I woke up this morning to a notification that I had a new blog post! What a surprise – since I haven’t posted in over a year. Clearly, it was not me, my account had been hacked, but I made me think about the fact that it’s been so long since I’ve posted. I check the site from time to time and see that there is still traffic on it – people are still checking in every once in awhile. It made me wonder – why haven’t I been posting? Why haven’t I been writing?
I’m not sure what the answer is, but I can say that times that I feel the raw, unleashed pain – the kind that takes my feet out from under me – those times are becoming a little farther apart. Believe me, they still happen, and will always happen. I’ve learned not to steer away from the pain, but to just sit with it and let myself feel whatever it is I need to feel. Those are the times that have often fueled my blog posts – when I feel a need to share the ache and the memories, write them down, invite people in to the experience, and then be able to hear back from you. Your memories of Don have been nourishment and a gift to me over the past 4 years.
This is the tender and sacred time of the year for the kids and me – our fifth Christmas without Don. I always enter this season feeling already a bit bruised and wobbly. Time to get the tree, put up the lights, wrap the gifts, bake the cookies. All the things we’ve done over the years, and things we took for granted that we would always be able to do together. My kids are more than I could ever ask for – they are present and they show up. They surround me and keep me steady. But the hole in our lives that Don left is more apparent this time of year. We see him all the time – on Thanksgiving Day two of his movies were on TV! He lets us know he’s with us.
The kids and I are doing pretty well – life is definitely moving forward. Andrew is writing and producing, and he and Scarlett have been writing together as well. I can’t wait to see what they create. Molly and Daniel are working hard to get Pop Up Greens on it’s feet – their small business of painting and selling pots and plants. (Follow them on Instagram at @popupgreeens, or check out their website at http://www.popupgreens.co). Carrie continues to work at The Voice (one of my favorite shows!), and the kids and I all got to go to the stage last weekend to hear Kelly Clarkson sing “It’s Quiet Uptown” from “Hamilton” (our new family favorite). I’m busy with Elizabeth House and Mops, and have been helping Molly some with her business. I also put my little beach house on VRBO, so it’s been fun to rent it occasionally and connect with the guests.
It’s a grey, rainy morning here in Southern California. I got up today with a list a mile long of what I need to take care of. When I saw that this site had been hacked, I decided that what I needed to take care of first was me. I’ve been meaning to write, and update you on how we have been living life. That we are living life. I’ve loved seeing some of your families on the Christmas cards that I’ve gotten. Kids getting married, babies added to the photos. Lives that are full, but like us, lives that have broken edges. The beauty is what we choose do with those edges – how we sand them down, soften them, invite people in to our lives in a way that we help heal each other’s broken pieces.
I’m grateful for another Christmas with my family, my community. Don used to say “Life is short, walk freely”. We know all too well how true that is. To quote “Hamilton”, our new family obsession, “How lucky we are to be alive right now”. I wish for each of you and your family a sense of the joy and wonder, but also the vulnerability of this holiday season. Take hold of it and feel it. Look for where God is showing up in your world. Be kind to one another. And most of all, focus on the good.