Monday, February 22, 2016

Two hands

This morning I started my day with a green smoothie and BBQ Popchips.

Let me try to explain.

I think we all know that Monday mornings are like New Years Day except there are fifty-two of them instead of just one. It's the day of good intentions and starting fresh and getting back on the wagon and drinking green smoothies.

Don't get me wrong, I love my green smoothie. I make a darn good green smoothie- although it actually looks more like a grayish-purple smoothie because of the berries I put in there. But I still call it a green smoothie because that sounds healthier than saying I made myself a grayish-purple smoothie. Also, I'm not sure the word 'gray' belongs anywhere near any food related item? It sort of has an immediate effect of robbing it of any appetizing qualities whatsoever.

BUT....(You knew there was some sort of digression coming, right? I mean, how do we get to the POPCHIPS?! I know you are dying to know.)

The problem is, as much as I loooove my green (grayish-purple) smoothie, most mornings I just can't leave breakfast behind until I have chewed or crunched something. As tasty as it is, sipping my breakfast through a straw only leaves me 80% satisfied. My teeth feel totally left out and start clamoring for a job to do.

I don't need much. Just a little something. You something that almost resembles air...except crunchy...with a little zing?

TA DA!!!

BBQ Popchips.

Was there really any other alternative? If there was, obviously I couldn't think of it.

Luckily, today I'm not in an either/or kind of mood.

This morning I shared with someone close to me the one thought that has helped me most when rebounding from loss.

We have two hands.

We can hold more than one thing, one experience, one emotion, one hope...all at the same time.

We can be both happy and sad.

We can be both angry and grateful.

We can wish things were different and still accept things as they are.

We can look forward and backward.

We can hold doubt and faith.

We can carry the past in our hearts while still looking to the future with hope.

We don't have to choose. We never have to choose.

We can hold both.

This weekend I took Annie on a special mother-daughter birthday shopping trip. As we were driving downtown I was heaping love on my birthday girl and told her, "I'm the luckiest mom in the world. I had my two wonderful boys and then I was given this beautiful little girl. I don't know how I got soooo lucky, but I am thankful every single day."

I meant every word, but there was a little voice in my head that piped up even as I was speaking. "Now that's an odd thing to say, given what you lost? The luckiest mom in the world? Really?!"

But I looked down at my two hands and let those words float away.

It's not all or nothing. I can hold both. I can quietly wish for the two little ones who slipped away, and still feel whole-hearted gratitude for the three who got to stay.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that you have to choose.

You have two hands. You can hold so much. But only what you want to hold.

Drink the green smoothie. Eat the BBQ Popchips.

Hold what you need to hold and let go of what needs to go.

That's what I'm doing today. I'm holding it all. The tears and the laughter. The joy and regrets. The yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows.

It's all right here in these two hands.