Monday, May 14, 2012

5/15/12—Thanking You for Your Support

Today's Draw: Ten of Cups from the Art of Life Tarot. Who can you count on to always make you happy? Who or what "makes your soul blossom"? And is there someone you can think of to show gratitude toward today?

The Art of Life Tarot is a new deck that features classic paintings in conjunction with classic quotes. If you can't see the caption in the card, the painting is The Gardener's Daughter by Edward Henry Wehnert. And the quote from Marcel Proust reads, "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."

If you're a regular reader, you know that my brother died a few weeks ago. And in the weeks leading up to his death and in those following it, I've been blessed by a number of people who have given me support. In lieu of mentioning names and possibly leaving someone out, I'll just speak to some of the kindnesses I've received. 

There was the old school buddy who listened to me, distracted me, confided in me and made me feel loved and cared for on the night my brother died. My brother died after midnight and this gentleman comforted me until the wee hours of the morning. That is a kindness I'll never forget because he had to be somewhere early that morning and he willingly and generously gave up his sleep to be there for me. 

Then there were the Facebook friends and readers of this blog who extended themselves in ways that make them more than Facebook friends and readers...sending cards, checking in on me regularly, lending an ear and just letting me know someone was thinking of me and feeling my pain. 

There was the childhood (and adulthood) friend who left a plant on my doorstep with a nice note just to brighten my day. Other childhood friends who sent cards with beautiful thoughts. The clients who put aside deadlines and expressed concern. The friends who listened to me whine about this and that. And all the literally more than a hundred people who offered their condolences on my Facebook page and through messages. 

Some of those people knew my brother in high school and shared their memories. A couple said that even though he was a jock and part of a "clique", he reached out to others and made them feel included and welcome. One was my brother's first love. I told him I was keeping her updated and he said to tell her that if she was hoping for one last fling, she'd better hurry. :D

In one situation, I found myself crying to a woman I'd ended a friendship with years ago, but who was still part of a group I'm part of. I know I hurt her feelings back then. I will never forget that she was there to listen to me and affirm me and be a friend. She didn't have to be. She should have rightly turned her back on me. But she didn't. She listened and took away some of my pain.

Then there was my sister, with whom I'm close anyway. We spent a lot of time consoling each other throughout the ordeal. And I mended/strengthened a relationship with my oldest brother throughout all of this. He and my deceased brother were best friends. So I'm so glad I was able to go through this together with him. And no list would be complete without Kizzie and Magick, my doggies, who both knew something was wrong because mommy was crying all the time. So they offered their fur and kisses to me without restriction.

It's easy at times of heartbreak to focus on what you've lost or what was lacking in a time of need. The momentum behind sadness can overtake you. But everywhere I turned, there was someone willing to hold me up. Some of those people were not people I was expecting to be there for me...some of them came from out of the blue. Some were people I'd never turned to before for support and they were there anyway. And some were people I expected to there for me and they didn't disappoint. I've made a couple of new friends from this, deepened some friendships and repaired others.

So what this is all coming to is gratitude for the people who have been tending the "garden of my soul" over the past couple of months...those who have weeded, watered and planted new seeds for me during an unusually difficult time—one that was shadowed by other stresses, not the least of which was my dog's surgery and recovery. It's not comfortable or pleasant to share another's pain, but you did that for me, whether you just offered your sympathies or made a point to check in on me and lend an ear. Thank you for being there for me. Your kindness was greatly appreciated and will always be remembered.

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