Home. It is such an evocative word, conjuring thoughts of comfort, security, and, if we’re lucky, filled with people we love. For some, when they think of home, they think of their house, but beyond the surface, home is so much more–the people you love, familiar smells, places, unconditional love, kindness. Home is where we keep our most treasured objects, and my daughter Miriam added one more to my collection recently. She set a very high bar for gift giving this year when she had a custom glass sculpture commissioned for me based on one of my favorite photographs of my Dad and me as a small girl.
I know it is a happy time of the year, full of cheer and merriment. Truthfully, I think this is the consciousness we should hold every day of the year. Unfortunately, I’m sure for some of us, home isn’t very much like that at all. And, there is likely another group of people who had that at some point in their lives, but now those they shared that space with and those memories with are no longer here. For so many people, the holidays are a sad reminder of the people they have loved and lost.
Many of you know that in the past year, I lost my father; in truth, what really brought about my ability to take on a new perspective regarding loss, was losing pieces of him in his over seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s and the inevitable cognitive decline that accompanied it. Through the pain of watching him forget people, memories, sometimes me, and even himself, instead of shutting down or avoiding him or feeling sorry for him (or myself), I chose to find a way of meeting him where he was, on his terms, in whatever state he was in. Something many don’t know about me is that my optimistic outlook and consciousness of gratitude are usually fueled by the darker times of my life. Feelings of gratitude and appreciation and a higher level of perspective often come from the times that at first glance don’t make sense.
I especially liked the moments during his illness when my Dad was silly. Some days he was almost like his old self, and other days he was someone I didn’t recognize. But I made it a point to interact with him however he was, and however he felt. And I have kept on in this vein, even though he has now left this physical world. Believe me, I know this sounds a bit out there, but hear me out. I have a creative offering, one that I know works from firsthand experience.
My father comes to me in my dream sometimes, and often with a powerful message for me or someone close to me that needs assistance. This is what I dreamt of this past Friday night.
There was a knock on my door. I opened it, and it was my younger sister Jessica. She was 12 years old, and it was her Bat Mitzvah. (She is much older now.) She was wearing what I remember her wearing that day, and I said, “Jessica, what happened to you? Why are you so young?” She answered that she went back in time so we could be with our father when he was healthy. She moved aside and said, “Look, see I brought Dad with me.” He was young, strong, regal looking.
He was the father that held me as a child and held me up as a teenager. He was my father in all his strength and glory. I leapt into his arms and hugged him and kissed him over and over again. And then I whispered in his ear, “I have something to tell you. You aren’t going to live as long as you think you will. You don’t have all the time you want on this earth.”
He responded as he held me in his arms and said, “It’s okay, I’m here now.”
When I woke up and throughout the rest of the day, I really felt like I had spent that time with him, literally. I felt his energy around me, much like a perfume that lingers on your skin. This dream had many significant meanings for me, but for the point of this blog, you really can bring those far away, even those that are gone, back into the here and now.
They live in your memories.
They live in your hearts.
Change the way you expect or don’t expect to experience them, and you can find a way to hear and feel them once again. Energy stays. Essence stays. A soul is unending. What needs to change is our perspective. They’re only gone if we let them go from our hearts and our thoughts.
Wishing you all a beautiful and peaceful holiday season.