On January 1, 2018 I wrote a post about being more like tree-like in 2018. My father had just entered hospice and my tree post was really a pep talk to stay strong, dig roots, and hold on. 2017 had been all about endings and I anticipated (rightly so) that 2018 was going to be more of the same.
Trees are resilient, defiant, and steadfast. Becoming more tree-like seemed like a good way (maybe the only way) to prepare for impact and ride out the storm of grief and loss.
And it worked. I am still standing minus a couple of broken branches.
My father passed away on February 8, 2018. After years of struggling with several debilitating health issues, his passing was thankfully peaceful. The lovely hospice workers even permitted one final visit with his beloved cat Zoe.
My father loved wolves, cats, wildflowers, books, the New York Rangers, New England, the Atlantic Ocean, and trees. He always rooted for the underdog, was a champion of lost causes, a brilliant storyteller, and funny as hell. He taught me to be kind, generous, resilient, compassionate, strong, humble, grateful, and to always find something to laugh about even on really sad, shitty days.
A few months after he passed away, our rabbit Lulu died. She had a large mass on her chest, which grew rapidly (while I was distracted with grief). Surgery was risky, but Lulu was a tough bunny and I knew she would want to go out fighting. Sadly, she died during surgery, but I am still glad we tried.
This year my goal is to be more water-like – fierce, gentle and resilient. Water is life and renewal, infinite and sustaining. Endings are also beginnings, but sometimes it is tough to see the beginning when you are in the middle of the ending. Everything is cyclical and comes full circle eventually.
If trees are about strength and weathering any storm, water is about renewal and picking up the pieces after the storm. Water is trust, healing, and letting go; it gives and takes and gives again. Just as badass as trees but in a more sustaining, fluid, just-keep-going kind of way.
Water is elusive – it flows where it wants to flow and fills in the empty spaces as it goes.
Ruby and I wish you the courage and strength to weather the storm and celebrate the sun. Happy 2019!