Holding On & Letting Go
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Somewhere in my Dad’s family, a few generations back, there was a Great Great Uncle Arthur.
Dad use to say he held on to everything. Except people. I was a little girl around 4 when “Uncle Arthur” passed. Very few except my kind and compassionate Grandpa, attended Arthur’s funeral. They called him strange, and a hermit.
I remember long after his death when I was 12 or 13, going with my Grandpa to Arthur’s house. It was just as he had left it. You could barely walk through the doorways and into the rooms. Grandpa, who was a frugal man and a good man, shook his head and said “What a waste. He was a collector of things, not people.” Grandpa was right.
But all these years later, as I am isolated and alone, losing “close friends” and most of my husband’s and my family, including our daughters, due to my husband’s terminal illness ( FrontalTemporal Degeneration) and their inability to cope with his changing personality, I look back on my dad’s great great Uncle Arthur and hold him close in my heart.
My stress, anxiety, fear, and loneliness as I watched all who said they would help us get thru this, walk away, never calling, visiting or keeping in touch like they assured me they would, began my descent back to food and not taking care of me.
Sometimes we all need to learn to let go. Arthur couldn’t let go of things, because to him it was all he had, and my grandpa couldn’t let go of people, because he was a people person. To both men, they found what they cherished and what fulfilled them.
In December, I knew after dealing with so much loses ( my husband in a nursing home, dying, 3 of my 4 dogs gone, and my mom’s death in 2016-all these loses within the past 2 and a half years, and here I am struggling to hold on to family and material things- not knowing when my husband passes how I will be able to keep my home, or pay for all his medical bills...I needed to learn to let go. I have gone through my home and started decluttering, only keeping things that matter, not whether it has monetary worth but if it makes me feel happy. I also sat down and penned a letter to my two siblings, explaining how I was too weary to try to hang onto family who walked away. I told them I loved them but I was moving on alone. That freed me up to stop crying and stressing over what happened to the close bond the 3 of us always shared until the last few years. I no longer wonder if I’ll hear from them or any of the rest of those who let my husband, granddaughter and me go. By letting go, I can now embrace what I still have in my life; my husband, my devoted and very loyal 15 year old granddaughter who fought almost 4 years ago to move in with her Papaw and me, as she watched her aunt, her mom and the rest of our family walk away. And I have me. Like Uncle Arthur, I went back to what gave me comfort; SparkPeople was here for me when I chose to take control of my life. When my daughters were raised and gone, starting families of their own and my husband was gone all week long on his job, I had my 4 dogs, my nonprofit fear aggressive canine rescue and me. And I chose that time in my life to leave go of what was toxic and what to hang onto and treasure. So I’ve come full circle; the only thing I have to show that I still have, is the treasure of my life. And just as I’ve taught my granddaughter, hold closely and stay loyal and grounded to your treasures, I’ve also instilled in her to treat herself as someone to treasure, and let go of things that take away her sense of self worth. I’m still learning that, but for now I’m holding on to me❤️🐾🐾