aging, anxiety, friendship, leaving home, life lessons, love, Uncategorized

Connecting The Dots

Hi Simon,

I’m trying to find the better part of me, and when I engage in such challenging activity, I am always tempted to talk to you.  You see me as better than I am.  The truth of the matter is, you see everyone and every situation bathed in a light that softens the edges, mutes the glare, blesses the spirit. (If you don’t believe me, check out his blog – there’s just something about my friend Simon).

People spent their snowbound days differently.  Just as the snow began, we were meeting with a stager – a very talented woman who claims the professional mission of depersonalizing a home and transforming it into a space that others could love.  So, I have been packing and purging – nauseous and angry and and considering everything except the pictures of my family (in all its iterations) dispensable.  I’m not convinced I’m ever going to feel that sensation of ‘home’ again.

And yet you reminded me that ‘home’ has a far, far different meaning than I ascribe.  Your quote “Home is where your heart is.  It is your resting place” – my heart is everywhere, Simon.  It feels both full and far too diffuse.  It hurts.  And as stupid as it sounds, home could be anywhere (and has been, believe me) I felt my family around me.  And though we will find a place to rent here and a place there, I am less and less tethered.  Is love what keeps one from floating away?  I have no idea.  Clearly if one were to determine what ‘element’ I am, it isn’t air…

So how does this all connect – bear with me.  Our first dog was a little schnauzer named Demi (hybrid of my sister’s name and mine).  I loved that pup as only a child can (though I think the person who truly adored Demi was our dad – they even looked a bit alike).  Yet, when I was told that I needed to ‘share’ him with my sister, my response was to tell my parents that she could have him.  I didn’t want him anymore. A lie of course, indignant and self-defeating without question.  If I loved him so much and had to let go of him a bit, I would let go of him completely.  Just so you know – we shared Demi, loved him and his nuttiness and there’s no unhappy ending.

And here I am today – plowing through closets and rooms that held the people I love in various stages of growing up (which include some moments that one might want to forget) and railing – ‘Take it all. Give it all away – none of it means anything to anyone but me anyway’.  Hmmm…similar reaction to sharing that little dog all those years ago.

I guess I go to extremes, huh?

And yet my friend, if I want to extend a little kindness to myself, I could just admit that sometimes it’s hard to love – family, home, memories.  It’s hard to let go and harder still to trust.  It’s hard to be understood by the people who you think would get it, and then you are given the chance to cry with relief for the friends who do.   And that brings me back to writing you.  Thank you, Simon.  Thank you for being so selfless that from across the pond, you sat with me for awhile.  You let me go first as we sat and talked.  And you nodded and smiled.  And in that moment, I felt blessed.  Wherever I go, I will remember being there with you and perhaps I will rail a little less and relish a little more…

Much love to you and Jilly,








41 thoughts on “Connecting The Dots”

  1. I feel your conflict. We have been considering a move for a few years. But where to? Someplace where it doesn’t snow? Stay locally in a house without as much work? Then I look at my home and I don’t want to leave. I’ve moved often but have been the longest at 13 years at this home. So many memories but they can be packed up and moved. Or can they? Will they be lost? Sold at a garage sale? Looks like you have made your decisions and now you have to make peace with it. The in-between stage is always the worst for me. Good luck.

    1. Thanks Kate – I know on many levels we’re so lucky to be able to stay near two of our boys and their families, but this is very, very hard..

  2. This is so beautiful, honey, and such a quintessential expression of who you are–loving, giving, gaining, losing, grasping, releasing, HUMAN. This is no easy process you’re going through–it’s fraught with difficulties and emotional highs and lows, but you will prevail, and when you alight in your new place, you will make a home as warm and welcoming and loving as you are. In the meantime, there are many who love you and are more than happy to listen *anytime*.

    And Simon, well, a more beautiful soul we will not find….. All love to you both…. xoxo, l

  3. Such a difficult process. The work is tiring, but the emotions are exhausting. While I don’t feel what you feel, I understand. If I could, I’d hold an umbrella over your head to shield you from the storm, but emotions can’t be blocked like raindrops. I love you sweetheart. I guess Simon is right, because wherever we are, as long as we are together, I am home.

  4. This is a lot of transition to take in all at once. A house, a home, a place that still echoes with your boys’ laughter. An entire chapter of your adult life. Take time to process and don’t beat yourself up for wallowing a little. Sending you hugs, kisses, and a lifetime of grilled cheese with fries…

  5. Yes, home is where the heart is. Robert Frost, in his poem”Death of the Hired Man” says, “Home is where when you go, they have to let you in.” You will make a wonderful, loving new home. It just takes time. After, many, many moves throughout my life, I finally settled down in my home for twenty years now, where I hope to end my days. I send you blessings and positive vibes.

  6. I’m glad you have such friends and they are there for you, dear Mimi. May your heart feel ever-greater peace, love, and acceptance. My thoughts are with you, my friend.

  7. Hi dear Russ…thank you. I just have to look forward – and sometimes it feels more surreal than others. I am blessed in a gazillion ways – that I do know.

  8. O, dear friend. How am I to respond to your generosity and your humility? “You see me as better than I am …” Well that, of course, is true of all of us! – but the “better” I see in you is, I’ve observed, also recognised by “2,863 other amazing people” – and really, heaven only knows how many more! You’ll almost certainly know Margery Williams’ marvellous The Velveteen Rabbit – and would recall the Rabbit’s trustingly enquiring “What is Real?” of the Skin Horse one evening:

    “Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

    ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

    ‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

    ‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

    ‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

    Now you, of course, still have your eyes, perfectly good joints, elegance, a fine head of hair – and are still a youthful grandmama! But I share this touching passage here not just because it’s touching but because it’s also demonstrably true. “Real” is authentic well-lived-in-ness and well-loved-ness. “Real” hurts like hell sometimes, whilst occasionally also glimpsing “heaven on earth.”

    You are one of THE most Real and utterly authentic people I know. There’s ineffable, inestimable metaphor and spiritual symbolism tied up with the office of a “stager” – we encounter them, all of us, under all sorts of guises, many, many, many times in our lifetimes. Sometimes they ease transitions (and we call them angels, then). Sometimes they make us feel like we’re going under the surgeon’s knife (and we call them for all-sorts, then!)

    Always, always, they’re preparing us for the next bunch of surprises held in store for us by Life! Would it really surprise you to learn that thousands of us bless you for being amongst the blessed souls who help others ease their own transitions? And for being someone who “sat with me awhile”?

    Some glad day, dear friend, a bunch of us are going to sit in swing-sets (yeah, Ann of Green Gables!), and the cicadas are gonna be drowned out by the sound of our laughter. We’ll laugh about where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’re going. And maybe we’ll sing. And certainly we’ll be glad we all found each other. And one side of a great pond or another will seem like mere figments of our imagination.

    Wherever you and Andy are in the world, let alone the United States of America, you’ll be cheered on and loved by rank upon rank of people you remember, as well as people you’ve forgotten. All of us grateful for your eloquence and empathy, your humility and all-round humanity, your sneakers ready-to-run-like-the-wind in the garage, your strength and your weakness. Your memory. Your prayers. Your fiery love for a little schnauzer pup – and for your sister, husband, sons, grandchildren, friends … the whole wide world.

    Mimi. I talk (and write) too much, of course. I don’t intend, for a second, to try to drown out the reality of your actual feelings about packing up and moving on. But I want to wrap this up for now by sharing my unshakeable faith that the element we all are is LOVE. We come from Love. We live in Love and we’re headed for Love. So look beyond the present stager, kidda: “Everything’s gonna be OK.”

    Love and hugs from us for you – both of you – and yours xx

      1. Ah my friend, there will be grilled cheese and fries, coffee, laughter – and most definitely song. But for now – there is such love being received from you as a cherished gift and being sent to you in return in equal measure. As for ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ – yes, it still makes me cry – perhaps now with a different understanding than the one I had when it was first read to me. Thank you – with all my heart – thank you…and love – always.

  9. Where to begin? First and foremost, I love this post, it’s letter format and it’s raw and real message. To move and uproot is heartache for sure (read Breaking Twig, I just made a new connection on this!). It’s a whole different kind of grief and you are wise and strong to recognize and embrace the pain in this process. At least that is what I think. I also believe in your heart, ever full and so so expansive, and it’s ability with you as it’s partner, to create a new kind of home, wherever you are. With you, always! xoxo.

  10. A beautiful post Mimi. Moving and letting go is always difficult, no matter where we are in life. Having moved homes many times and lived overseas, I am always amazed how much I grow through the process and when I finally land in my next destination, it always amazes me how good I feel after it’s done. It expands my view in life and allows me to open up and receive exactly what I need. I wish you enough of everything. 🙂

    1. So true…I too moved more times than I can count up until living here, each has been an experience from which I’ve learned. I just want to get from here to there…😉

  11. I love how you are capturing where you are in all of this Mimi and reaching out for love and support. Transitions suck. Especially when there are so many memories attached to the past. It’s a time for hugs, love, reminiscences, tears, frustration, resentment, …. And trusting that from this place of emotional upheaval, hope and anticipation will seed itself and take you forward into the new chapter. 💛

  12. When I woke up this morning I thought about you and then I saw this post! I backtracked to catch up. Thinking of you Mimi and understanding the bittersweet of this transition.

    1. Hi Julie..I’ve been checking in with you far more religiously than I have been writing! 😉 It’s good to hear from you – as always. Hugs, m

  13. Hi Mimi, you are incredible to read and make it so easy to feel what you’re experiencing. Nonetheless, it’s not all roses, but it’s real and it’s all okay. So good to hear from you and thanks for sharing. I believe all will turn out very good, the way it should. Just purge what you don’t have room for and will never use. Best, Fran

    1. Hi Fran…thank you my friend…you are right of course – no one gets roses without thorns everyday! I too hope and believe all will be well. Hugs,m

  14. I went through a similar experience about two years ago. It was very difficult. But life goes on. Some things even change for the better, though there’s pain and loss, and hard work in learning how to accept the new environment. I send you my best wishes.

  15. Tears fall upon my cheeks as I read your post Mimi. As always, your divine writing grips me with your heartfelt story which resonates with me. Sending you a huge hug. I get it. We connect. That’s what counts and I’m grateful for Simon as well…♥

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