There had been a lot of loss in the past couple of months. We lost a dog, two cats, an uncle, and two of my husband’s friends passed. This group loss has happened before. Over thirty years ago, I lost two grandmothers three days apart, my father-in-law had a major heart attack, my grandmother in law passed, and our house robbed–all within a few weeks. Back then, I was seven months pregnant and had something to hold on to. This time I didn’t.
Each day anxiety crept in as the fear of what life might take next. Sleepless nights added to that fearful fuel. I went through the motions numbly each day. Yet there was something deep inside that walked each painful step with me. This spiritual strength kept me going. It reminded me it was just a time or period in my life, but not my life. Good times were ahead. Life had given me that lesson more than once, even when I ignored that knowledge. This quiet wisdom has always been there.
Instead of closing my heart for future pain, I opened it up again, slowly. Then I was finally ready. It was time to add to our family again. A small black kitten named Luna won my heart over and her purrs soothed my soul.
I know our time on earth is limited, especially with our loved ones—human or furry. But the good outweighs the agony their leaving us causes. Some periods of pain cannot take away all that love.
It may take a moment to get there, but it patiently waits for all of us. Love shares the beauty once again, held up by those memories in our past, present, and what is to come.
Poems from “Just Her Poetry”
LOSS AND GAIN
My losses and gains over the years have been extreme.
Sometimes I ride high thinking nothing would touch me,
All was right in my world and I was invincible.
Later, a heavy loss would wipe that all away.
I thought I’d linger in the immensity of that loss for eternity
Thinking nothing would change…it would, though.
Gains would change the gloom.
I would grasp at the good times with my entire being.
Each moment fully lived not worrying what was to come.
Unfortunately, it always came when I least expected it.
In ways I couldn’t imagine on a bright sunny day came a storm.
Sometimes the storm would pass immediately or sit upon me.
I would have no shelter as the rains pelt down.
At times I was left battered and bruised in my time of loss
Darkness would set in, heaviness weighed me down.
Yet, each moment I drew a new breath and my heart kept beating.
That small moment told me I wasn’t done. I was still here.
No matter—how grim things looked.
No matter—I had any answers.
No matter—I was breathing and waiting.
Soon the clouds began to part, rain stopped, and the sun appeared.
An unexpected gift finally found its way to me and I gladly accepted.
Not worried about the next storm…maybe I should have been.
Maybe I should have prepared, but for right now I enjoyed my gain.
I gladly embraced my good fortune until the next loss—I live in my gain.
The tiny brown and white bird clung to the cedar’s bark
The corn snow fell heavy and hard around it.
Then, the bird slowly began its journey by climbing upward.
A few feet up the tree, it was knocked back down to the ground
It paused for only a few seconds and tried again.
Deliberately, it made its way back to where it fell
The tiny bird carefully passed that point without stopping
It moved higher, toward the promised shelter from the pounding chaos.
Wings open, it faltered a few times, but hung on…
It kept rising until it reached the first bare branch.
Tucked underneath, the little bird found limited shelter
But it wisely did not linger there as it continued the climb…
Finally, the brave bird is immersed into the green branches
Now it is safely nestled in the cedar, as the storm rages around it.
Gone from my sight now I contemplate its journey.
When the bird was knocked down it got up and tried again
It passed the point where it had been impeded
There was no hesitation as it kept advancing.
Not looking back, it climbed higher and higher.
It didn’t accept the first offer of partial protection,
Instead it kept climbing until it reached its goal…
Until it found sanctuary from the pelting ice and winds.
And, having watched this journey—I was just a bit wiser for it
Because I knew whatever life threw at me, I needed to pick myself up
And keep climbing, no matter what the odds, until I reached the top
Exactly like the wise and brave bird did on its journey in the storm.
Watch for July’s Monthly Newsletter later this week.
I will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon with a blog and poem, but a day late. It falls on my birthday and I plan to be sitting on a beach gazing at the Pacific Ocean or the Yuba River:)
Always embrace your inner child, D. L. Finn