When Love Shows Up on July 19
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.
My heart is fuller this morning just reading this. If you choose love from the beginning, you find love. In spades. It is in the seemingly “mundane” of daily life for us all. Having chosen love opens our eyes to experience love, see it and feel it. “The Magic of Ordinary Days” is the title of a movie, but more importantly, the absolute truth. Life in itself, a reflection of all we have learned, shared, given and received from everyone who crosses our path. It is not over the top, boisterous, loud, obnoxious, or hurtful. It is in the everyday, ordinary, and normal of life. Love is all around us all the time. It takes no time off, no day off and it never leaves us for vacation. You get what you give. To see love is to know where and how love comes from. God, the essence of love teaches us to do it willingly and completely, even for those who don’t even like us. You have experienced loss in spades, but, you choose love first. So that makes you so very aware and in tune to when Love shows up! Allow it to continue to strengthen you, heal you and keep your heart open to the curves that life can throw you. for myself, I would not change one second of my time spent with the ones I’ve lost cause it would have changed our ending. And that love I felt when they left, helped me continue to see Love when it shows up at the most unexpected times. And more importantly, give Love when I see it’s needed. For that, I am blessed beyond what I deserve. Coco, your life is full of love and that is something you have shared with your readers. I know without a doubt, someone reading this is learning how love works. That is what life is all about! Blessing for us all, Hope
Oh my gosh, Hope, this is so beautifully written saying thank you just doesn’t seem adequate enough. A million times over thank you for leaving this comment and for all of your other comments too – each and every one are special to me. I’ve never seen the movie “The Magic of Ordinary Days” but I can’t wait to look it up now. It seems like a movie we all should see so I appreciate your recommendation. You are so right when you say, love is all around us and that God teaches us to love willingly and completely. Those are the promises I hope we can all hold on to each day. They have definitely helped to sustain me these past few months. Thank you again for your kind and thoughtful words – you are appreciated. I’m sending you lots of love and hugs for a happy day, CoCo
I’m glad to hear that even though it wasn’t as you planned it, you did have a very blessed day. Sending hugs and good vibes your way
Thank you so much, Elizabeth. It was fun to see how things unfolded even though like you said the day wasn’t how I imagined at all. It’s all about being open to new possibilities and I think exciting things are ahead for both of us 🙂 Sending you big hugs, good vibes and so many thank yous, CoCo
Oh my heart – you say it all so eloquently! I cried with you on the 19th as you were in my thoughts and prayers.
I appreciate it, Patty, thank you. I’ve been thinking about you too and Madden and Max. I’m really glad we all have each other. It helps so much. Sending you an email this morning. Hugs, CoCo
Love this post so much! Thanks for sharing how you found the silver lining in your day’s events – very uplifting.
Such a sweet compliment, Anne, thank you so much. I can’t even tell you how many times your sweet comments have helped make my day brighter. You are appreciated. Hugs, CoCo
Some beautiful thoughts you shared- thanks!
I appreciate it, Lee, thank you. Hope you have the best day, CoCo
Dearest CoCo – Grief and sorrow ebbs and flows. Dare we say…the harder you love the deeper your grief will be. Be gentle with your heart – and you are so wise. Keep looking for signs of love to show up everywhere, everyday. Even in the form of two friends from Georgia 🙂
That’s such a great way to put it ladies. You guys have been so sweet and encouraging throughout this process even though I know you have had a ton of things going on behind the scenes. I definitely feel like we’ve been in this together and I appreciate you both more than I could ever convey. Sending you love and big hugs, CoCo
Oh Coco. I have been wanting to write for awhile and just have not for whatever reason. When you wrote about loosing Tally last month my heart broke. As I read your post I had tears streaming down my face. Not only for your loss of Tally but because I felt, to the bottom of who I am, every word you wrote is how I know I will feel when my own little white shadow leaves me. But today, despite the grief and hardache you are feeling over all of your losses, you chose to write, feel and find love. It is not easy, or fun or happy looking for the love in each day and the love we are surrounded with but it is what makes living life worth it – all of the ups and all of the downs. Thank you for having the courage to share your heart with us as your words have touched me in a profound way. You reminded me today that I need to continually find (and see) the love around me and freely give the love I have been shown unconditionally. I pray each day brings you love, peace and memories to be cherished forever <3
Oh my gosh, Lisa, now I’m crying too ha ha! Thanks so much for your sweet and loving words. They mean so much to me. I know you understand what it’s like to come home to a big ball of love every night too. Those snuggles will get you every time. I do miss Tally dearly every day. She definitely keeps me going and finding ways to choose joy and love and laughter even when it gets hard. Please know that I appreciate you and treasure you too. Your support makes sharing my heart easy. Hugs and prayers for you as well, always, CoCo