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Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…the opening words to the epic song Seasons of Love from the musical Rent. Each time I hear the song, I get goosebumps since it reminds me that life is both infinite and impermanent. Love lives on long after the corporeal existence ends. At 59, I am abundantly aware that each moment we share with others is precious.  Nineteen years ago at this time, I was having what I call Godversations while my husband lay dying in a hospital bed, I insisted, “He’s mine and you can’t have him,” to which the Divine lovingly but firmly responded, “He’s mine and he’s on loan to you, like everyone else in your life.” I have always appreciated the people in my life, but this sealed the deal for me.  It took awhile for the true message to sink in since there were a few more weeks yet to go in Michael’s end of life process. As I am typing these words, I am remembering sleepless nights, staring out his ICU room window into the darkened sky, wondering what the next day would bring….life or death? I walked the corridors mechanically, talked incessantly with family members and friends of others who shared the waiting room willing their loved ones to life. Ultimately, most of them left with their wishes unfulfilled. My last day there was 12/21/98 when Michael took his final artificially assisted breath.

Hard to imagine that I have moved through nearly two decades since he crossed over. Each year, as the winter holidays approached, I had a visceral sense of the passing of time. The first few years, my body reacted as it had during those tumultuous five and half weeks that took us through Thanksgiving, Chanukkah and the Winter Solstice. I was on high alert and still not sleeping well. I had moments of anxiety and like I was Major Tom in the David Bowie song Space Oddity….” here am I floating round my tin can, far above the moon.” I felt disconnected from others, still in my own little world that I entered each anniversary period that began on November 11th when he was wheeled into the hospital in a coma and December 21st when he left it. It took numerous turns of the calendar pages for the sensations to fade and now they are a minor blip on the radar screen. I can actually listen to holiday music without being brought back to that time.

I am not the same woman I was back then. I have become far more assertive, self-directed, confident and accomplished. I welcome opportunities that I had only dared to dream about when I had just turned 40.

As the last page is before me, I look back at the previous 12 months with a profound sense of gratitude at how my life has unfolded. I lost count of the number of people who have shown up as I am aware of the impact their arrival has had. The past year has brought joys and challenges, fraught with fear and lavished with love. I have engaged in both; wishing for more of the second than the first. The state of world affairs has called on every ounce of fortitude I have to remain afloat. I have used my determination and spiritual strength to attempt to make sense of the senseless. My writing skills have served me well as I have penned many articles on that topic.

My work world has expanded as I have continued to counsel and teach and minister. Part of that has included Free Hugs which literally has put me in touch with thousands of people since 2014.

I am taking emotional bungee jumping risks to defy limiting thoughts and expand my comfort zones. I am allowing myself to be guided by Spirit, trusting in the Highest Good outcome even when it feels quite antithetical to do so.

I am measuring my own seasons of love.

 

 

 

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