If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I took a step back the last couple weeks to focus some extra time on loving myself up.
It has been such a year.
I can't really say it has been bad.
Calling it bad would minimize the amount of lessons it has brought forth.
& I'm here for the lessons.
We lost my grandma, I helped get my Uncle Tom (aka...uncle googie; dad #2) back on his feet after his stroke and heart attack, our family farm caught fire and then we lost my grandpa.
All in seven months.
I just needed some time to sit with myself.
Get in my feels.
Sort it out.
As an empath, it can be such a struggle seeing people you love in pain.
Like to the point where my body takes on their emotions.
So, imagine, your mom loses both her parents and your dad's brother (bff) has a stroke and heart attack and then they lose a lot of their family farm and business to a fire.
Then I ventured to Indiana to help my mom work through the process of getting all of my grandpa's estate stuff taken care of.
& seeing her so upset and helpless was rough.
My body was absolutely deflated.
This is not a complaint.
To me, one of my greatest features is the fact that I'm an empath.
& seeing my parents through their feelings will always be a top priority of mine.
Just simply stating that once the "coast was clear" it was time for me to reinflate.
Take care of me.
Nurture my wounds.
Heal my hurt.
Fill my cup.
& that is what I have been doing.
I've had good days and I've had hard days.
But they have been full days.
Full of life, love, hugs, cuddles & kisses (from humans and kitties).Work, canning, exercise, cooking, reading, journaling, meditation and stillness.
It has been really nice.
On Friday, August 6th, I woke up sad.
Really, really sad.
I got my workout in, did some work, showered, ate lunch and headed out the door for St. Louis.
I was bound and determined to not sit and wallow...I'd already done that on Monday. 😜
I threw on my beautiful necklace that was gifted from a family friend with my grandma's fingerprint on it and the words "you can do this" engraved on the back, placed my hand on it and said, "take care of me today, grandma".
I meant it from a -keep me safe on the road- kind of way.
But oh boy, did she have something else in mind.
A picture of the necklace.
I had already been in the dumps.
Then to top it off I was canning like a mad woman trying to put up an abundance of tomatoes.
FOR MY FIRST TIME EVER.
I got really super sad that I had nobody to teach me how to do it.
& I wasn't about to ask my Mom to come help me with everything she had going on.
I had no grandmas left.
No aunts to help, no sisters.
Life was feeling really lonely.
I taught myself.
Keith and I are probably some of the most self sufficient humans you'll ever meet (in fact, in the astrology world, our zodiac signs together are labeled as the "power couple". which is totally fitting, because in my eyes we are) but that does not mean it doesn't get lonely doing it all for yourself all the time.
So I was wallowing a bit.
Bummed by my circumstances.
I headed to Barnes and Noble.
A place that always uplifts my spirits.
the floor at B&N will always be one of my favorite spaces.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED
I walked up to a table set up in the middle of B&N with a bunch of historical fiction books on it (which I've been totally into lately).
I was just browsing.
You know...reading the backs of the books seeing if any sparked my interest.
A woman in her late eighties, early nineties across from me doing the same.
I picked up "The Rose Code" and her sweet little voice came across the table with the words, "that is such a good book". We chatted for a bit about some of the books on the table, her life, then she recommended another. I read the back and was intrigued. I had them both in my hands while chatting and still perusing.
She looked at me and said, "sweetheart (which is what my grandma called me) you don't have to buy those books on my behalf. Sometimes I just start speaking and people aren't really interested. My kids tell me I should probably keep to myself more."
Tears literally bubbled up in my eyes (it took everything in me to not lose my shit right there in front of her) and I let her know I was thoroughly enjoying our conversation. I opened up and let her know I had recently lost my grandma and came to B&N because I was down in the dumps. That our unexpected interaction was everything I didn't know I needed today.
We spoke for a short while more and when she ventured on to another table, she came across to me, put her hand on my shoulder, said, "thanks for listening and I hope I can recommend some more books to you across the table again someday".
I can't even tell you what I said back to her. Because I can't remember.
All I could do was hold in my tears and keep from collapsing to the ground.
This woman was a survivor.
She lived WWII (at a very young age), was overseas with her family (unsure where about) but came back to the US when the war started. I'm not sure much more of her story than that. I have so many questions I want to ask her. She did not have an accent so I'm assuming she was American prior to moving to Europe.
I wish I would have gotten her number or her email; some way to keep in communication.
A perfect accident.
A serendipitous moment.
One we both probably needed.
If you're reading this, grandma...thanks for sending her straight into my bubble and reminding me you're still here.
What a moment.
I bopped around the store a bit after and never ran into her again.
But you bet your ass I'll be back on a Friday someday from 11-1 and see if I can't find her again. & this time get her digits.
these are the books i came home with. top two were her recommendations, middle two were books I went into B&N looking for and the bottom two were just ones that told me they wanted to come home with me.
After my radical encounter, I wiggled my way across the street to Trader Joes and headed home with a quick stop at Crumbl Bakery.
Have you had their cookies yet?
Mom and I ran across them when we were in Indiana and they were so damn delicious.
Every week they have six new flavors.
I will say, the ones I had in Indiana were far superior to the ones I bought in STL.
But I'm going to assume I felt that way because the options the week before were better.
Will be back again.
Not anytime soon.
Give them a try.
This weeks flavors were : pretzel potato chip, Kentucky butter cake, dulce de leche (my favorite), chocolate chip, vanilla cupcake and sugar cookie.
I hope you look for the bright moments in your dark days.
They do appear.
You can find them.
& if you just need a day to wallow in darkness and feel your emotions...that is okay too.
Feel what you need to feel.
Let it move through you.
Then get back to life.
You deserve so much happiness.