I wasn’t really sure if I should share another installment of, “When Love Shows Up…” or not. Honestly, they’re some of the toughest posts to write and I know you guys have your own stuff going on too. It’s my deepest heart’s desire for this corner of Blogland to be a place of empowerment and encouragement and I do not take the time we spend together lightly.
That being said, so many of you have reached out for an update on how we’ve been, “really doing” since the unexpected death of both of my grandparents and most recently, the loss of my beloved, Talladega. Truth be told, I was kind of dreading July 19th. That seemingly simple date on the calendar meant Tally had been gone for exactly one month and it would signify four months since I’ve heard either my grandparent’s voices. Just thinking about it gives me a lump in my throat so big I can hardly swallow.
I didn’t want to dread the 19th and I made up my mind the week before to do whatever I needed to do celebrate their lives. I had these grand visions of making the day count, going to the beach, spending time in my garden, meeting my bestie S for dinner, spreading random acts of kindness and a ridiculous amount of positivity too.
No playing, I all but high fived myself as I went to sleep on July 18th because I was that prepared to be an absolute rock on the 19th.
So, imagine my surprise when I went about my day and things were completely…ordinary…on July 19th.
I found myself totally weepy as soon as my feet hit the floor. I barely made it through a typical morning conversation with my Mom. I was distracted during my devotion. I fell apart at the vet’s office as I delivered drinks and snacks from Starbucks.
It’s so interesting how you can have your mind made up about something…you know it, you feel it, you speak it out and then…your emotions start to take over for a hot minute and say, “Slow your roll.”
After the vet’s office, I found myself wandering around the garden center at Lowes. I don’t know why, I mean, I could have just as easily gone to the beach. For some reason, I wanted to be around as many flowers as possible though.
I was walking down the aisles rather aimlessly when love showed up the first time. I had two gallon sized potted plants in one hand and I was using my other hand to hold up a big bag of potting soil that was resting on my hip. This lady who was on the phone by the way, put her phone down and took the plants out of her buggy and said, “Baby, you look like you need some help. Take my buggy.”
I was standing in the checkout line when love showed up the second time. Do you guys ever look at the clearance plants at Lowes? Me too. I swear I can save them all. Anyway, I was chatting it up with the cashier about the best time to buy clearance plants and she looked at me with the biggest smile and said, “Sweetheart, buying plants is just like buying anything else you love – you gotta get it when you see it or the chance will pass you by.”
I’m not gonna lie, I was exhausted by the time I got home. I didn’t feel like working or napping, watching tv, reading or even planting the two plants I had brought home from Lowes. I couldn’t get myself motivated at all. The more I thought about how I had expected the day to go vs how the day had actually gone just made me feel disappointed I hadn’t done a better job of keeping it together.
By 405pm I was texting S that love hadn’t shown up the way I thought it would. I honestly thought the day was going to be filled with divine experiences and heart melting moments but you guys it was THE most ordinary day. I was this close to canceling my dinner plans when S walked through the door. And that’s when loved showed up the third time. S had worked 19 days in a row and yet somehow had still found a way to make this difficult day a priority.
We snuck into the bookstore just before dinner when S handed me the book, Option B. “I really think you need to read this book.” I half-heartedly agreed and dug the 20% off Barnes and Noble coupon card out of the bottom of my purse. We headed to the checkout and that’s when love showed up again. As it turns out I didn’t need my coupon at all, the book was 30% off.
So many times, we set ourselves up for frustration and disappointment when what we expect to happen doesn’t actually happen, instead of allowing the ordinary events in our lives to unfold in the extraordinary way they’re supposed to. Without our interference, or bargaining, or willing, or insistence or faithless appeals.
For the longest time, I thought grief and loss were linear. That each day got a little bit better and better until we reached some sort of mountaintop precipice and announced ourselves “OK.”
After going through this experience though, I feel that is no longer true.
It’s true, our lives are comprised of ordinary moments. It’s in the choices we make every day, the actions we take towards our goals, it’s in how we treat each other and it’s the decision to either sit on the sidelines or to take a leap of faith. It’s in the most mundane tasks like the pride we take when we make our beds each morning, the dinner we prepare for our families each night. It’s the way we set our tables, arrange our flowers and in the moments we intentionally choose to invest in ourselves, our lives and each other.
Just because love doesn’t show up exactly like we think it’s supposed to doesn’t mean it doesn’t show up. It just means we must be open to a new way of experiencing the best of what love has to offer. Yes, on the mountaintops, in the valleys, through deep oceans and in the prairies too. Love shows up even in the mundane and what seems like the most ordinary day. And sometimes, that seemingly ordinary day turns out to be extraordinary after all.
I hope you all have a peace filled and relaxing weekend. We were so close to being finished with the half bathroom makeover when we hit a snag hanging up the mirror which caused us to have to rethink all the trim. That led us to rethink the molding, which led to the fixtures which led to rethinking the artwork… I know.