Mary/ December 31, 2015/ domestic, Living, My Book Project, Uncategorized, Visual

So long, 2015, and thank you. You were a very big year, one of the biggest and richest years my heart has seen.

Big Hearted Presence:

I got to experience “walking my mother home” as she lay “actively dying” during her last few days on earth. It had been a long, graduated goodbye – over the six years in dementia care. Every year losing a little part of her, letting go of her understanding who we were, letting go of communicating with words…. She had fallen quite ill just a month ago, and we had a few days’ notice to clear the decks and just “be” there. I was surprised at how much I resisted letting my clients down, cancelling all my meetings…could I do both? My gut finally told me to just wipe everything off my plate (of course everyone understood!) and I was able to sit beside her, as she slept, sometimes peacefully and sometimes fitfully, just holding her hand for days. Someone called this transition time “being in the light”. It was an amazingly beautiful experience. It gave me time to reflect, honor her, get ready to let her go, and whisper in her ear “it’s OK Mumsie, you can go to heaven now”…My heart is changed and enriched by this experience.

Big Living, right to the end:

As well, I lost a dear friend to ALS at the beginning of the year. Her acceptance of her limited time: facing it head on, and her strong will to live each day as best she could, came through in her connecting with her friends, attending events, engaging in long, juicy, serious talks, communicating with us via her iPad and facial expressions. She fiercely guarded the opportunity to stay home as long as possible and only went into Hospice for one week, thanks to her wonderfully caring family. She really showed me how it could be done, with grace and dignity. The day she died, I was driving in to work. Again, listening to my gut, I decided to turn around head in the opposite direction to the hospice and see her….now. She was restless and fretful, and wanted to type something to me on her iPad, but her hands just didn’t work anymore. I looked her in the eye and was able to tell her I loved her. I left her with her family, and an hour later learned that was her last hour of life. I’d never had any experiences of people close to me dying…it was so powerful, and my heart was glad to have been so present during her inspiring journey.

Big Son:

This year saw my one and only son, 20, go off and live in Copenhagen for three months. This was big! He did so well on his own, learning to shop and cook for himself and find his way in a new, foreign city. I experienced being on my own for the first time – and it was good! Big changes, and lots of room for big choices. I had to learn to let go, and trust. It produced big rewards.

Big work:

Work was busier than ever before, and better than ever before. I’ve never worked as hard, or enjoyed it as much. I worked on some huge projects and was given really satisfying challenges. I got to work with different teams and forge ahead into new roles that I really welcomed and savored. And I felt big respect.

Big Creative Steps:

This year saw my book turn into a real honest-to-goodness physical draft and I held it in my hands and wept after I printed it out for the first time….it was real, and that was big! I enjoyed venturing into the realm of social media: blogging, Instagramming and having an artist page on FaceBook. Keeping a stream of photos and material for The Art Part of my Heart has made me look for beauty…every day.

Big House stuff:

Ten years on, my little house needed a new roof, gutters and downspouts, and a new coat of paint. Lots of work to tackle! It went well, and the big improvements have given it a great, fresh new look.

Big Shift:

After two years, I think I’m finally able to reframe my Ex’s leaving, from the anger of “you-done-me-wrong-and-I hate you” to “I loved you, and it made me so sad to realize you didn’t have what I needed to build a life together”.

What’s ahead, 2016?

Here’s wishing for a wonderful new year full of joy, excitement, adventures and successes. Lots of art and lots of heart. I look forward to publishing the book in spring, and I yearn for big love to come my way.

Happy New Year!