i had an out of town appointment early this morning.
after my appointment, i grabbed a cup of coffee and decided to take "the back way home," so that i could visit my dad's grave.
dad died in 2006.
i can count on one hand the amount of times i have been to visit his gravesite.
i hate going there. it makes me sad.
it makes me feel like he is dead.
i mean, i know he is no longer alive on this earth, but he IS alive in heaven! and when i look at that grave, it fills me with a sense of loss and defeat, not hope and promise.
so i hardly ever go.
for memorial day, shannon and her girls, and charlie, and our kids went to the site to plant flowers. being there together, and working to make it look nice, made it not SO bad.
today, i pulled into the little country cemetery, and i approached my dad's plot.
"oh dad," i started in…..
i looked at his name, and the dates on the stone, and then all of a sudden, i NOTICED what was staring me in the face: A HUGE MESS.
my brother had planted some type of bush behind the stone that was now huge and unkempt and dead. and the flowers we had so lovingly planted months ago, were dead, and filled with weeds-some of which had grown taller than the stone itself. on top of that, the dead plants had become a natural landing place for all the leaves that were not anywhere else in the cemetery.
my mouth literally dropped open at really seeing this, and i immediately felt such shame.
my dad was a meticulous man - with everything! how he dressed, his vehicles, his home, his shoes, his finances, and me as his child, to protect my own feelings, had left his resting place become the worst scene in the cemetery.
it was cold. i had a light sweater on.
i was wearing, you know, my NICE boots, my NICE scarf…i had no gardening gloves, no tools…..
i contemplated leaving and promising myself that i would come back to clean up the mess. i got back in the car to do just that, and i stopped.
enough is enough.
i could not wait one second longer. i could not put this off with good intentions to revisit. i needed to take care of this problem now.
and i did.
with my bare, ringed hands, i started attacking the mess. pulling with all my might to remove those lodged weeds. i brushed away worms, and mud. i pulled twigs and old flowers, and the more i pulled and removed, the more energy i got to keep doing the same.
i left the plot, not with the entire job completed (ryan, do i cut that bush?), but with mud under my finger nails, my nose running, my hair flat, but feeling accomplished and that i had down SOMETHING about it.
i drove away, with the heat on full blast, and a smile, as i passed all the places that were so precious to me and my family all those years ago, and i began to think:
it is ok to give into ourselves, the healing, the protection that we need. but at some point, we need to see a situation for what it is! ignoring facts, may seem easier, but can leave us with regret, and possibly even shaming those that we love.
and practically to me, what does this mean?
after 12 years in the photography business, a marriage, and 3 kids, it means focus.
it means digging in, and cutting back, even if it leaves me vulnerable and with dirt under my nails.
it means that there is no better time than the present to see things for as they are, and to make changes. changes that i have felt i have had to make many times in the past, but never felt strong enough to follow through. changes that will make me and those around me better.
and to be quite frank, i have no idea what those changes are right now.
but the stage is set, and i'm ready to explore and see.
what do you have in your life that needs attention? what have you let go because it's too difficult on your soul to dive in and change?
i have no answers, only direction.
"get out of your mind to get into your right life." -martha beck ph.d.