The Circle of Life: Infancy & Death

I’ve neglected my readers for far to long now.  I apologize for that and am ready to get back into the swing of things.  Since my last post– dad passed away.  And McKinley is now 18-months-old stringing words along– “bye-bye dada” and “uh-oh meme.”

Life is full circle.  I’ve heard it a million times and I thought I knew what it meant.  That basically–we start where we end.  It seems simple to understand, but it’s different to have experience.  And, I know that now.  Now, that I’ve watched my father die.

I do not mean to confuse experience in the sense of “doing” or “seeing” something,  but rather experience as a feeling.   An experiential feeling that is created in part by the doing and seeing. For example:

Let’s say a specialist comes into a classroom to speak about Nazi Germany.  Imagine that this young man knows everything about Nazi Germany. Everything. The following day, another speaker comes to the class.  The new speaker says the EXACT same words as the young man the day before.  Except he was an 80-year-old man from Auschwitz.  And the difference between them is not the “experience” itself.  It’s the feeling the experience created for the older man that makes their knowledge different.

My father would always use that example in his philosophy classes when explaining the existence of God.  To know – is different than – to feel. 

So, here I am with an experiential feeling about my father’s passing.  Life, a circle.  I’ve lived through it, I saw it, and I felt it.  I was there every minute and everyday. Watching new life begin and my hero’s life end. And not just end, but transcend.

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In the end of life–we revert back to infancy.  We revert back to toddlerhood–a self-centered world–back to diapers–back to being dependent–back to napping–losing our ability to walk, and then back to sleeping all the time. And in the end of our life, like toddlers, we get frustrated because we can’t communicate the way we want to.  There are surprisingly many similarities.  It was humbling to watch.

Death is just as magical as birth. It’s a privilege and an honor to witness. But, we mourn death and don’t talk about it.  Why?  Why is it such a taboo topic and painted as morbid and horrible?  What– just because death is depressing?  Death is natural. And it’s normal to be sad when you lose someone you love. It’s going to happen.  So–shouldn’t we talk about it?  Why is being sad something negative when sadness is the only way to understand happiness?  Life is all about the journey, and the journey is never flat.

We mourn because our fear of the unknown and our fear of life without the familiar.  Death is truly the greatest testament of our being, our will power, and our core strength. And we will all question— Is the “truth” I’ve always believed, really true?  It is the greatest hill we all must climb.  But never in my life have I worked hard to climb a hill, without ever coming down.  And isn’t down hill so much better?  And isn’t the climb always worth it?

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Life, for me, will never go back.  I’ll always have to push forward.  Like a circle.  Where does a circle really start and end anyways?  It doesn’t. It just continues to go around and around.  Yes, I am suggesting that life after death goes on.  However, I am not suggesting how it goes on.  That I do not know.  But, my father in-law once told me something I’ll never forget.

“You know, death is like being born.  When you’re inside the womb it’s a dark, comfortable place, and it’s all you know.  And then, one day, you are pushed out into this bright light.  This new world you know nothing about.  You are scared and alone.  But, then you realize it’s this beautiful place.  Why wouldn’t death be the same?” 

 

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First Publication!


My whole life I have wanted to be published.

Finally the moment has come and I couldn’t be more excited. In fact, I’m extremely giddy.  I remember having a paper I wrote on female infibulation in the 10th grade being published, but it was a publication our school created… so I dunno- do you count that?

McKinley Milestones is spotlighted as one of Central Ohio’s best parenting blogs in the March issue of Columbus Parents Magazine! YAY! Click to read the featured post: Traditions

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To be honest, I questioned my ability and ‘worthiness’ of being a writer, especially after being turned down from other contests and submissions.  And yes, every writer should know that they WILL be turned down… that’s inevitable; however, it doesn’t change how it makes you feel.

But, I never stopped writing.  So no matter how cliché this sounds it’s 100% true:

Dreams are always worth chasing,

Always worth the time, and

It’s never to late.

~The chance for growth is infinite!~ Georgia

 

Definition: Family

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Family is powerful.  Powerful was the first word that came to mind, but the word power doesn’t come close to describing what a family truly embodies.

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When you type “definition: family into Google, “A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household,” shows up.  This is a crappy definition.

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Thefreedictionary.com defines family as, “A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.”

Okay…starting to get warmer, but only because of the word: fundamental.

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A New York Times article asked parenting bloggers like myself to define family, and one responded: “Someone that loves you and someone who is there for you no matter what.”

Now we’re a lot warmer.

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How can one truly define Family?  Family is a pretty loaded concept with sub-unexplainable concepts attached, like love for instance.  Would you agree?   Yes, the blanket definition for family could be people coexisting together in a household but that doesn’t necessarily embody a “family.”  Even saying, “someone that loves you and is always there for you” doesn’t fully explain the concept. It touches on the fundamental part of family, sure, but explain?

Family is subjective.  In my opinion, defining a family in part depends on the existential experience of the individual and who they feel their family is.  Family is a concept people spend their entire lives trying to find, run away from, create, or expand. Sometimes families have nothing to do with biology, and other times families are bound and created by biology.



Families consist of people who love, support, challenge, and fight for you.  Family stands by your side. Family members advocate, teach, grow, learn, and accept one another’s differences and similarities.  And yet, somehow that doesn’t  100% sum it up 🙂

Special thanks today for all the people that love & support me.  My family.  I appreciate every one of you.

~The chance for growth is infinite!~ Georgia

Pretty-Fall Day & The New Year!

It’s a pretty-fall day.  And when you say it out loud, it sounds like beautiful day, in a sort-of odd way.  Gosh, I love this time a year.

Most people think of January 1st as the start of the New Year.  Yes, it’s the start of the new calendar year. I think about the year in terms of seasons though.  So, Fall is my New Year.   A time of reflection, renewal, and shedding.  

As the year comes to a close– the leaves start to shed.  And, we start to shed too.  Shedding away woes and worries from the year.  If you look at the ground you’ll see hundreds of leaves at first glance, but when you look deeper, you’ll see memories from the past 11 months (going by season year) blanket the ground in color.  It’s rejuvenating.  And, It’s renewal to see all the things you’ve experienced.

If you are someone who has been carrying a weight on your shoulder, or have had harder times these past 11 months, perhaps a therapeutic intervention is needed.  Scoop your colorful woes (or leaves) up; Throw them into the air and as the leaves fall, let the burdens fall too.

Some people love winter.  I’m not one of those people.  Winter is the hardest time of the year and why Fall is a cleanse for me.  I must recharge and gear up for the next months, which are kicked into overdrive with family functions, holidays, cold long days, and just pure exhaustion.   Don’t get me wrong; I look forward to the holidays, family time, and rocking moccasins while drinking hot chocolate.  It’s the cold weather that takes a toll on my mood.

Cheers to the New Year!  (The Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale is a refreshing Fall beverage).  Happy Shedding friends!

Until next post ~ Spread Love where you can, and spread Forgiveness where you can’t. – Kevin H. Michael