If I'm honest, this year has already been rough for me. I think I've tried to pretend it's not affecting me, but it really is. I didn't mention it before, but my aunt passed away recently and her funeral was on Friday. As wonderful as it was to be surrounded by family and friends who I love dearly, it was really hard to see and to know how much they are hurting, and for me to actually acknowledge how much losing her is hurting me too. She was so funny and so caring. Last January, my husband and I went to visit and we gathered as a family for dinner. I was so happy to listen to her stories and to see her interacting with her husband. Their loving relationship always made me so happy. My heart is breaking knowing that my uncle has lost the love of his life.
So here we are at the start of a new year. There's a mix of emotions ranging from desires for a fresh start to stretch myself with new dreams and aspirations for my business and a deep longing to be stationary as I try so hard to cling to the past. This dichotomy of looking to the past and to the future is making it hard to live in the present. My past is full of the memories of so many loved ones that have now passed away. While I find comfort in letting my mind dwell there as I relive so many precious moments over and over, these memories are tainted now with a deep pain that this is all I have since no new memories can be formed. And so I switch. I focus on the future and dream about what I should aspire to and how I can bring those aspirations into fruition. I start dreaming of a world and a version of me that isn't real or true because it's free of pain. But as I linger in this dream, the hopes of the future inevitable become mixed with fears of possible future losses. As I acknowledge the fact that pain will always be there no matter what direction I look to, I find comfort knowing that I am who I am today because I experienced losing loved ones and I kept going. I know the struggle will continue. But I know I can get through this. With God's help, I can have the peace I need to live in the present, as He gives me comfort for the pains of the past and guidance for the dreams of the future.
I've shared this picture before, but I thought it was the best picture to remind me of my aunt. You see, my aunt's favorite color was purple. And just like this flower which stubbornly grew between a crack in the sidewalk, my aunt could be pretty stubborn, and yet was beautifully gracious and loving, always finding a way to brighten your day because she knew how to love people well.