“Sometimes right in the middle of an ordinary life, love brings you a fairytale.”
Right after I got married, my mom brought a sign over to my house with the above quote on it. Instantly, I loved the sign very much. I thought for a few days about the perfect place to put it, and I finally settled on right above my kitchen sink. There was a peg in the wall already, from the previous tenants, and it seemed like fate that I hang it there. I knew the spot would be perfect because I could look at it everyday, and the sink would be a place I would stop and really reflect, briefly, on the sign’s words.
I know that my mom got me the sign because she felt, at the time, it was the perfect quote for my life. I had endured so much hardship, and spent so much time seeking out a companion, and I had finally found someone that brought my heart so much happiness and contentment. Our life together wasn’t perfect, no one’s ever is, but at the end of the day it was happiness: it was my fairytale in the midst of an ordinary chaotic and sometimes stressful life. I was happy.
After my husband left, I struggled with a lot of things – and I still do, in my own quiet ways – and I found myself shedding tears if I allowed myself to read that sign when at the sink. I often wondered, “should I take it down?” Although, I never did.
Today, I looked at the sign again when I was hand-washing the dishes (a practice I’ve recently taken up as a means to slowing down and experiencing life). I contemplated why I never removed it – there were a lot of reasons. I love that sign because my mom gave it to me at an absolute high point in my life. I love it because it reminds me of happiness and the joy, I think, that my mom felt for me. I love that sign because it let me grieve just by being present above the sink. I love that sign because although the words may no longer be true, it echoes a sentiment of hope – the idea that at any given point your messy, hurtful and what feels like destroyed life can offer up a fairytale if you are lucky.
I often feel like I am the only person that understands my grief, I ask for patience from others as I navigate through it. It lives inside me, though. It hurts. Some days it takes all the strength and energy I have to try to ignore it so I can be productive. I am learning though to accept the burden of grief that I will carry with me throughout my life. I know it will morph, it already has. Grief never gets better, it just changes, it becomes bearable and intermittent.
-be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.