Reminders of love

I was sorting through Christmas decorations this weekend, purging a bit because we’ve got too much. I came across both of these treasures that I haven’t seen in a few years because they were buried in Santa hats and ribbons. One is a note that was on a present for my husband the first Christmas after we moved to Seattle. He was having a hard time finding his way around, getting lost all the time, so the family and I got him a GPS for his car. He loved it. The note says, “We don’t know what we’d do if we ever lost you.” That was our last Christmas with him.

The second is a note Steven wrote to me 15 years ago at Christmas time, telling me how much he loved me and how Christmas was so wonderful now with our two girls. He told me I was amazing and beautiful and a great mom, and he told me how much he was looking forward to us watching our daughters grow up. He signed it “Your husband, Steve” as he always signed notes to me, which always made me smile.

I remember the first time I came across this letter in my decoration boxes. It brought me to my knees. Now I keep both of them in my Christmas bins so that I can pull out and sit with those memories each year. Sometimes they make me sad but usually they make me smile and feel warm because I’m so grateful for the love and the life we shared. I adore the ways in which he still manages to stay so present in our lives and the ways he reminds me that I am so worthy of love. ❤️

Those Days…

Those days when you feel like you are walking through thick, wet cement. Those days when you have a to-do list a mile long but you get to none of it because forty other things came up that you had to deal with right away. Those days when you cannot feel anything but overwhelmed. Those days when you are sad and dark and feeling so far behind. Those days when it feels like the world is closing in on you. Those days when there is so much to fix and do that it overwhelms, so you do nothing because you just can’t manage it.

Those days.

Those days are hard and lonely. Those days can eat at your sense of self and keep you from moving forward. Those days are exhausting. Those days can make you want to sleep for a year.

Those days are the days when you have to take deep, soulful breaths. Those days are the days you need to remind yourself that it won’t feel this way forever. Those are the days you need to do something really good and loving for yourself. Those are the days when you must give yourself a break. Those days are OK.

Those days are hard and sometimes it seems there are way too many of them strung together. Those days can take you down. Those days are the times that you need to look for the littlest things that make you smile and are full of beauty and focus just there for awhile. Those days can be long and the hours can drag but the moments in the day that you allow some light in can make up for some, if not all, of the darkness.

Those days are a season to be endured but not a lifetime. Those days will transform into other days at some point, and once they do, you’ll be so grateful for the new sense of light and happiness that you feel. Those days can be endured.

On those days, please remember that you are not alone and that you are loved. On those days, know that so many others are experiencing similar struggles. On those days, take care of you.

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” – Maya Angelou