A Lesson In Life and Death: It’s All Just Stuff

Recent events in my life have forced me to face the harsh reality of death and the feelings that surround losing a loved on or the thought of losing a loved one. Today’s post is a way for me to find peace. Writing helps me cope with the questions that I have and the fears that consume my mind. It is simply a tool to help me sort my thoughts and focus on what is important to me. I would hope that you could take away a lesson from it but if not, that’s okay too. This piece is for me.

Knowing that time is slipping through my fingers it is hard to remain even keeled. I want to drop everything and make irrational yet justifiable attempts to hold on to these last fleeting moments. I want the answers to my questions. Have I said everything I have wanted to say? Have I shared in the moments that I love? Do they know that I love them endlessly? These questions remain unanswered and are like an undertow drowning me. I am fighting to breathe.

Moments like these make me question what it is I am doing and if it is what I have always dreamed of. I look to those I admire and reflect on their courage for guidance. What is it that I want out of life? Are the decisions that I am making today, the decisions that I will embrace tomorrow? Will I create a legacy? What will I teach my children and my children’s children without ever saying a word? With every death there is a birth…life will continue on with or without you. What is it that you want to pass on?

Lessons that I have learned along the way:

Grandpa and Grandma Siebert: Grandma didn’t know how to cook or make a bed to save her life when she married my Grandpa. He didn’t mind. He spent time in the Service and knew how to do both. They taught me the power of commitment, compromise and the importance of love.

Grandma Deli: Every year, every holiday, every time we asked, my grandma would bake for us. She made bread, cookies, cinnamon rolls, dinner and serve warm milk in the night if we couldn’t sleep. When I was little, she would cut my french toast into small squares and I still ask for this as a 33 year old adult. Why? Because she still does it the best. She taught me the art of hospitality and the importance of family traditions. I share in these traditions and have created some of my own along the way.

My Dad: Dad has always been the resident chef of all things fried and fun. He would make homemade doughnuts in the kitchen or grill up a mean brat and then write our names on the plate with mustard. He shares his love by sharing food. He shows his love by making you dinner and now I share my love the same way. I open my doors, share some laughs and love over a hot plate and red wine.

Mama: She gave me my voice. She taught me to speak up and stand tall. She also taught me to be courageous and make the hard decisions that aren’t always popular. Today I exercise my voice and choose my battles wisely. She is also the force behind my passion for fashion and my original supermodel.

Grandma Rachel / Nana: Nana was always well put together, elegant, classy. She took pride in herself and her family and made it a priority to dress well. Self presentation is a window into your world. How will you present yourself? I think of Nana before every occasion and ask myself ” Would Nana approve?”

Grandpa Bill and Grandma Mary: I learned to follow my dreams and to embrace my talents. Engulf yourself with your passions and keep tabs on the people that you love. Visit often, call or write whatever it is, stay involved. Your presence is the present.

These are a few of the lessons that I take with me wherever I go. No matter where I work or where I live, my values and lessons remain. Change is inevitable and I understand that it is a must, I am just trying to find a way to confront change before it confronts me. Some day my questions will be answered and I will find the peace that I seek. Until then, I will experience more, laugh often and love deeply. These things that surround me, these material items, it’s all just stuff and stuff I can do without. It’s the memories that I cherish the most.

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