Recently, I've been forced to think a lot about death. With two tragic and unexpected passings in my husband's family, it's sadly a subject that's been weighing heavy on my heart. Both people were taken from us far too soon and has left both my husband and I with so many unanswered questions. Some questions about why, some questions about how, and some questions about what if that were me....
That said, some may call me an open book. I'll talk to you about almost anything if given the chance. For example, while getting my eyebrows done recently, my brow stylist (yes that's a thing!) asked me how my day was going and instead of making something cheerful up, I was honest. Out of that likely unexpected conversation I got such a nugget of wisdom that really got me thinking. She said to me...
"You know, we all learn more from sorrow than we do from happiness and that's why I think it exists."
Insightful brow stylist for the win!
I'm not sure if this statement could be more true. Paul's uncle was such a man that he had over 500 people attend his celebration of life - each one having multiple, amazing, and selfless stories of how this man's positivity and grace impacted their life. Paul's aunt, also had such an incredible glow and I am sure once we have her ceremony soon, stories alike will surface.
Through these two events, I couldn't help but breathe in the dust as these two losses started to settle and try my best to inhale the gifts they may have left behind. And though I thought the "life lessons of loss" were over, enter Mrs. MaryAnne into my life.
On Saturday, MaryAnne was my 3rd GLAMA of the day. She was quiet yet sweet and like the others, anxious to see what our makeup brushes could do. After we got her "GLAMAfied". we took her outside and started snapping away. Timid at first, Kim and I were doing all we could to get her to open up and show us that smile we knew was in there.
As I went to throw another scarf around her neck, I noticed a dainty necklace that read "ME". Thinking this was extremely unique, I asked her about it.
"Oh this is my most prized possession. This was a necklace I made for my husband. In the last 2 years with him, he lost his memory. He didn't know who I was and he'd forgotten everything about our life and our marriage. This necklace is his and my initials combined, I am M and he is E."
I had to take a moment and step back...
With all that I had gone through in last few weeks and to be standing in front of someone that lost someone who had lost themselves first - was a REAL moment. Here I was telling myself for past weeks to "live life to it's fullest because you don't know if it's your last" and now I was thinking "well what IF I live my life to it's fullest and then can't remember it!".
Then came the life lesson.
"My husband would sometimes play with this necklace and sometimes he'd hold it. It would take a moment but sometimes he'd look at the words "ME" and somehow he'd remember. Everything would come back to him and we'd sit there and savor in however long we had together in those little moments. It didn't matter how long, I was glad he remembered me, It reminded me that good love cannot be forgotten."
GLAMA MaryAnne for the win!
It was in those moments, I sat down my chunky faux diamond necklace that I was going to put on her and asked if I could take her necklace off instead. I wanted to pay tribute to what that necklace meant to her and how many memories it must have held. Nothing I would have put on her would have shined as bright. It was also with those shots that we finally got the smile we had hoped for. All it took was a for her to be able to look down on what meant so much and I imagine a part of her went back in time...
So here it is, here is what death has recently taught me:
1.) Live with purpose. Each day try to do something that isn't about you. If you didn't exist tomorrow would you have 500 people lining up to tell your family + loved ones what you meant to them? Note: Right now, I think I am mayyybe somewhere around the 100 mark so personally, I have a lot of work left to do....
2.) Laugh with life. Your day today isn't bad. If you're here, consider yourself lucky and anything that's not going your way... it WILL pass.
3.) Love fearlessly. Love is the bond that can break all odds. It's the glue that holds us all together and it's the one thing you can't give or get enough of. Give it away daily, give it away freely, and give it without set intentions. Take in love openly, accept it from all, and relish in the love that you know you have.
4.) Leave with less. It should be all of our hopes that when it's our time to go that we will leave this earth having given more back than what we took. What you decide you want to give is up to you, remember it doesn't have to be tangible! It's my dream is that this passion project continues to spread more smiles and bring happiness to many that are in a stage of life where they get to look back and say....
"I remember HER.... because she was one of the good ones."
Won't you be one of those with me too?
The Glama Project