Holding on to the Light

Yesterday I had a very enlightening day. Lately I have been feeling slightly overwhelmed and over worked. I can relate this abundance of stress to having missed hot yoga for over a week now. I didn’t truly appreciate how much that really does soothe me. However, I still managed to end the day feeling like I had been moved positively yesterday.
It started with a blog post shared by a friend on Facebook. It was a long blog and took some time and dedication to read it all through. When I say dedication, I mean it. The post was from a missionary who served in Africa and her story was so depressing and heart breaking that continuing to read it was difficult. I didn’t see what she saw with my own eyes, but through her words I felt a change in me. Slight change, but it’s there nonetheless. She mentions that when she first returned to the states she broke into sobs in the bread aisle. There was an overwhelming variation of breads here whereas in Africa, it was white or brown, and often with mold. I recently discovered that I love “Dave’s Killer Bread” and want to continue buying it rather than get the 99 cent loaf. Before reading this blog I hadn’t ever really seen the grocery store for what it was, a luxury that can’t fully be appreciated by us. This isn’t to say that I hate myself and Americans and national chains of grocery stores. What I’m saying is, when I walked into the bread section after work yesterday, I saw it differently. I was thankful that I am fortunate and can choose to buy any fancy or cheap bread that I please. I am grateful.
After reading that post through (and thanking Elyse for sharing it with me) I continued to my feed and found a sad post from a friend I love dearly. After leaving her home town four years ago, she hasn’t connected with an adult in her new town the way she has connected with all of us at home. Granted, we’ve known her since middle school and for some, years before that. I understood her point though; she missed us and needs a good local friend. She deserves a friend nearby that she can trust. I did my best to cheer her up with witty banter (ya right). I then realized that I had only made one new friend that I truly trust and we work together. If we didn’t, I would literally only have friendships and acquaintances from school years. How do adults make lasting friendships as adults without finding them at work? If I knew the trick it might also work for adults to meet their partners without having to pay a dating website. At our age, if you don’t work with the person you’re meant to meet, how will you cross paths with them? Again, I’m feeling very grateful for my gifts in life.
Continuing through my news feed, I found another article worth reading. It was about working moms. I enjoyed and appreciated the article because it shed light on something working moms (and stay-at-home moms who in my mind’s eye are the same thing) often forget to pay attention to, ourselves. We live up to expectations that can be too high. How is it we are supposed to get all of it done? Be 100% available to our paying job and yet also more dedicated to the job that doesn’t pay us in dollars but is definitely of more value? Sharing this post was well worth the quick share button on Facebook. I loved watching different moms from different walks of life share their opinions and what they took from it. Something so simple made a visible impact.
I really didn’t stay on Facebook all day. I’m a fast reader and those things happened close together. I finished my work day and I played bunco with the work girls that evening. It was at bunco that a co-worker noticed the tattoo on my shoulder of my daughter’s zodiac symbol and her birthday in script below. I explained to her what it was and why I had it. It was then that my friend Brittany asked when I would get one for Grayson who had just turned ten months that day. I had been holding out because anything that remains on my body forever has to be PERFECT; exactly what I want it to be so I can wear it for as long as I live. I explained that I was leaning towards getting his foot print because my son has the cutest crooked toe. It’s something known in my family as “Garcia feet”. I was only resisting because I didn’t want the very popular tattoo of a baby foot. I didn’t have time to dwell on my “problem” because she then asked if I was going to get one for Isaiah, my step-son. Of course I was, and I told her so. I just didn’t know of what yet. She seemed pleased with my answer. Wouldn’t every loving step-mom do that? I realized that no, they wouldn’t. Not a child that wasn’t “their own”. The truth is I don’t like calling him my step-son. I do it out of respect for his mother but I would be lying if I don’t often refer to him as just a son. Do I love him the same as my other kids? No. But I don’t even love Halle the same as I do Grayson. The three of them are all very different. They each came into my life in different ways. As a surprise when I was 20, as a two year old who loved to share my grapes on a sunny day at the beach, and as a planned but troubled pregnancy that followed a prior loss of a child I didn’t get to meet. Each of them holds equal size spaces in my heart. The type of love and memories attached to that love that flows through each of their spaces is different but equally beautiful. I hold each of their lives and happiness above my own.
When I finally was home for the night my whole day replayed itself in my head while I rocked Grayson back to sleep and I quietly cried. I was so thankful for so many things, and so sorry for others. I couldn’t understand why I was taking the day so seriously but that wasn’t important to understand. I just realized that for whatever reason I took that day and all it held very seriously. I relaxed and kissed and smiled at Grayson and just appreciated my life so much. Not everyone can say they love their life the way I love mine.
During my quiet reflection, I finally solved the mystery of my upcoming tattoos. I know exactly what I want for Grayson and Isaiah and I know where I will put them. This may seem like no big deal but it is huge for me. It has finally clicked and I can’t wait to get started. I don’t know why I was so attuned to everything yesterday but I’m glad that I was. Call me crazy, or sensitive, or too sensitive, I don’t care. I feel enlightened. My goal now is to keep holding the light.

3 thoughts on “Holding on to the Light

  1. This was an awesome write. And if you ever find out the secret to making trusting friends as an adt please do share as I will do the same. I can't wait to see what you decided for the tattoos and he is your son. Coming from another he is lucky to have a step parent like you.

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  2. Thank you Savannah for commenting here. I wasn't sure anyone would see this post but I had to write it anyway. You're very kind. Good luck with your own parenting adventures. Do you blog? It would be nice to see some of your stories.

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  3. You are a gifted writer and that was a beautiful write-up. I'm tearing up. I agree, if you find that secret, let me know. I've been here for 20 years and can honestly say, I have no friends. Work acquaintances with whom I occasionally socialize, but that is not really a friend. Thankfully, though they are far, I at least have three very good friends. I'm thankful for that. Even though I don't care for tattoos, I look forward to seeing what you get for your two other kids. And thanks for putting the Garcia family on blast for their mangled toes. LOL! Love you, love your family and I'm thrilled that you're so happy. You deserve it. P.S., it still trips me out to read yours and your friends musings on adulthood. How can it be that you're all not still borrowing my video camera for your shows. 🙂

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