the end of august was a very difficult one for me.
on a monday, i learned about a friend and colleague's sister who lost her battle w/ cancer. her sister fought so hard. she had battled breast cancer 5 years ago and now lost the battle w/leukemia. my friend had even given her bone marrow. her sister wanted to live! her children are 13 & 16 . she wanted more time.
on the following wednesday, i learned a good friend (read sorority sister-- it's sounds a little juvenile to say that in your 50s) from college lost her battle with depression. we had seen each other over the years here and there. we reconnected last year. she came to our grand reopening and along with other friends from our sorority, it was the first time since we all graduated that we had been together--it was a gift, i just didn't know how precious at the time. she didn't want any more time.
as the days passed, i struggled with this thing we call life. a woman who wanted more time, but wasn't granted it; and a woman who had more time, but didn't want it. my last conversation with Sue, my friend, i remember it clearly, was in moondog. in chandra, after a class, we talked about her daughter & how excited she was for her to go to Ireland to study for a semester. it continued into the lobby near the cubbies; we didn't want to stop talking. we were catching up. the last time we had dinner together our children were in elementary school and it felt so good to reconnect with someone who knew you when you were 19. we finally finished our conversation about who we see from college in our neighborhoods near the bathroom area. coming to the studio took on a whole new meaning--it made me sad...and THAT has never happened.
what the &*%@! how is this divine force benevolent? how is any of this beautiful? all i see and feel is in pain & tears for those who loved these woman. i know life doesn't always make sense, but it sure is doubling down on that now. one of my favorite places (moondog) now was a huge source of sadness literally every turn i took.
it was saturday, sept 1st moondog's 8th anniversary. i was in my usual saturday morning routine before leaving for the studio to teach my 2 morning classes. i realized i hadn't really thought about moondog's anniversary other than planning the anniversary challenge. this too struck me, that something so meaningful to me "slipped my mind". i hold this day September 1st in great reverence. it is the day a dream manifested for me. so i thought "i'll acknowledge at the end of my class and thank those students who are there to share it with me" i didn't have the capacity in my heart for anymore than that.
as i looked around my first class i saw some of our teachers in my class who hadn't been in my class in a while, students who haven't taken this class in a while, and, of course, the students who do come often. as i closed class i was overcome w/ a deep love & support. i truly felt benevolence...i felt joy in my heart for the first time in many days.
so, my next class starts...the same thing happens! long time students, new students, students who were with me when i taught at the Y and United friends school, students who have been with us since front street, students who have been with us since we moved and some who i hadn't seen in a long time, all deciding that today was the day they were coming to moondog.
while my last class was in savasana ( ahh-- the mystery answer to "what do yoga teachers do while students are in savasana ;) i thought about how all the people that came to my two classes that morning were a perfect representation of my life as a yoga instructor for the past 13 years. it was the divine wrapping its arms around me, giving me a huge bear hug and saying, "i have heard ALL your thoughts these past few weeks. i heard your heart today and here, my friend, is what life is really about".
it's all about love. the courage to love no matter what! the courage to continue to love in the face of loss. life is about the love we give and the love we receive...that's all.
much love, light, and laughter to you all
important note: i have been rolling this story in my head since it happened. when i started writing this today i didn't know how i was going to end it. the last paragraph just came to me as i proofread everything before hand. It came to me today...the day which marks the 18th year of my dad's passing (9/24).
my dad, the man who gave me the greatest gift... unconditional love. he wasn't my biological father. he met my mom when i was 2, and yet his love was immense and unconditional. i guess this is really the point of my story...love never leaves. be not afraid, be courageous! love your family and friends with all your heart. their love doesn't die with them. it stays in your heart and guides you....always and forever. love you, dad!