Dreaming Goodbye

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Three years ago my very strong, courageous, beautiful grandmother passed away. She has had such a significant impact on my life, even now that she’s gone. She was witty and independent and strong and she was all this in a time when women were only beginning to understand their own strength and the impact they could have. She met my first boyfriend when I was 15. She eyed up all six feet of him then and said, “Rhianna’s going to university you know,” as if to warn him off in case he thought to change my plans. She approached every single day with such a feisty sense of humour and spirit that it’s hard not to feel an empty space without her. She was larger than life and so how fitting that the morning she died she requested to be dressed early (something she never did) and went out to the dining room to socialize, where she passed away surrounded by people. How fitting that less than a week after she died I had a dream about her and 3 years later I still remember it in detail like a memory of her that never fades. I’ve wrestled with how to write about it for a while because it felt too big to capture. I’ve cried my way through the words and the pages to get the right stuff to describe the way she came to me and said goodbye…

Dreaming Goodbye

I sit between the mantel’s warmth,

And my tearful last goodbye.

The cassettes spread,

In a listless promenade of dusty memories

Of a life in rearview.

Wandering cagey triumph,

Full of the possibility of tomorrow’s embrace.

Dipping low on the pink horizon.

Cotton candy and despair kissing the earth.

She knocks and I rise to understand.

She’s warm but she’s cold to the touch.

I am hushed but the realness of her movements burn the moment.

And I am crushed by the weight of the world,

In this last embrace.

She is everything I may never be,

And it catches in my throat and my eyes,

Until nothing is clear.

And I am alone here.

And she is okay but she is gone.

The old white house with the crooked barn

And the quilted roof remain.

Empty vessels brimming with the clutter of happiness.

Vacant rooms buzzing with thirsty excitement and quietude.

And all along there she was.

At the center of a distant vision.

Warm light,

Smiling in the peace of its glow.

Fat tears of longing wash through my heart.

Gentle waves on the ocean back home.

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Positivity Project Day 5

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Positivity Project- Record 3 things I’m grateful for and 1 inspiring quote everyday for 7 days to promote a happier, more positive life.

Inspiring Quote: “Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”

Three Things I’m grateful for:

1. Country sky at night- millions and millions of tiny dancing lights on the blackest canvas
2. Smores around the campfire
3. Friends that treat me like family

I should be long in bed but I am fresh off a weekend that fed my soul a little and I wanted to write about it before I launch into a busy week. This weekend I headed north to spend time with a family my parents and I met camping about 24 years ago. They’ve known me about as long as I’ve been me and I spent my childhood either running after the three girls or being carted around by them. They now have children and husbands of their own, live in different cities (one out of province) and come together only intermittently.

On Saturday I sat at a table amongst the girls. Their mom was on the end and we were all laughing and joking and playing bingo. One man asked their mom if we were all her girls. She smiled and looked down the table. “Well those three are” she said, pointing to her daughters. “She’s more like my half daughter but she’s definitely one of the family” she explained, pointing to me. Later when they invited me over for dinner and I asked if they were sure it was okay that I crash the family affair they all laughed. Their mom bumped my arm and leaned in, “You’re always welcome here. You’re one of us you know” she told me.

I’ve spent all my time and effort lately trying to belong somewhere. It sounds crazy but I’ve been feeling, in some ways, like I don’t belong in my own life. It’s part of the reason I started the Positivity Project. I wanted to remind myself of all the ways I am lucky and loved and fortunate in my own world. I think I’ve been too easily forgetting about the good bits. This weekend I laughed until I cried, felt so much love I thought in moments my heart might burst, and remembered what that sense of belonging is like. I wanted to write it all down before I let any more of the good little bits slip through the cracks. Life is too short to let that keep happening.

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