Goodbyes and Hellos often go hand in hand, wrapped up in personal stories. Often when we share stories, we find we have key elements in common, and can build our Village of personal connections that allow us to thrive better… together.
2020 has been filled with Goodbyes and grief for their loss… whether it is a person, a job, or even if it was just what we considered a normal day, or the way we have done things for years. What or who have you had to say Goodbye to in the last 6 months? Did it open space in your life to say some Hellos? What has entered your life in a way you never expected?
To be clear, I am not saying Goodbye to my passion for sharing Music Connections and Kindermusik with you. . Since June, my life has been filled with Goodbyes that have led to some important Hellos. I’m sure yours has too, and I am eager to talk with you and hear your stories, and help us all to discover ways we can connect and thrive together.
Within each Goodbye, even if very hard, there is an opportunity to say Hello to something new… and/or maybe even to refocus on something that was missed.
What have been your recent Goodbyes and Hellos?
As many of you know I had to stop teaching Kindermusik this summer so I could go be with family as we said goodbye to my husband‘s mother, Sarah, in her daughter’s home near Eugene, Oregon. I was unsure how long it would take, and I did not want to give you any more uncertainty in your life so the summer session was cancelled. It is the first time in many many years I have taken more than 1-2 weeks off of teaching.
Saying Goodbye to Sarah
We were able to be there fully for my good friend, affectionately known in our hearts as Grammy, before, during and after her last defining moment. We could still chat with her when we first arrived. It was the best possible timing for her and most of our family .
It was crazy freaky weird to make all aspects of this happen during this time of Covid 19. After months at home, the idea of traveling, especially through airport and flights, filled me with anxiety. And it was a stark realization that different family members have different comfort/anxiety levels about safety procedures when getting together. These are tricky times to traverse, but her intense love of family instilled common goals and gave us the will to make it work safely.
Fortunately, most all of Sarah’s children and grandchildren were able to travel to visit with her in a staggered schedule during her last days (no large gatherings), and none of us were infected. Sarah lived a long full life, and found peace and freedom from her chronic pain and weak heart.
My daughter and I were able to keep her company and sing many of her favorite songs, including many from John Denver and old Irish Drinking songs, which always make her laugh. Although, at the moment, I can’t sing them without crying.
There is so much loss of life this year, my heart aches for each of us who are holding their memories dear and learning how to live without them. Have you lost a loved one?
Cleaning to help Healing
After she passed, I helped go through many of her things to distribute to family and clean out many things that were no longer needed. It allowed space for all of my emotions, and I realized what an amazing healing process this can be, and felt compelled to continue this process once I got home. Coming across so many items that flooded my being with memories of her unique interests and our time together. Ladybugs everywhere.
Warning! Irrelevant side story: Lucky Ladybugs were her icon, she had hundreds, stuffed, jewelry, quilted blankets, papers, stickers, a full ladybug menagerie in Her indoor rock garden. Once, my son got a birthday card that did not have a ladybug on it, anywhere. My children did not believe it was from her. It must have been sent by an imposter! When cleaning, I found the very next card she sent to them, filled with ladybugs, and there was never a card after that without those lucky ladybug stickers (some were hidden).
Every room it seems is filled with memories of her, and it helped heal my soul as I cleaned my home. I needed this process… and my HOUSE needed it ! Much to my surprise, we needed to fully clean out the extra bedroom / storage room to prepare for an EXPANSION of our family bubble.
Is cleaning part of your healing process? Or am I the odd one out here? What helps you?
Sarah and I share a belief that no matter how bad a life event was, how much it hurt or felt wrong in the moment, it was likely to open doors to something that was missing in our life. Goodbyes open space for Hellos. We discussed how it could be considered fate, divine intervention, and even a mindset to not get lost in the loss, to keep an open mind to see other opportunities and follow the connections it can bring.
Sarah always believed her greatest gift was her ability to recognize and facilitate connections between people and opportunities. It’s not a gift that is compensated in any other way than the satisfaction of seeing someone thrive in that connection. I share her zeal for making these connections, and music is my favorite medium. Her gift continues even now.
During some of the family visits during her last days, our conversations sparked an interest in one of her grandsons in the job that my husband and son work in together. He lost his job as the world shut down, and was eager to find a better path for himself. In July, that connection came full circle as Payden moved in with us and started his internship with the same company.
Has your household gained a relocated loved one?
My son’s long time girlfriend actually proposed to him while camping last week, of course, he said YES. We are happy to announce that James and Sara are officially engaged. She lives with family in St. Pete while completing her Biology degree, but spends a LOT of time here in our home as well. So our household now includes three young adults, as well as my 16 year old girl learning to drive… AND HELLO KITTENS ! Yep, quarantine kittens are a fabulous infusion of energy and love <3 <3
Did you get a new pet during quarantine? I think we should have an online Pet Parade where everyone gets to share their pets with each other.
AND, a refocused HELLO, my parents are a much more frequent and critical addition to our bubble now. My mom’s Alzheimers symptoms have gotten worse since ALL of her normal routines and personal connections were disrupted. The world situation is hard for all of us, but is MUCH more challenging for those with dementia.
My dad does an amazing job of caring for her in their own home only 3 miles away, and they come over daily to share a meal and get help with needed therapies and communication. My dad cannot HEAR well, and her speech is soft and garbled, so I am often called to the position of trying to understand, and translate what she is saying. Did you have a toddler that loved to talk in full conversations before they could actually speak any recognizable words? It’s a lot like that, but more frustrating. She does love to talk.
We are working hard to create new routines and communication systems to support her staying at home.
Perhaps YOU are also now the ONLY personal connections your parents have. If you are in a similar position, or have some experience, I’d love to connect with you. Or perhaps you have a family member with Autism, or other issue that has had extreme challenges in adjusting to their routines?
Kindermusik Goodbyes and Hellos
Since March, all of my focus was captivated in the process of Goodbye to meeting in our new & renovated Kindermusik studio (moved in Nov. 2019), and adapted to the necessary changes of the online experience. As did much of the world, we said Hello to ZOOM. Some of you know, my “given indian name” is “Tussles with Technology”, and learning to use Zoom absorbed so much of my time and mental energy to really BE WITH you and foster this beneficial musical play.
So many of you stuck with me as we began Kindermusik online through Zoom. I still cry in gratitude for your patience and persistence in keeping music a stable in your families life amidst so much change… even though it was so different from the way we wanted it to be.
You may be wondering HOW I am going to offer Kindermusik again and WHEN. In short, I have been taking this opportunity to rethink in the big picture view, deeply research the best ways to approach each scenario of experience. Eventually, we will make music together again in our happy studio. This momentary loss has given us the opportunity to enjoy new options ONLINE and OUTSIDE. I am working toward solutions that will meet the unique needs of each of our Kindermusik families, and this plan will be shared with you soon in a different article.
Key to setting up a successful Kindermusik experience is communicating with you effectively. I am sincerely sad that I did not consistently communicate with you throughout this time, and I have missed you so much. Yet, I deeply needed to PAUSE for a moment to nurture myself and my family and engage with them in new routines and stable systems. This will allow me to be fully present for your family going into the Fall.
Appreciation of what WAS, what IS, and what WILL BE.
Like many of you, I have been going though a lot of grieving of what is lost in this moment. Not only with family, but also with how the world has changed. Taking time to appreciate the awesomeness that was, to say our Goodbyes and mourn that it is no longer a part of our world at this time, is the first step toward seeing more options and moving forward. It opens our hearts and minds to consciously choose the awesomeness that we want for our future.
I miss you all so much, and am so happy we’ll be making music together again soon. Let’s connect and talk. I’m sure your life is equally full of stories of Goodbyes and Hellos. Feel free to share in the comments below, or on our FB Page, text, or call. Let’s chat.
Even if I don’t get to chat or make music with you soon, I wish you well. May you stay healthy and thrive in your own way.
Music for Celebrating Seasons
- One Saturday each month
- Register for one or more
9:30 – Babies up to 20 months
10:30 – Mixed ages: 1 – 5 years
This could be your first Kindermusik experience to enjoy together, or… This could become an anticipated monthly family ritual.