STOP! Look around you right now, what is it that you have with you in close proximity? What do you have in your pockets? What is in your purse? What is it that you cannot move through the day without holding close to you? Did you answer in objects? Did you answer with what is in your heart? Maybe you answered with things in your mind and thoughts that move with you and fill your empty spaces? Whatever it is and whatever these things are, you are connected..somehow and someway. For me, my purse has pictures, important ones. My pockets are empty. My heart is heavy, and my mind is full of thoughts and experience. I do not go anywhere without ALL of it. As we go through life now, we continue to have to experience new things as our new selves. Filling out paperwork, checking boxes…..am I widowed, do I have 4 children or 3……All potential for questions and awkward moments. I am ready. I carry with me an invisible tool bag full of support and love. I try to do forward thinking, to prepare myself for comments and questions in certain situations. How will I handle it? What will I say? I try to look outside of my pain and my own situation and think what is fair to me, my son, and the person I am standing eye to eye with. It is a new life, new script, new everything. I am the new girl, on a new stage. Today, I will rehearse the future questions, from my son’s children, from my two granddaughters that are missing a life with the man that I hold a picture of, in my wallet and in my heart.
~Leslie Beery, The Surviving Project