Copy and Paste if you feel the same

I really do despise those “I’ll be watching to see who reposts…” or “copy and paste this if..” posts on Facebook. I know, it’s easy to just take the mouse swipe it across a group of words, hit the ctl-c or right-click and select copy and then paste it into your “What’s on your mind?” entry field. We all have done it and we all have felt better or clever for taking the simple action to show our friends or family ‘see we really do care’ or ‘see we really are reading your posts’ or “hey, yes, I agree”. It really wasn’t that hard. And oh gee, I feel so good having taken a second or two to repost. While in the back of our minds we are thinking, ‘jeesh I really should have said something like that but with my own personal thoughts and feelings”, followed by “but I’m not going to think about that right now, I’ve got so many other things to do or think about.  I’ll do it later.”

Yeah, I’m as guilty as the next person but maybe even more so because I now look at those posts and think, “why can’t they write something for themselves and express their own feelings?” and yet I haven’t done that either. So now I’m setting my own challenge to myself to write something, in my own words to express my feelings about those in my life both near and far. Thanksgiving is approaching for those in the United States and those of us who are U.S. citizens living in other countries but still celebrate it or at least hold it’s significance in our hearts. I was born and raised and lived in the U.S. up until a few years ago when I moved to Canada. I celebrate both U.S. and Canadian holidays (but only get one set off, oh well, can’t have the cake and eat it too 🙂  ) and I still feel very much a part of the U.S. and I am slowly feeling very much a Canadian although I have not yet become a Canadian citizen (maybe soon). With all of my biological family living in the U.S. except for my daughter who lives with me here, I feel very separated and sometimes adrift from them. Our family dynamics including my uncles and aunts and grandparents and cousins, brothers, mothers and fathers has always been one that contained very little communication and rarely from the heart. The word love was rarely spoken and physical affection, hugs, kisses, gentle supportive touches were very infrequent. When I cried at my father’s funeral my brothers had difficulty completely embracing me or comforting me. A hand grasping an arm, an arm around the shoulder but not a fully embracing, bodily consuming, wrap your arms completely around me, hold me together embrace.   It never happened. And, no words.  Words of comfort were just silent looks of pain and anguish. I must admit we all walked around in a daze. We were in shock and lost. I don’t hold any of this against them. I don’t hold it against my parents. I don’t hold it against my grandparents. We all act according to what we have learned. I love my brothers. At one point in my life, they were my world. They were my sole support in a family that was broken and lost. In a way we are still lost, kind of like the Wizard of Oz. I kind of feel like Dorothy trying to follow the path to get back home with my brothers the scarecrow, tin man, and lion (and please don’t ask me which is which, because any one of us could play any of the parts and still be true to who we are). But for me home isn’t a physical place, it is a spiritual place. A place where I feel I belong and am surrounded by those who love me and support me in the manner in which I need to be supported and for which I can do the same in return. I believe my brothers have found the same with their wives and the family structure they have built around them. I am still working on the spiritual place for me and my daughter.  In all honesty I think it is constantly evolving.

So here I am, trying to explain a bit of my life to complete strangers and friends who may read this so they will understand what I am trying to impart.

To my brothers, my uncles, my aunts, my cousins, my parents, my grandparents, my friends, to all of these people some who are with us and some who have moved on to their next stage of existence, I want to say, thank you. Thank you from the bottom, middle and top of my heart for being there, for choosing to step back at times when you knew the words you wanted to say wouldn’t be accepted, for loving me even when you couldn’t say the words, for raising me the best way you knew how and for holding me even if it only was in your heart and not with your arms. I love you all and I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t choose another brother. I wouldn’t choose another parent. I wouldn’t choose another friend. I wouldn’t choose another family. I wouldn’t choose another life. At times it has been hard. At times it has been difficult. At times I’ve felt lost. At times I’ve felt alone. At times I have felt complete and utter joy and happiness. And during all of these times, I have always known your love was there and it helped sustain me.  Thank you from the bottom, top and middle of my heart.

I have a daughter and it is my hope and desire that I can teach her to be far better than me in expressing herself both physically, emotionally and spiritually.

It isn’t an easy thing to expose our tender hearts and lay it out there waiting for others to choose to accept it or reject it and then to see if they will cherish it or toss it back without concern or trample it as once they might have been trampled. Even in families I’ve seen this dynamic, and it saddens my heart to see it, over and over again, including my own.  Take a moment and let others know how you feel, whether it is through words, through a hug, a smile or a song.  It isn’t the worst of times, it isn’t the best of times, but it is the time to stop letting fear keep us from expressing to those we love just how much they mean to us.

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