Leaves a mark
Earlier this week I let the dogs out for their nighttime pee in the drizzling rain. My dog Noodle was lollygagging around, so I tried to lure her inside. "Ramón!" I mistakenly shouted in Noodle's direction. As it left my mouth, I realized what I'd done — called my dog by my late husband's name. What?! For a moment I was convinced I was losing it, though I was still mildly entertained.
Why did I do that? My best theory is that I've been in the throes of editing my book for the past few weeks, which means I’m seeing Ramón’s name a lot. He’s bouncing around in my head continuously as though he’s still very much alive. And in many ways he is and always will be.
Several weeks ago I asked a friend for her opinion. I wanted to know whether she thought my posts related to grief make people think I’m struggling or if the takeaway is that I’m doing well. She thought the latter, which I hoped would be the case. It’s not as though I sit down with the goal of conveying a positive message — I just write about my experience. It just happens to be mostly good.
A while back, another friend offered to have a quilt made from Ramón’s shirts. I’ve seen this done before and loved it, so I gladly took her up on the idea. She took the shirts to her aunt in Pennsylvania, whose time and talent transformed them into the amazing quilt pictured. Each time I look at it, the leaves remind me of yet another Ramón memory. I feel special, too, knowing that I see the quilt through the lens of my own memories. Every leaf leaves a mark.
As I near completion of my book, I’m feeling somewhat vulnerable. This has been a dream of mine for so long, and it’s overwhelming to think about putting myself out there. There are many reasons I could choose to play it safe. But everything Brené Brown has ever said indicates why it’s time to take the leap. I don’t want to tip-toe around in my own life as though I need permission to be here. Instead, it’s time to stomp around for a while, then cozy up under my quilt with my dog Ramón.