I’m tired and clumsy today. I broke a precious bowl made for me by a dear friend. It just slipped out of my hands. I was entertaining friends Clo and I used to entertain together. I miss her presence as co-host. We had very different ideas about how to carry out the role of host. She expected herself to provide a full meal fit for royalty and I tended to go for cheese and fruit, nuts, chocolate, and wine. Today I long for suggestions. What I make up Clo would suggest we offer our guests, I would not be able to provide without her guidance. I would, however welcome creative problem solving with her.
I am also trying to get a grip on how to upgrade my kitchen, make it more user friendly, and not pay an arm and a leg as my mother would say. The kitchen mattered a lot to Clo because she was a gourmet cook. She appreciated a well ordered and well supplied kitchen. Order and supplies matter when you entertain in style however when cheese, fruit, baguette and olive oil is what you do, a less fancy kitchen works just fine. Clo’s ideal kitchen renovations were frequently out of my price range and more than what I, in my infinite wisdom and judgment, believed was needed.
I have NO idea what to expect my way of redoing the kitchen (that in fact does desperately need to be updated) is likely to cost. I am abundantly clear there is a financial, physical and emotional cost and I no longer have her to talk it over with me so we can share the responsibility. It feels like suddenly I have to learn how to make all these decisions with only myself to talk it over with, or Aimee, for that matter. Aimee responds just about as helpfully as Self does. Never mind I made decisions on my own for 55 years before I even met Clo! And there is nothing sudden about this alone place I am in now. She was terminally ill for 2 years and not doing very well long before that. I have had recent practice in making decisions but certainly not about renovating what has now become my kitchen.
Interestingly, it occurs to me the kitchen would be considered the heart of the home for Clo. For me it would be the living room where we sit and share and dream and listen to music, read and simply BE. Differences are a good thing. Differences bring interest and excitement and growth into a relationship.
That is the issue lately: I am now one. When we were a couple we were one plus one which obviously should add up to two but often magically became much more than two. Because we trusted each other to think beyond the box and to have good intentions for both of our needs and desires, we manifested way more than the expected total of two. Together we made a good team plus something more: We balanced each other well and we kept each other on track and were accountable to each other. In the end there is a lot of creative, mysterious good will and problem solving power that added up to often times some really unexpected and spectacular results; certainly way more than I in my puny little style of problem solving seem able to pull off right now.
I am aware as I write this that physically I feel off balance. Once again my body is talking to me. I think my body believes it is talking to me in plain language that any dolt could be expected to understand, but my goofy self sometimes needs the aid of a velvet hammer to get the message. Like that beautiful bowl Joanie made or the antique cut glass milk jug I love that my mother gave to me many years ago to have so it wouldn’t get lost and would stay forever in the family for us to always remember her. I am unsteady and uncertain and I make mistakes, or at least, I fear I will make mistakes. The bowl and the jug are yelling at me to be careful, to listen, and to take wise caution. To me that means I must stay grounded and focus in what I am doing and saying. If I don’t I will in some way have regrets.
Clo helped balance me. Her patience and the trust she had in me compelled me to bring forth my better self. Because Clo believed in me I stretched into stronger parts of myself that I had forgotten about over the years. Sometimes I softened because she was vulnerable or sometimes I got tough when she was uncertain. Clo provided a mirror in which I saw myself reflected and when I didn’t like what I saw she patiently waited until I collected myself and was able to shift. I would be the one to say, we can’t do this; it is too difficult and we must stop here and forget about it. And she would quietly go about problem solving and showing me how in fact together we could do whatever I was ready to give up on. Clo did not give up. Well that is, not until she decided to give up on life here with me.
When she was diagnosed with cancer and initially given 6 weeks to live, we were only momentarily out of balance. That was when I took over and became the care taker, the decision maker, the one to attend to business. I did my job well and Clo’s grateful and understanding eyes often thanked me. I knew she would hang on to life and to our life together just as long as she was able to tolerate it. And she knew I would hang on to the keeping our life afloat and keeping us safely connected to the outside help we needed, and keeping my family and their love sustaining and nurturing us just as long as it took. We balanced each other in our 23 years together in a variety of ways. The beauty of it all was that we understood when one stepped back, the other would step forward. It was a dance of trust we thrived in together.
Be a team, create harmony together. Have one another’s back. Do NOT underestimate the value of your dear partner. You chose each other long ago and it was right then. It is still right now. You need to remember what was right about it. It is so easy to notice what is wrong. Don’t go there. It only hurts to do that. Remember what you saw and felt and knew when first you met. Clo and I entertained together very well. We both loved our grandchildren profoundly. Clo created a lovely home for us and supported me in creating a prosperous and healing private practice. We were a good team and I always knew she had my back. I am pretty sure she felt me solidly behind her as well.
My daughters Lisa and Michelle, granddaughter Sydney, and I held Clo in her final moments of life with us. She breathed her last breath surrounded by a chorus of I love you. Clo recreated our 1920’s home into the lovely, safe, and welcoming home it is today. I provided her with a family for her to love and from whom she received an abundance of love. She built a home for the two of us and we invited my family into a safe and welcoming and loving haven for celebrations and holidays. We were a team and we provided balance for each other. I am feeling off balance these days and simply need to remember what it felt like when I had her by my side. My body can remember that feeling and my mind can hold that concept. Once again I can be whole and feel the strength of that wholeness as I remember what she and I built together and how grateful we both were to have bits and pieces of our own inner strength reflected in the other as a reminder of what it truly feels like and looks like to be whole and securely attached to inner self as well as loyal partner.
Off to entertain my current guests, as I hold memories of past pleasures in my heart and feel pride in doing it my way today. Give your sweetie a hug. There are never too many hugs in a day. Love yourself. Love your life. You have made excellent decisions. It was Shirley MacLaine who taught me that we do not make mistakes we create opportunities to learn. I love that, it is so forgiving and compassionate. I learn in this journey of letting go of my old life and creating a new life, how important it is for me to have compassion for my precious self. Always, I only do the best I know. Always I learn; and I can always reinvent myself.
Never forget that you have the divine right to receive love and respect. And you have the divine responsibility to give love and respect. That is the expectation you agreed to when you chose to visit this planet and live a lifetime here. Learning, growing, healing, giving, celebrating, taking advantage of the blessings of being a human in this particular life time, all blessed gifts everyone wishes for and deserves. All blessed gifts one can learn to give to self or can learn to co create with a partner. Both are possible. Clo supported me to stand on my own two feet by providing a mirror for me and teaching me much of what I already knew but was willing to hand over to her. Now, feeling her smiling upon me with kindness and support, I do what I didn’t want to do or didn’t think I knew how to do and I do it with grace and I trust Clo feels pleased and relieved of any more responsibility.