This morning I posted on Facebook my reflections on why I don't go to the Langley Street Fair after faithful attendance for many years. The story is about moments, precious moments with my Mother who lived in Langley for 13 years before she died in 2011. We had a ritual around this street fair that involved me appearing at her door at 9 am on the first morning of the street festival for coffee and time to chat before heading out to the fair. She liked to go when it first opened for the day, she said it was less crowded and cooler. She was wise. We usually spent the afternoon back at her house where with both doors open on her little Brookhaven apartment, the cool breeze was delightful. With one venture out for street fair food, we were set for the afternoon. She would tell me all the latest from People magazine and this would lead to interesting discussions on the topics of the week. Who knew that People could generate great conversation about gay rights, adoption, religion and other important areas of life that we would discuss. Sometimes we would agree and sometimes agree to disagree, all with respect and love.
In the evening we would head out again to the streets of Langley for the dance. My Mother would find a place to sit and watch me dance up a storm. She had been doing that since I was a little girl and never seemed to lose interest in it. She said these were the simple moments that were the best times of life. Her advice always seemed to contain some version of keeping it simple, and acting from love and kindness.
Now that my Mother is gone from this world, I do not seem to have interest in going to the street fair. I tried once and really enjoyed hearing Quinn play his music, but after that it felt like home was a better place to be.
This is not the anniversary of her death, but it feels like it. It is simply one of those little reminders that I am living through loss.
We all experience loss, some of us an enormous amount, even at an early age or in a tragic way. And if we are here to talk about it, we are living through it. I know some people who struggle to find meaning in any of the moments after the loss of a loved one. I know others who because of the loss, find meaning in every moment. We are all different.
People have asked me how long does it take to feel relief from grief. I usually answer that it takes however long it takes. There is no rushing it, there is no exact timeline with grief. We are all different and experience grief in different ways for different amounts of time. This morning I asked myself if I am still grieving the loss of my Mother after 3 years and the answer was of course I am. Grief is deep sadness and I do feel it from time to time, but not as much as I did initially. I am getting used to the fact that she is not physically here, and that our daily phone calls and yearly adventures to the street fair are not going to happen any longer.
And I am living through the loss. I am happy. I am living the life my Mother would have wanted me to live. And I am working on keeping it simple. My Mother's philosophy of Love and Kindness is alive and well in my personal vow to live a life this way, every day, in her honor.
One of these years I may head into town for the street fair, for now I am grateful for the memories and todays opportunity to reflect.