Monday, January 21, 2013

A Year of Transition! Letting Go

It has been nearly a year since I wrote a blog! It doesn't seem possible. The last time I blogged was about Tucson in 2012, and I am going back in about three weeks. That year sped by like a freight train. It was a year with so much packed into it that I hardly noticed it going by.
Clearing and Rebuilding
In 2012, I renovated my garage and turned it into a beautiful new work room with a bathroom/laundry room. This allowed me to free up the master bedroom and bath in the house so it could be rented out. I did rent the room to a lovely roommate, my friend Nancy's daughter, who stayed until November 1. A new roommate will move in at the end of this month. This time a male roommate. I look forward to a new adventure with another very nice person.

Letting Go
In May of 2012, after the Rocky Mountain Bead Bazaar was over, I stayed in Denver to visit my friend Nancy. She and I were at the Denver Art Museum when I got a call from Hospice. My brother Ken had been sick with cancer for 8 years and now it was time to go be with him as he passed. I flew out the next day and arrived two hours before he left this world. I was honored and touched to be able to sit with him, talk to him, stroke his hair and face. Once he passed on, I  helped wrap his body up and carry him out along with the lovely hospice nurse and the mortician. Such a kind and sweet people.

My brother's wonderful friends showed up the next day to help me with the house. We laughed at stories about my brother, then cried together at his passing, then laughed at more stories. I played the CD that was in his stereo every morning while I worked. "The Very Best of Cream"! My brother was a musician playing in several bands over the years. He belonged to a tight knit community of people who loved him and were devoted to helping care for him during the last couple of years of his life.
Ken sitting on a rock at Tetonia, ID
The music and his wonderful friends got me through lots of work and brought joy to me knowing my brother was in such good hands and so well loved. He and I shared a love of the same types of music. My brother moved away with my parents when he was 13 and I stayed in San Diego to get married and raise a family. He moved to Haley, Idaho 31 years ago for work, loved the area and stayed. We didn't see much of each other for much of that time. I am so grateful that for the last few years of his life we went for an annual hike together and met at the Russian Jazz festival a couple of years in a row. 
Pete, Kathy, Graci, me and Stella.
I traveled back to Haley, Idaho five times during 2012. Clearing, cleaning, having Estate sales. Visiting with his wonderful friends who continued to help me every time I went back. Lifelong bonds have been formed and I treasure seeing these lovely new friends each time I return. I grew to love the area as well. It is so beautiful, the pace is slow and the town's people are a close knit community.

We returned my brother to the mountains he loved in November. Pete, Kathy, Graci, Me and Stella the dog traveled to Galena, ID and walked up the snow covered road to put my brother's ashes into the Big Wood River as he requested. It was a sparkling, beautiful day full of joy, tears, laughter and love as we each took turns pouring some ashes into the river.

For me, last year was a whirlwind of change, personal and professional transitions. Traveling to bead shows and to teach bead work, five trips to Haley, ID sprinkled in between business trips. Catching up with friends and family when I was finally home. My friends and family are such a treasure to me. Since my brother died, I have become very selective about whom I spend my precious personal time with these days. I will only be with people who celebrate and welcome who I am with open arms and acceptance. Long time friends are so dear, new friends are becoming more dear and some people come and go. People move into and out of my life leaving bits of themselves, taking bits of me as we pass through each other's worlds. This is as it is meant to be with the people in our lives. Everyone has a purpose, a time to come together, a lesson to teach or learn from us. All are valuable and cherished. Some stay, some go. Allow life and people to flow in and then out again like the tide, like a river. They are here and then gone. Some come back, some stay away, some pass out of this world. Trying to hold onto them is like trying to hold a hand full of water dipped from the ocean or a stream.  Cherish the moment and the people in your life now and be at peace.