Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I won't be giving thanks...

Dear Little B,

Tomorrow is a holiday here in the grand ole' US of A. I hate to tell you this; but hell, you already know 2017 is not going to be a fantastic year for you.  When the sun comes up tomorrow it will be the first day in my memory as an adult (a status you are fast approaching) that it will come without the roll out of bed, fire up the oven and proceed to cook and bake for hours a meal that will last about 20 minutes.  The reason is simple and yet hard to explain.

Kids, Football Games, Tackle, Sports
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of joy for a wife/mother who is taking care of her family. Turkey in the oven, pies cooling on the counter, pots of vegetables boiling on the stove, the first hints of Christmas carols coming from a television off in another room battling with the sounds of a football game being watched and cheers coming from another room. It is a time for family, smiles, and even some bickering.

Silhouette, Woman, Alone Today however, with only 24 hours to go, there is not an apple in site. No marshmallows to top sweet potatoes. Not a stick of butter or jar of gravy to be found. This year there are no children for me to provide for, no husband to happily stuff until he can't eat another morsel. No home to call your own.  It is an odd feeling. After so many years of being the one to answer the "I want" or "I need" phase for others, it completely slipped my mind to ever want or need anything for myself.

Holiday Table, Table SettingDon't get me wrong dear one. You will have many good holidays on your journey of becoming me. You will have years so full of love you feel your heart may not be able to be contained in your chest. You will have so many laughs that it will seem your face will crack open and the tears of mirth will never cease. It's the memories of those days yet to come for you that have been filling my heart and head over the last week.

I don't think I wish to be back then and be in those moments again. Quite honestly those were the moments that defined who I am. If they could be relived over and over, I can't guarantee that they would be as special. They were precious because they were the "that one time" moments and we (you and I) made the most of them and locked them away in our hearts and minds to break out when times get really dark and lonely. (which I'm sad to say they will)

Man, Bridge, Lonely, Sun, Walk, WintryThe only piece of advice I can give you in all of this dear younger me is to treasure it. What "it" you say? My answer is simple. ALL of it. Every moment you have, squeeze the most out of it. Don't be afraid to do things. In the dark of the winters night, go for a walk in the snow. Make love every chance you get with the man you love. Take in the beauty and serenity of it all. Skip rope with the kids and laugh when you all fall to the ground. Be silly and put the olives on your fingers with the kids. Have mac and cheese eating contests with your hands behind your back. Live life in every moment with those around you that you love because someday; time will slip away and loved ones will move on;

and sitting alone you won't feel so lonely because you will always have the memory of "that one time"...

Thankful for all the memories you will make,

Bigger Little B

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Going With The Flow...

Dear Littler B,

Hello dear littler me from across the many years. I wanted to reach out to you today because something has been on my mind of late that I just don't know how to deal with. Sadly, all the years that you will go through on your journey to becoming me may make you a bit wiser but don't give you all the answers. I hope you are not in the age where you are fooling yourself into believing that just because you have grown up means you have it all figured out.

Person, Old, Woman, Grandma, SeniorIn every life there are "defining moments" if you will. Situations or events that totally change who you are as a person and the way you live your life. Having children for example is one of those. First you are you, then you are mom. Never to be the "you" that you recognize again. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's not necessarily a good thing. It's a complete change of how you do you and process the world around you. Some of it baby girl will be wonderful. The amazing feeling of becoming a mother or grandmother; the joy of becoming a wife is something that I would never change and would do all over if given the chance.

You my dear as you know from the brief situations I have outlined in letters past will have several such defining moments. I'm sad to say you will not always handle them well, such as the defining moment you became a widow. It has been 5 months and I can promise you, no matter how much you thought you had prepared for it you will not handle it well. You will be faced with having to do something you do not want; reinventing yourself. You will come to identify (a big term in this day and age) as mother, as grandmother, as wife. Now, with children grown you will not be needed really and without the identity of wife, what are you?

Girl, Forest, Road, Little GirlIdentity crisis is never a fun thing. What should you do with yourself? Who are you? Who should you become? These are the questions going through my head for months and I'm no closer to an answer than I was when I was you. It feels sometimes as if you are alone, walking through the woods of your life with no idea where the road goes or if it even leads out on the other side. 

You will spend your life doing things for the sake of others so much that when the time comes and no one needs you, you have no idea what or who you are. It's an empty feeling my dear and I hate to give you this news but life is what it is. (you will come to HATE that phrase as well but it is an absolute accurate depiction.)

I will tell you this though, even on my darkest days of late... The days when I realize I am alone and may never have my own home or love again I always find a way to focus on the happy times and places that occurred over the time-span of you becoming me. It is always darkest before the dawn. For all that it is a cliche tomorrow is a new day.  Don't lose faith and don't lose hope. I tell you as much as I tell me.

Sunrise, Space, Outer, Globe, World
You will see some amazing things and go to wondrous places. You will be loved deeper than you ever imagined was possible. In my mind if those things could happen along the years between you and me, what might be in store between me becoming the person I will be 20 years from now?  I'm willing to be patient and see...

In hope,

Bigger Little B

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dear Little Bidy,

It's a cold week day here in 2017 fast approaching Thanksgiving. Music is cranked (songs you won't come to know for a couple decades), trying to get my clean-out on and singing on the top of my lungs. Things go in waves here. I've been crying my eyes out all morning and reminiscing. Days to come for you that I wish I could shield you from, however every minute will be worth it. I wouldn't change it for you even if I had that power in me.

I think it all started because I was reading some posts on Facebook (don't worry, you will understand all too well what that is in time) from someone you will meet in a year or two who inspires you to try to pursue a long time dream of yours. He will be coming back to school to give a talk in the library about how he pursued his dreams to be an actor. It was the last thing I was thinking about before going to sleep last night and it put me into dreams about being back in your time and being in the halls of high school being in the library and walking to the band room. I know those are your two favorite places to be, having been you.

When you become me dear little one, there are many things you will look back on fondly. You have the amazing ability to remember the smallest things and actually put yourself in the moment that was. While sometimes not fun when you become me, sometimes it is precisely that ability that brings you through some of your toughest moments. You can close your eyes and put yourself in just the time and place you want to be, feel the sun on your skin, hear the sounds of that time in your ear.

One of the things you will come to believe more and more as the days become years, is that all moments happen at the same time. As crazy as it sounds to you at your age (I know because you are me) when you are me and in the right place you will see. You can close your eyes and literally put yourself in a place and time that you've been before. At one moment your husband is taken too soon and the same moment he is sitting on the back porch laughing at the puppy. You can hear Dad playing his guitar or smell the heavenly scent of a pie from Roma's. That is the glory of living your life determined to make memories, not obsessed with having things. By the time you are my age little one, you will have had things and lost things. The important thing will never be about possessions but about the moments you created; with your children, with your friends, with your beloved husband.

I'm proud to be you. Your outlook on life dear little me is what has gotten me through some of my darkest times. Make your memories and be proud of them. Even the hard lessons. When the nights get longer and lonely for you at my age you will see; those are the things you will treasure, not the flat screen TV.


Bigger Little Bidy