Memory

In Denial

I got an email from Nordstrom Rack this week. A classic promotion and the subject line read, “Which type is your dad?”

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A dead one – I thought to myself.

Oy

I wanted to send of a snarky reply but I didn’t.

Sometimes it’s easier to keep those little remarks to yourself. Advertisers are not often in the business of being sensitive to these kind of pain points.

Here we are. Another calendar year rolled by and I find myself clicking delete on promotions in my email, in the accounts I manage, and ignoring blatant ads on social media.

These Father’s Day triggers are everywhere.

After reading some of the pieces I published last year on the holiday I realized I’m at year number four, not three, of this holiday without him.

Four seems so much bigger than three.

You can ask the toddlers who have become bigger children in his absence.

I’m in Father’s Day denial. I was hoping to keep it at an arms distance.

But Nordstrom and Macy’s and Apple and even Starbucks are telling me I better prepare.

Sigh. Deeeeeeeeep sighs.

I’m missing him and breathing in his scent found in the hot popcorn popped fresh at the hardware store. I finger his sweatshirts hanging in my closet, next to my work blazers reminding me of how his fibers felt when brushed against him as I rushed out the door.

I’m in denial this year and so I turn my attention here. To the …

White walls painted fresh in a completed basement.

Slices of crisp dill pickle on dry crumbly bread.

Ham spread with mayo, no Minnesota butter to be found.

Small floating bubbles in spritzer.

Peas sprouting up in the garden.

Translucent squirts of lemon juice easing their way down into glasses full of cool water.

Coffee beans grinding.

Fitness instructors reminding me to tend to my back.

Encouragement from bosses.

Kisses on the cheek with an old friend. The ones who knew him too.

Red lipstick marks on coffee cups.

Baby Opal just one miraculous week old.

Maintained eye brows.

Dinners with grandmas and aunts and mother-in-laws.

Lottery tickets scratched clean.

These are the beautiful things this week is made of. And I’m focusing on them instead.

 

As Eeyore Says

IMG_4152As I was walking this afternoon, this thistle literally stopped me in my tracks. Stepping along, lost in my thoughts, the vibrant purple caught my eye and pulled me out of my spiraling fears.

Look at this living being, reaching up to the sky, yet covered in spikes to protect itself. Magnificently reflecting its own color at the top, despite its tough stem.

I don’t know about the science of thistles, nor the purpose of their evolutionary protection, but I do know this: this little plant reminded me to keep going, and hold my place in this world, thorns and all.

I know my posts have had a heavy tone lately, and for that I do not apologize. They reflect where I am at in life. This week, however, this damn thistle reminded me to be magnificently colorful despite the tough stuff. Look for levity, remember to search for the good, step outside of my own mind, and focus on the beauty that grows on top of the spiky thorns.

Here are a few beautiful things that brought a smile to my face this week.

  1. The Beatles cover bands. I so admire, well maybe admire is a strong word….. Appreciate. I appreciate grown men who are able to dress up like The Beatles and IMG_4154wear wigs, and practice hilarious Liverpool accents and play music to audiences in small towns. Watching people of many generations sing along to these classic songs while the performers wholeheartedly committed to the music of a previous generation warmed my heart. It was funny. They weren’t great, but their commitment to their performance made me laugh. Made me… appreciate.
  2. Playing Memory. I babysat my friends two kiddos – age 5 and age 6 – and I got to play Memory with them. Little toes on concrete floors, extreme joy at the match of character cards. It reminded me to get on the floor, get dirty, play and remember. PS – matching Captain Hook cards is much harder than it used to be. They refused to go to sleep, and giggled their way into their dreams. How long has it been since we have giggled into our dreams? Why, as adults, do we stop doing this?
  3. Chipotle Burritos. First thing – these burritos are delicious. Despite the fact that the owner gave the worst commencement speech I’ve ever heard at my own college graduation, they seem to have mastered the massive burrito. And when cooking feels like a chore, and the refrigerator is still empty from coming back from vacation, eating at Chipotle is a beautiful thing.

Keep looking for the beauty, feel what you feel, and honor those thorns.

But remember, as Eeyore says, “Thistles are flowers too.”