Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fear and Parenthood

Fear is an interesting thing. A while ago, I said "Fear seems to have left me." Which is mostly true. It's not like I have shrunk from challenge in my life because of fear, but certainly there has been some level of it smoldering under my decision making canopy over the years, whether it be professionally or personally. Sometimes fear is healthy, sometimes it is good. Sometimes it can be extremely destructive or at least counterproductive.

Over the past couple of years, I have made a conscious decision to "not fear anything." At least not for more than a brief period of time, which may be considered terror anyhow, not fear. In the face of certain loss, you realize that fear is generally counterproductive. In the face of death, you realize that fear is useless.

As I pondered my recent trip to see U2 in Atlanta, a bit of fear snuck in...what if...a plane crash, a car crash...something bad might happen and then where would the girls be? Well, you can either be paralyzed by these types of thoughts or you can feel them and then let them go.

None of us knows when our time is up. I'm not saying I will live my life recklessly, for I know I have more responsibility now than ever, but nor will I shrink from opportunity, adventure, productivity or life in general because I fear a possible future.

As you probably know by now, I went to Atlanta, I spent good quality time with great friends, had a fortunate meeting on the plane with an ex hospice grief counselor and learned some great ideas, went to cool places, got in the Georgia Dome with 90,000 like-minded fans, got a pass to get on the floor (Fedexed in from one of Heidi's dear friends from college) and when U2 opened up, I was 20 feet from the stage. I held my arm up in the air with "4 Heidi" scrawled on it and cried during Walk On. By myself, yet surrounded, I felt somehow comforted in the throng of humanity and the warmth of the message that the song provides.

The Girls and I are all going to Hawaii. We will take Heidi with us and we will let her go where she wanted. A lot of you have contributed to this journey and we will live it. We will love it for whatever it is, and I will write about it too, so you can share it with us. We continue to thank you and to be thankful for you.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

A prayer from the heart....

No matter how strong your faith, you can always hope for a sign...a sign that someone is there, a sign that they are in a better place, a sign that they are with you in spirit...

The scene is dinner last night at the kitchen table. Myself, the Girls, Uncle Clyde and Grand Pop. A few days ago I taped some of Heidi's photo cards from the funeral services together to make a circle of her photos around a small sunflower arrangement on our table. this circle is flanked by candles to light up her beautiful face.

Jillian (8 y.o) asked to say "the pray" (grace) before dinner and so she got the honor. She said "Dear God, If I could just have a sign that Mommy is in a better place." This simple prayer left me somewhat astounded, as it was sort of out of the blue for her. She had not spoken with me about signs or directly about any of the events that we have been talking about around here. Clearly, she has overheard some of us talking over the past few days about "coincidences vs. Godincidences", as my Dad likes to call them.

After the prayer I told her...they are all around us Jilli, you just have to keep your eyes and your mind open.

Well, about halfway through dinner, one of the lit candles began to spark up 2, 3, 4, 5 inches and flicker. Just like wind, the other candle was perfectly still, yet the candle closest to Jillian began to shimmer, flash and dance, more like a firework than a candle. Jillian looked at it and with a huge smile on her face, said "Hi Mommy."

We all did. It turned from a candle in to a beacon of hope and faith in that moment, and then just as quickly, back into a candle. It was a beautiful moment, and too me, it shows the power of a prayer from the heart. This time, a little girl looking for a small token of hope or a re-inforcement of faith...asking a simple request of a wonderful God full of Love and Compassion, who does not overlook the details and does have a "perfect plan."

Thank you God, for I am human too.