The "Take Care of Yourself" Candle

      In the pamphlet that the police trauma volunteer left with us there was a page in how to take care of yourself.  The first item on the list was light a candle.   Pretty simple.  I found a beautiful beeswax candle in my mom's stuff and brought it back to my house. Mom passed away a long week ago and the transformations are coming fast.

      My daughter and I attempted a little  'light the candle' ritual but we were tired and all we could come up with was "I love you" and then she went back to the tv and I sat in darkness with the candle for awhile.   Take care of myself?  How does that happen now?

   I am still dealing with stuff.  I resent it all at times and at other times I am fascinated by every little thing we find.  Stuff can get in the way of spirit unless you embrace that spirit is inside stuff.  The core of me is steady as the older I get the more I know who I am and just hold onto that.   I can take care of myself.  My mom wondered what would become of me after she died.  I wonder too.

       In the river of the feed I find floating around me the debris of lives lived and unlived, honored and defiled.  I will survive until I don't.  This next phase of my life seems no different than any other time.  I am me.  I like to think and wonder so any place I find myself is going to be interesting.  Even this limbo is a journey.  Moving, adapting and then to die.   That is what we do. 

How many teacups does a family heritage need?  The fifties were a time of tea parties and fancy dinners.  Some of the casserole dishes go back to my great grandmother.  Things need to be honored.  I have to take care of myself while I honor this stuff and some of it has to go.   We play..."stay or go" all the time.  Thank goodness for Goodwill and consignment stores and neighbors. 

  I accepted an offer on her house today and the movers will come this next week.  I take time to rest and we are going swimming in the community pool at mom's today.  Time to relax is precious.  People annoy me still but I try to be kind to all the ones that reach out to us.  So many are needy.  So many have sad stories to share.  I listen and wonder why they don't take care of themselves better.   So many self destruct. 

   These are the guns mom didn't shoot herself with because it would have been a mess for me to clean up.  She didn't want to be a burden and she wasn't and isn't.  But I am tired of her stuff.  My things are important too and I don't have any guns.  I guess I will bury these in the moving containers for the move to Hawaii and I learned I need to register them three days after I get them there as Hawaii has strict gun laws.  Fine with me.  They are family.  I hope I never need them to take care of myself. 

Views: 192

Comment by Phyllis on March 29, 2015 at 12:15pm

I have had my mom and my grandparents die, but Dad has always stepped in and taken over, throwing away stuff that I would have kept. I am proud of how you have taken care of everything. Hawaii will be fascinating seen through your eyes.

Comment by koshersalaami on March 29, 2015 at 12:35pm

Candles are good. 
In Judaism, we say blessings over candles for holidays and Shabbat (Sabbath), but I don't think there's an actual blessing when we light one in memory of the dead. We light a big candle after a death that lasts for about a week and we light small candles on the anniversary of the death. You don't really have to say anything. You know why you're lighting the candle. 

Comment by Arthur James on March 29, 2015 at 1:19pm

`

Memories...

I use to melt

Pure beeswax.

Melt wax and

Dip in a jug of

cold water. tie

to a string a nut.

And the nut's

weight helps a

string to sink to

the bottom a the

cold water vase.

It's repetition. It

worth the time.

It Great Holy

Week to light

Pure Beeswax

Candles, but

no burn Home

Up or Down

into Ash Pile.

Comment by Jerry DeNuccio on March 29, 2015 at 1:36pm

A substantive and frank and splendidly written reflection.  I like the unvarnished what-it-isness of it.  And I especially like this line because it corners a truth: "Stuff can get in the way of spirit unless you embrace that spirit is inside stuff."  I agree.  Things can have ghosts, can haunt us for good or ill, and I think we put that ghost, that spirit inside stuff--we infuse the material with the immaterial, make it mean more than its designed function, make it live with the memory and associations we bring to it and to its owner.

Comment by Mary Lois Adshead on March 29, 2015 at 2:57pm

You will probably never know how profoundly your mental ramblings are affecting those of us reading them...you are simply identifying the feelings as they come, articulating, verbalizing, expressing, but the reader is drawn in to re-experience his or her own time of dealing with the detritus of another life. I hope it helps you to write; I know it helps me to read.

Comment by Jeanne Sathre on March 29, 2015 at 3:10pm

I remember going through Mom and Dad's stuff and feeling the need to touch everything--not to keep it, but to say goodbye, I guess. Best of luck to you. Hawaii sounds like a good place to land.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on March 29, 2015 at 3:14pm

R&L  Sell the guns and keep one tea cup. 

Comment by Patrick Frank on March 29, 2015 at 3:28pm

Profound and beautiful writing.

Comment by Mimetalker on March 29, 2015 at 4:06pm

Curiosity keeps us living...what is next? Whatever it is it will be interesting because you are. Blessings...I'll say a prayer for you mother when I say one for mine and perhaps they will become friends...wouldn't that be interesting?

Comment by Carole Dixon on March 29, 2015 at 4:45pm
This expresses so much, so well. I love how concisely say what matters is the spirit in the matter.

I also have shared your attitude:
In the river of the feed I find floating around me the debris of lives lived and unlived, honored and defiled. I will survive until I don't. This next phase of my life seems no different than any other time. I am me. I like to think and wonder so any place I find myself is going to be interesting. Even this limbo is a journey. Moving, adapting and then to die. That is what we do.

It is wonderful to watch you March fearlessly into where ever the present moment takes you. May we all have this courage.

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