrases in my head, and they make me smile. When I was little and would get upset about something, my dad would always say "Be a duck. Let it roll off your back." He says it to me at least once a day now, and I smile and think about how grateful I am that I had him for a dad.
This has been such a time of spiritual growth and acknowledgement that the universe is bigger than me and out of my control. Jimmy told me that he woke up in the middle of the night a few days ago, and I was talking to my dad in my sleep. I said, "things are going well here, but I just miss you." That exactly sums up how I feel. I miss my dad so much that I can feel a physical ache in my heart, but his death has been the catalyst for a hugely positive change in my life, and I am grateful for something positive following something tragic.
I'm increasingly thankful for the paintings, because when I sit in silence in front of a canvas, I can hear my dad's voice and feel his presence, which makes it feel like sacred time.
When I was little my dad planted Elephant Ears and Daffodils that grew every year. As soon as the first daffodils bloomed, my dad would let us cut them, and he would put them in water with food coloring. The next morning the daffodils would be the color of the food coloring. That always signaled the arrival of spring at our house. If you look closely at this painting you can see three huge elephant ears and daffodils etched into the paint. There is also a yellow lady bug. There is a yellow lady bug who took up residence in my bedroom right after my dad died and never leaves. Every time I pass it I say, "hi dad!" I'm thankful for the paintings helping me work through pain that's too great for me alone... and I miss my dad. So much.
A few weeks ago our house was on the Cathedral Tour of Homes for Young Collectors. The tour forced me to clean out cobwebs, freshen up some of the rooms, and hang a lot of the new artwork. A million trillion thanks to Linda Williams for all her help. For those of you who want to compare it to our house two years ago, you can read the post here. Jimmy and I are enjoying the new space so much. It's fresh and clean, and the perfect place to be together. Both of us agree that when we count our blessings this house is very near the top of the list. We feel so lucky to get to live here.
Have an awesome weekend!