Right now in this moment a mixture of emotions is running through me and my family as we celebrate and yet grieve all at once, a remarkable woman, who has etched her soul upon our hearts deeply, as she lays her body to rest, knowing her spirit will live on in many ways, reverberating her beautiful love like a butterfly taking flight. She has planted seeds that have sprouted and will live on in each of us, in all we do but saying goodbye is hard. Moments, minutes, to months and beyond our goodbyes will linger until we meet again. So much love to you, Luella Vanosdell.
Goodbyes are tough, excruciatingly unbearable in which you could easily lie to yourself and say, “I’ll get through this, it’ll be alright, just you see, time will heal this pain.” But the pain you must feel, there is no escaping it. Many goodbyes have torn me up over the years. I never did NOT shed a tear as the last school bus pulled away, with the end of another school year fading in the distance. Running back into the classroom, slowly releasing, grappling at my chest as I tried to catch my breath, trying not to make a sound for what would come out would echo off the walls of the barren room is a shrill that would be worse than fingernails on the chalkboard. I loved my community of little learners with every ounce of energy that I could give, and they had given back tenfold in innumerable ways. Even the goodbyes of loved ones passing, of lovers parting, of furry friends laying limp in your arms, grief is so incomparable. Leaving Arizona was one of those goodbyes.
As each day came nearer and nearer to leaving, the looming goodbyes were painfully apparent. As each visit with my family was elapsing, I couldn't take my eyes off of them, even upon departure, having the knowiness that it will be some time before I may see them again.
I remember vividly, backing out of the Arizona driveway, with my chest heaving in tears after saying goodbye to my daughter, Lindy. I felt as though I had swallowed my heart. I only drove a short distance until I stopped and put my head against my steering wheel, sobbing with a wail that echoed into the quietness of the car, with poor little Penelope pushing her nose up against my hand. I wanted to scream as I tightened my grip upon the steering wheel. I hated saying goodbye.
It was almost 30 years ago, when I backed out of a driveway, very similar in emotion as this, when I headed out West to Arizona from Chicago, alone for a teaching job taking with me then too, chunks of my heart, watching my mom and dad waving goodbye. I had a gift, a gift I have now too, and that is the gift of my families love with me, pushing me on, guiding me, empowering me to keep striving for what is calling inside of me to do. For they are a part of my creation, every joy, every earth shattering Freakazoid panic, to every enlightened discovery, is shared with them, for they are always by my side, invisibly but solidly anchored in my heart. Each step I take, they are with me; Drew, Lindy, Abe, and Mark.
Hearts filled with LOVE…
There are moments you wait for all of your life, desires, emotions, to live and experience love through. NYC has encased within it, many miracles, as I follow my own inner ramblings as the adventure keeps unfolding but you can’t do it alone. Sometimes I have lapsed, forgetting how much I want this change in my life, losing the courage, the strength, and wallowing in deep fear. I had a few who were a constant support, who in turn when I couldn't do it for myself, I did it for them, my family.
Knowing I had someone, that being Mark on the other end of the line, waiting to hear from me each night as I made my way to NYC, to sweet surrendering of unwavering faith from Abe as I laid upon the hotel bed literally not knowing what 1 + 1 was anymore, to Drew’s voice on the phone always excited to hear from me, and my Lin Lou, texting me and texting me, bleeding her emotions all over the phone, wrapping my soul in her love, knowing I was finding my way for all of them, as I was finding my way for me. Talk about a powerhouse of reciprocated love!
My family silently, has been my glue to where I can not see me without seeing them a part of me in all I do. I thank them in ways that only God can be the witness too. As much as I need to be here, as much as I need to breath, I need them as they need me…beautiful.
To this very day, Mark has been my best friend with hours and hours of phone conversations, Drew, Lindy, and Abe unbeknownst to them, my ocean of love that feeds me, seeds me, inspires me to keep discovering more of who I am, their mom, Jane. Even though we are apart in distance and in time, (yet love is timeless), our love is strong. Our worlds are simultaneously spinning. We do not know what each day will bring, or how each moment will transpire, or when we will see each other again, we know we matter, and we love, we are not separate.
A very special thank you to my sister, Leenie, who was the bookend (that very few people would want or were), the witness to the struggle, the racking your brain end, the unknown, the disappointment, the heartbreak, the uncertainty, with the devastation of one part of your life ending, her personal love and support were and still are a gift, a true gift of love.
Where has my life taken me up to this point with whom I’ve known and whom have known me? With one, a definite rip in the tapestry as time and space expands, yielding a loss, a grief, but a new found welcoming of gratitude for each thread still woven into my journey of life. Many others a new found closeness, as I awaken with each word I type here, bringing us together in moments of sharing oneself, discovering newness for life once again. I thank you all! Not only have you found me, I’ve found you! Valves that have been rusted, valves that were only seeping have now been blown open. Thank you all for what you share here on FB, your world, your thoughts, your love. You amaze me and bring touchstones to my heart.
I did not get here alone and my loved ones are with me, always with me as yours are with you.
Love, hugs, and doggy kisses,
Jane and Penelope