My Dear Friends,
I write this blog from a place of sadness as I recover from the shock of the recent parting of one of my life’s angels. Liz was that special person who spent a lifetime with a smile and words of encouragement to anyone who needed it. She was one of those people who spoke from the heart and left her impression on your soul. She was incredible at holding space for you, and making you feel heard. She lived her life to its fullest potential, and blessed us all with her energy. I walk through life now a better person from the lessons I learned from her. Here’s the story of one of our memorable encounters.
It was the last few days of August. 2010, the last days of summer…the signal that the seasons were changing, and all I could feel was the sense of an ending. I sat there alone on the bench on the porch consumed by the sadness and deep in thought of the agony of having to let go. The sadness was overwhelming as I contemplated saying good bye to my elder daughter as she embarked on a semester in Spain; and knowing that the very next day I would also be taking my youngest off to college for the first time. An empty nest they call it, only days later we were also leaving our beautiful nest behind, and having to say good bye to life as we knew it, and to the neighbors who became our family. “Great. The tri-fecta”, I said out loud, and then the tears won.
At that very moment, I looked up to see a beautiful dog charging its way around the circle of trees in the cul-de-sac. I squinted through the tears, finding my suspicion of who was walking who to be correct – that gorgeous dog was actually walking her owner! The poor woman came flying around the circle at about 90 miles per hour, the dog’s leash way out in front of her as they headed straight up my front lawn toward my bench. I wiped my eyes feverishly when I realized it was Liz, because, well, if you knew Liz you would understand that she could pick up on sadness from a million miles away. And there was no sadness to be had on Nickerson Lane as long as Liz and Udi were there.
Liz sat down next to me and without skipping a beat began to drill through my demeanor. She had a way of pouring her energy over you so that you opened up and talked from the heart. I told her how overwhelmed I was with all the change that was happening in my life all at once. I must have rattled off 15 of my reasons for being legitimately upset, and Liz just held space for me. She listened and smiled and listened some more, while she tried patiently to get the dog to sit still.
After hearing me out, my friend Liz suggested a different way of looking at the whole situation. She pointed out that every new beginning in life has the potential to flourish in incredible ways because it always launches with the best parts of an ending from something to which it was related. She likened the process to a perennial flower where the root system grows stronger each year after the die off of the flowers. She encouraged me to look at the changes that I was facing as an adventure, a chance for a fresh start, and most importantly an opportunity to strengthen the root system of my own life and family.
I learned so much from her that day. I learned that while moving into a new chapter isn’t always easy, you get to take with you all the parts from the last chapter that you loved; the experiences that helped shape who you are. I learned that letting go isn’t ever easy, but that you never really let go of love. I learned that you don’t have to hold on to the sadness to feel and stay connected to the people you love, a lesson I have applied in my life with the passing of each friend and family member of late. And I learned that each and every situation has at least 3 good things attached to it, even if we can’t see it easily. Liz had me see that there were 3 good things around each of the changes I faced that day, and I have lived my life with that philosophy as my mantra.
She gave me the push I needed to take care of myself so that I could take better care of my family. She encouraged me to pursue my dreams, and I have. Her words still echo in my mind, and the love from that beautiful woman will stay with me forever. I am so grateful to have had Liz in my life.
So now it’s up to you all of you to find that peace Liz shared with me as you face your end of August and end of seasons. As we move into fall, take with you all the love that summer had to give. Find the 3 things that make this next phase an adventure and live like you mean it. And if you struggle like I do with the fall, remember that you are never really alone. Close your eyes… there are hundreds of angels right behind you. Breathe in and know you are loved to the moon and back. May you find peace in your life, and joy in your surroundings as we say good bye to another season. You deserve nothing less.
Love, Love, Love from here…