Progress sometimes comes in small steps. This weekend I walked the dog with my husband, which meant I stepped away from my computer and actually went outside.
Beautiful outside. Weather warm. Sky clear. Saddleback Mountain gorgeous, every nook and cranny visible as if I could reach out and touch it.
Honestly, I find it hard to overcome inertia, to get up and get out. But when I do so, when I go outside, I benefit. My mood improves. My spirit lightens. Both my physical and mental health reap gains.
Sunday I even ran a car-load of stuff to Goodwill, including my father’s old clothes. My father died a year ago next week, and I’ve been holding onto his old clothes since then.
To remember him, I’ve kept his flannel shirts. Wearing his flannel shirts, I feel enveloped in the warmth of his love, like I’m getting a big hug from him.
When we were little, he’d call us over for big bear hugs, but there was nothing rough in his hugs. Just love. Protective love. The big loving protective hugs of a father for his daughters.
My eyes are tearing up now. Good tears. I was loved. I loved my dad. He loved us dearly and deeply.
Yesterday I took my mom out for a late lunch at a local diner. She enjoyed the outing. She likes going out of her memory care community with me.
Before I visited my mom, I saw my psychologist who suggested I do less and allow myself to grieve. I’ve been too defended, using busyness to keep my feelings at bay.
Today I listen to straight ahead jazz in memory of my father. He passed on his passion for jazz to me. Listening, I allow myself to cry. I miss sharing this love of jazz music with my dad. He lives on in so many ways. He lives on in my love for jazz, true American classical music.
Tomorrow we will remember my dad in a small get-together of close family. We will listen to jazz, as we share photos and memories of him.
My parents had requested that we keep their memorials small, inviting only close family members. We are honoring that request. Fits our emotional needs, too. We can only handle so much right now.