I wrote the blog, “It’s Just a House! Do something with it!!” when Paul and I were getting ready for the first tenant in our not-so-big beach house that had been in my family for forty years. I was freaking out, quietly, in my way. Emotionally, I was pushed to the edge with the intention of making the house perfect, having happy tenants, and ensuring that nothing went wrong. And nothing did go wrong, at least nothing to do with the beach house or the tenants. But six days before our first guest turned the key in the door, my dear father-in-law died tragically in a car accident.
The shape of the void . . .
Walter H. Stridick was a rock. By knowing him and having contact with him on a regular basis, he grounded me. He grounded Paul, too, and anybody who knew him. He was a gentle, calming, steadying person. If you’ve had the blessing of someone like that in your life you know that when that person moves on, in spirit, there’s a huge, palpable void. And there’s a shape of the void. It’s not just sadness but a place you have to fill with your own ability to step into the role that person played in your circle and in your world. We had that opportunity and challenge last July.
This may be why I haven’t been blogging regularly for the past year. It’s certainly a contributing factor. There have been a number of matters on my mind since the current occupant of the White House took office. Writing a blog from a place of generalized sadness is slow work. The atmosphere of distrust and conflict in our country affects me like a mysterious ailment. I’m quieter and more thoughtful. I have turned to a plant-based diet and cut off my hair. I am a caregiver.
Last year I wrote a blog about boarding the kind ship, and I have boarded that ship. My life is different than it was two or three years ago and much, much different than it was two decades ago. I am more careful of my words. I am deeply empathetic. My heart goes out to all who have been disenfranchised, vilified, shamed and scapegoated by the intolerance that has been touted as the new normal. Click To TweetIt’s not normal, and it’s not new. Bigotry, greed, and selfishness is as old as the human race.
This planet is a not-so-big beach house.
The shape of the loss of my dear mother, father, and father-in-law draws me out to fill a void of personal and shared history. Stories echo from every ancient beam of this home with one message: Let us cherish our world and each other. Click To TweetThis global village needs each of us to reach out, connect, and listen deeply.
Just imagine the beautiful, thriving place this earth becomes when we treat it as our not-so-big beach house, sharing blessings and burdens alike.
We are all in it together, my friends. We are family.