I decided today to take some time to write as I have not done so in a while. I usually like to gather my thoughts in a quiet room but for some reason today I put music on and the first song coming through my Pandora was Remember When by Alan Jackson and I knew I was being guided to keep typing. Every time I hear this song I feel I can relate to every verse as I am sure many of us can. Lives have been disassembled and rearranged.
Life is a series of hello's and goodbye's. The problem is finding the ability to have the grace and acceptance of both.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving a friend invited me to assist in the preparations of holiday meals that would be delivered the next day to the homebound. That room was one I am happy I entered as it was full of inspirational, caring and giving people. I was invited to return to volunteer at the food pantry and it opened a room in my heart that is helping me figure out the answer to find the road to acceptance.
The people coming to the pantry are individuals who have found themselves suddenly struggling. I try to not show the emotions of my heart when handing them their bags of canned vegetables, tuna, cereal and seeing them smile at the cake mix saying their kids are going to love this. The hugs they extend saying god bless you all of a sudden left no room in my mind to feel bad about anything. They are grateful!!!
Some of them leave with shopping carts, some walk in the cold carrying their bags as they do not have money to waste on carfare and there was one man pedaling an old bicycle with rope attached to the handle bars to tie his food bags on. When I ask if they will be Ok they smile and say’ I will be fine!’ One gentleman said to always remember whether you are feeling good or bad, nothing is permanent. They are staying positive and while the world has knocked them down they are keeping their pride and remind us the best for them is yet to come.
All of their stories remind me of how random life is. I spent so much time feeling sad over suddenly having all this empty room in my life. The pantry recipients have far more reason for which they could be angry and sad but have no room for it in their lives. They don’t focus over things lost but instead are thankful for their blessings which for the moment are the bag of weekly groceries. I would not be experiencing this if I had not made room for the word yes in my life when invited to help out in the Thanksgiving meals. I am blessed I did! It is suddenly very clear that I have no right to fill my room with sadness when I have had nothing but a great life with things happening to me in the way they are supposed to.
So Alan Jackson thank you.
I have lived and learned, life through curves, and there were joys and there were hurts
I saw old ones died and new were born, and life was changed, disassembled and rearranged
thirty did once seem so old but looking back it's just a stepping stone to where we are and where we have been
And we did say when we turned gray, when the children grew up and moved away, we won’t be sad, we’ll be glad, for all the life we had.
I will always remember when.......
Some think that holding on is difficult however I feel letting go is more of the challenge.
I am learning to stop crying over the “remember when” moments but am trying to remember them with pride and happiness because I know I would definitely do it all again just the way I did.
To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, the past is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift.
I now will "Remember When" with a smile and make room to believe just like my new friends who visit the pantry to receive the gift of today. It is time to make room for new things for which to sing remember when about years from now. Merry Christmas everyone. I Believe 2014 will be challenging at times but one day we will smile as today will be another "Remember When" memory to add to the past stories. Clear the room, out with the old in with the new. I am ready 2014. Happy New Year!!!