If you’ve been stopping by here for awhile, you know I sometimes stray from my usual themes. This happens to be one of those Motivation Mondays.
Over the weekend, I couldn’t stop thinking about one of the biggest challenges I’ve struggled with since turning the “Big 4-0” a few years ago: saying goodbye.
There are the goodbyes we say to our loved ones. Some will suffer from drawn-out illnesses of the body or the mind that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies. Others are taken too young and too tragically to ever fully comprehend or find any semblance of “closure.” Then there are the goodbyes we say to certain places that meant so much for so long. For me, that goodbye became a reality at the end of last week. That’s when a demolition team reduced the place my parents and I called home for 37 years to rubble in a matter of hours. Even though we knew the tear-down was coming, I was overwhelmed by the sense of finality once it happened.
It’s amazing how the heart and mind can find so much comfort in stone, brick and siding. Of course, it’s not the materials that make a house special. It’s the memories created within those sturdy walls with help from countless friends and family members who walked through the doors throughout the decades. Those special times are what made the house a beautiful home. Here are just a few of those beautiful moments for which I will be forever grateful:
- More than 30 Christmases
- Learning how to swing a bat and throw a baseball thanks to the guidance of my Dad and my beloved Nonno on the front lawn while Nonna sat with a watchful eye under a shady tree.
- Learning how to make passatini and other cooking adventures with Mom.
- Giggling with Grandma Julia while we were supposedly napping during her visits from Florida for the holidays.
- Getting rid of the training wheels and learning how to ride my bicycle in the driveway, with help from my “big brother” Robbie.
- Running through the sprinklers to stay cool on summer days with my childhood gal pals, who are now my lifelong friends.
- BBQs in the backyard and bocce matches on the front lawn.
As the list of memories grew in my mind, I realized that’s where they’ll live forever. (We also happen to have fun reminders of so many happy occasions thanks to the dozens of old photo albums that now live in my parents’ new home!) This is why I’m able to type the last words of this post with a smile on my face. Because saying goodbye doesn’t erase the past. It just helps accentuate when a new chapter can begin. And new chapters are the perfect time to re-commit the heart and soul to make the most of each and every day on this never-ending journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
*Please note, I intentionally left a photo out of this week’s post to emphasize the fact that sometimes the best place to find an image that can help the heart feel better is in the mind.