In October of 2010 I was living in Naples Florida helping my mom take care of my dad who was dying. It was not a place or a situation that I had honestly ever imagined I would be in. And although I was grateful to be with my dad during this bittersweet tender time, I was in some pain otherwise, and knew that as much as I didn’t want to deal with it, the offering to gain perspective and take hold of my own truth was there. So, I took it.
I spent a lot of time over the ensuing 8 months laughing and crying with my dad, reminiscing, seeing at the most visceral level who he really was, witnessing him let go and come to accept the inevitability of the end of his life. In so many subtle and gentle ways our journey together, down a road that both of us had never really anticipated traveling, I began to unpack the baggage that I’d stored inside of myself for so long, and arrive at the heart of the value of who I really was. It was such a gift, given to me by my dad and I will never ever forget it.
Here’s what I discovered as valuable for me and about me
- I love my kids. Family, however it comprises itself, is it.
- I uphold and I am upheld in loving relationships with gentle loving people.
- Place matters. I had to bloom again (New Jersey) where I had been originally planted.
All that pain had been honed down and refined into these three basic principles. And it took the experience of my dad’s death to reinforce these profound truths for me. Life is not as complicated as I had chosen to make it: Family, great friends and place was all that I needed to begin again. And I did; unwavering, sometimes weepy, yet completely committed to embracing and endorsing the Big, Bold, Beautiful, Brave woman that I had always imagined myself to be.