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: 195

Comment by onislandtime on March 29, 2015 at 6:28pm

I kept very little in terms of physical things. I have one of my father's shirts and a jacket my Mom wore all the time. I was stuck with a few things that I don't want, but have to do right by. I am a minimalist by nature. It feels more free. You sound like you know yourself and what is going to work for you. Sending you good thoughts for your this next journey.

Comment by Poor Woman on March 29, 2015 at 7:34pm

As always, beautiful work, Z.

Such a major move, across the water, may well turn into some of your finest works yet. Please do continue keeping everybody apprised.

We'll be thinking of you.

Peace to you


Comment by Claudia Darling on March 30, 2015 at 6:57am
Zanelle, you are a brave soul. I know you are brave because you have to be, but hold onto that.
Comment by Rosigami on March 30, 2015 at 5:09pm

You are doing a beautiful job of assimilating the events surrounding your mother's passing.  I love the candle. 
I take it you are moving to Hawaii! You will be you no matter where you are. I hope you are looking forward to this next part of your life. 
I know I am looking forward to hearing all about it. I feel like I am going to miss you because you are going to be farther away, isn't that funny?
But we are all here in cyberspace together, equidistant all the time. 

Comment by Margaret Feike on March 30, 2015 at 7:46pm

Hawaii! Your life never lacks for change and opportunities for growth.   "Even this limbo is a journey." I love that line. Your approach to life reminds me of how Native Americans respected the animals they had to kill and used every last bit of it.  

Comment by Alysa Salzberg on March 31, 2015 at 4:07pm

Beautiful and thought-provoking, as always.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I'm lighting a candle for you in my mind and sending healing and peaceful thoughts your way.


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