Have you ever paused and recognized that a lot of the details that you thought you were seeing you had actually missed? This week we went on a quick road trip. Our journey took us to a small town nearby, one that I have visited many times with my Father as a younger version of myself! What I didn’t expect were the emotions I experienced.
My Dad passed away last fall. His imprint was huge in my life; the memories were rich and bold. Visiting this small town where we had shown draft horses when I was young, where many friends lived, and the landmarks all created a sensitive opening. As we drove I shared experiences and stories we had never spoke of.
I spoke of the last time I had visited this area with both parents. We had stopped a number of times to visit different folks. One in particular was an elderly gentleman who lived alone and had been a good friend to the family more than 40 years. He had lived on his own for more than 15 years since his wife had passed and Dad had loved having conversations with him.
I could not remember precisely where he lived, one of the things I had not paid enough attention to in the past. On our journey to the next community, we travelled on the New Line Rd. I remarked about how Dad had spoken so often about the road. Just a few minutes in, I recognize the home of our dear friend. He was outside and I immediately said “Let’s stop!” As I round the back of the car he recognizes me and smiles broadly. It was the first time I had seen him since my Dad’s passing.
Before getting out of the car, I mentioned that my friend always fondly called me “Barbie”. Don’t underestimate how much kind words and phrases mean to someone.
We chatted for a few minutes about events and people, just like Dad would have done. And then it was time to leave. In many ways it felt odd as life is fragile and my life had changed so much since the last visit. A flash crossed my mind if this would be the same. A picture was taken of the two of us, both having broad smiles reminiscing, telling stories, enjoying the moment.
All of my emotions were just below the surface. When we drove away, I sat reflecting on why I had been so “triggered” in such a positive way. As I looked warmly at the photo (what a gift technology now provides us with), I noticed that he was wearing hearing aids, like my Dad. He had wonderful large glasses which almost seem too large for him! His arms embraced me in a firm grip, like only farmers of their time could. Braces held his pants in place just like Dad! I had been taken back in time to shared stories, told in a way that reminded me of my dad! What had been an accidental trip had become such a healing gift.
What became very clear to me was that acknowledging and sitting with emotions can offer such growth and understanding. It is not unusual for us as a society to try and squash or ignore the emotions. That is when we find ourselves in states of “UNEASE” which can in fact lead to “DISEASE”. I challenge you to acknowledge how you FEEL in your day-to-day encounters. Our heart knows the way, even if our minds don’t!
If you would like to know more about how to access, recognize, and grow from these feelings, let’s get in touch.
With love and appreciation,