Monday, June 22, 2015

Cocooning

I've received several inquiries lately from those of you who read this blog--essentially asking, "How are you? How's your mom? What's happening right now?"

Thank you so much for caring.

A lot has been going on these past few months, and I had to take a step back to assess where I am, what I am doing, and where I am going with my life.

I'll be talking more about this soon, but I'm calling this process my "Butterfly Project," and I've been in the "Cocooning" phase.

(Eric refers to it as my mid-life chrysalis.  Isn't that a fun concept?)

I didn't talk about my Butterfly Project openly at first because I thought it sounded silly.  But as I've slowly opened up about the process to a few close friends, I've discovered that it's practically a universal need to assess and redefine ourselves every so often.

In many ways, I've been living my life as a caterpillar--staying close to the ground, living below my privileges, and being okay with situations that simply are not optimal.  And while I know I have a blessed life with so many beautiful parts, living as a caterpillar is exhausting.  You have to crawl everywhere, even though deep inside you know you have the capacity to fly.

Well, a few months ago, I decided that it was time for a change.  It's time to shake things up and get past all of my super-comfortable limiting beliefs and become that butterfly I've been dreaming about all my life.

This is scary.  It's even scary to write about here, but I'm going to make this transformation or literally die trying.  (There's nothing particularly dangerous about this process--I just mean that I will either succeed soon or I will keep trying until my days in this life come to a close...hopefully after I hit 100.)

I want to live my life with purpose every single day and know with absolute surety that I am pleasing my Creator. I want to breathe deeply and feel more confident with my decisions. I want to feel joyful--even when life isn't easy.

This cocooning process has consisted of spending lots of time in thought and prayer, reading dozens of books that have opened my mind to possibilities, and having hours and hours of important discussions with Eric--who has been my #1 Butterfly Project champion. (He hung these glass butterflies on my wall, and then Alia made this darling caterpillar to inspire me.)


At this point, it's about time for my cocooning to come to an end, as it is starting to feel stifling here in this chrysalis.  :)

So look for more posts coming in the next few weeks!

Now before I close, I do want to give you a brief update on my mom.

In many ways, she is doing really well.  She's totally off of hospice, and her caregiver, Cheryl, is doing an amazing job.  Mom is more responsive than she has been in a long time, and she is even reading a few sentences at a time.  (That floored us.)

The hard part is that she never knows me.

She knows some people in the family, but I can't remember the last time she said my name.

Honestly, I'm okay with it now.  It's enough just to be with her.  I hug her and say, "I'm April. I'm your daughter."

And she says, "Oh, yes, of course!"  (Even though I know she doesn't quite remember...)

At last week's visit, I was getting dinner out of the car, and Alia and Grace went into my parents' house first.  Mom was in her wheelchair by the window, and the girls said, "Our mom is coming in soon.  When you see her, say, 'Hi April!'"

They practiced with her over and over, and then when I walked in, she gave me a big smile and--with the girls by her side, slightly holding their breaths--said simply, "Hi!"



My girls were so darling.  They said, "Oh, we're sorry, Mom. We tried so hard to help her say your name."

I told them it was okay, and I let them know I appreciated their effort.

Later that night, as I sat alone in my room, however, it struck me just how sweet that was of them.

To know that I have children who know me and love me is such a gift.  They're perceptive enough to know how much it would mean to me to hear my mother say my name.  That fills me.

Thank you for your friendship and your goodness and for all you are doing to strengthen your families. Thank you for caring about our family and this life we're working so hard to live well.

Excited to share more soon.

With love,
April (the Butterfly)
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