Last week, on many levels, marked a strange week for me. Last week marked a year since my ex and I decided to separate/divorce. I was already preparing for the wave of emotions that would wash over me, but I was also looking forward to the wedding of a friend/sorority sister. It was what I didn’t prepare for that affected me the most.
On Mother’s Day, my mother let me know that her mother, my Mam-maw, had passed away. I knew that the call would eventually come, but it still caught me off guard. She had taken a turn for the worst, but I don’t think I truly processed that some day she wouldn’t be here.
In the span of a week, I attended a funeral for one of the most influential people in my life, grieved over the finality of my separation/divorce and celebrated a milestone for a wonderful friend. To say that I was drained at the end of the week would be an understatement.
As I’ve said on this blog before, I am a glass half-full type of person. With that in mind, I want to use this Thoughtful Tuesday post as a way to remember my Mam-maw and to recognize the new beginnings that are happening for me and others in my life.
One of the most meaningful things my Mam-maw ever said to me occurred when I was 13 and she and I were in NYC together. It was my first time in a large city and to say that I was terrified when I first stepped out on the street and witnessed a cab jump and drive on the curb would be accurate. I remember freezing on the street. My Mam-maw took me aside and calmly looked me in the eyes. She said, “you have two options right now. The first is that we can go back to the hotel, order room service and look out our window for the entire trip. The second option is that you can take a deep breath and we can have an amazing time exploring the city. The choice is yours.”
After getting a grip and taking a deep breath I decided on option two. We had an incredible time in NYC, but more importantly, she gave me a piece of advice that has stayed with me for almost 20 years. Anytime there is something that scares me, I think back to that time with her on the streets of NYC. I know that I have two options in life. The first is that I can stay in a safe place and let things pass me by without ever taking a risk. The second is I can take a deep breath and go for “it”.
Although I have spent the past few days remembering my Mam-maw, I have also recognized and celebrated new beginnings. I went to a beautiful wedding this weekend and I wish the newlyweds all the luck and love possible.
Although I wish she was still here in person, the lessons taught by my Mam-maw will live on. As my year and a day is almost over, I know that my real “new beginning” is about to happen. It is scary and exciting at the same time, and I hope I always pick option number 2. It may not always be a pretty outcome, but I will be able to say I never let life pass me by without trying.
I hope you pick option number 2 in your life, as well.