Tonight I find myself experiencing another loss with the passing of my Grandmother. We called her Grammie or Gram - her name was Evelyn (Summerbell) Silbernagel.
I spent most of the morning and afternoon feeling incredibly sad, but as the sun was setting I took a walk. As I wandered around the mesa, I took a deep breath and snapped into the moment - the sky was really beautiful: clear and crisp and I could see for miles. I was reminded that the only moment that exists is the present. The moment felt amazing and a wave of gratefulness washed over me - 56 years with my Gram is a good, long time.
As a child I was excited to go to her house, play at her house and didn't want to leave. I was excited when she was coming to our house, loved going to Willowbrook mall with her and making fun of silly shoes, getting lunch at Friendly's and years later, visiting her at her cozy home in Florida.
I realized that all of those memories were just that, memories and that they would never change or go away. What will change? I won't receive a birthday card from her any more, but since she still didn't forget to send me one when she was 95, I think I've received plenty - actually more than plenty, each one with a positive message, encouraging me to "not work too hard" and to use the enclosed check for something special "just for fun." I didn't always heed her advice, but I'm starting to understand her point.
I won't hear her voice chirp, "Hi Hon!" on the other end of the phone. "How are Greg and the boys?" When I was young, every Thanksgiving was at her house, I loved her ham sandwiches and her house had a piano! When I was grown up we shared coffee in the morning and wine before dinner. She got me hooked on flavored creamers and a good glass of Chardonnay, but she never overdid anything - I mean not. a. thing.
I learned that it wasn't that Gram never worried about anything, but she rarely lingered. She knew how to enjoy today and if it wasn't so great, then get up, do your work and make the best of the next one. She enjoyed us all: 3 daughters, 8 grand children, 9 great grand children and 1 great-great. I know she had her opinions, but I never felt judged by her - only accepted and supported, always.
So I choose to consider all of that in present tense, because although we won't make any new memories, there are more than plenty to remember. Since she stayed to play on the earth for 95 years, I'll try not to be greedy because there won't be more. I can think of her and smile anytime, just as I would when she was alive on the opposite side of the country. I used to say to my sons growing up, "don't be a more boy" and now I need to remind myself, that we don't need more of Gram - she gave us plenty and then some.
I realized on my walk that I don't feel less loved because Gram has passed on. I feel all that ever was, which fills me up right now. I lifted my head from the ground and looked out at the beautiful sunset and took in the moment and then the next and the next one after that. When I got home, I didn't feel as sad. I felt more connected to Gram's energy of living in each day and choosing to feel happy.
I love my Gram right now and plan to in the next moment and the one after that.
Peace to my Grammie who is in nothing but love now (hopefully sipping wine) -
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Sunday, December 2, 2012
On the floor, we painted a student inspired 1* and at the time, none of knew why, but just as an * usually means to look further down the page for further information, now I am wondering if our * was about more than we realized at the time.
At a rehearsal that year, I saw a member of our drumline struggling with a passage. She kept trying to make her hands do what she could hear in her head, but was getting frustrated. I felt for her as we could all see that she was giving it her best effort and knew she was practicing like mad outside of rehearsals. In an effort to calm her down I said, "Don't get down on yourself. It may not happen in one day, but one day it will happen."
The next day, another member had written on our white board: "It may not happen in ONE day, but ONE day it will happen - S. Woodard". I thought at first, "did I say that?" and then I remembered the rehearsal from the previous day. We discussed that this could be a cool phrase for our season since our show was titled ONE. I found a good spot to insert this into our show and not long after that added what would become the closer of our show: "We can all be one." It was a pretty organic process and just sounded good at the time.
We had a great ride that year. It was a talented group, playing well-written music (brag moment: composed by my son) and we worked very hard to bring the music and message to life in each performance. When we got to the national championships, everything became surreal as our little group from Arizona was squarely in position to win it all and ONE won.
Why am I writing about this 7 years later? Because tonight I couldn't stop thinking about how our message resonated with our audiences and the judges too. It was a joyful, uplifting show, that ended with the group chanting, "I am one, you are one . . . we can all be one!" No one in the group or outside the group ever challenged the meaning of the chant. I find this interesting to contemplate now, as I know plenty of people who do not believe this message can happen and others who don't even want it to happen.
Is it possible on some other level beyond consciousness, cultural norms, upbringing, environments and such, that we do understand that we are all one? Science now knows that there are 3 million bases in our DNA and that 99% of those are identical in all humans! Isn't that amazing? 99% of 3 million - that's a lot of shared DNA.
Wouldn't it be amazing if we behaved like we understood this? What if we realized how alike we are despite our obvious (1%) differences? Could we continue condemning and harming human beings that are 99% the same as ourselves? Many in the consciousness movement don't believe that December 21, 2012 is the end of the world, but rather our rebirth into this very understanding.
Perhaps our 2005 show was our small taste of what could be. Perhaps we should have shouted, "I am ONE, You are ONE . . .
*We - ARE - ONE!"
Shout out to the staff and members of the 2005 Page High School Indoor Percussion program. It was a forever memory.