I shared this piece of my personal story on Facebook yesterday, and while Mother’s Day is now over… I wanted to share it with you too, anyway. 🌼
This photo was taken 5 years ago. I’m leaner, Slim is greyer, and Molly died 10 months later.
When my children grew up and left home, I replaced them with great danes. 😁 I adopted Slim from the rescue the year my son left home, and got Molly the year my daughter left.
My boys and girls are 5 years apart in age (children & danes alike), and ironically their replacements mimicked their characteristics. My son had seizures, Slim has head tremors. Both are introverts you don’t want to provoke. 😜 The girls, outgoing and dramatic. 😉
Being a mom is all I’ve ever known, my entire adult life. Having a boy and girl dane 5 years apart with similar personalities filled the void of empty nest syndrome – successfully. 🐾
Molly and I had one full year together before she died suddenly and unexpectedly… and far too young. We celebrated each of the four seasons together exactly once. She was SO full of life!! And then she wasn’t.
That’s when the empty nest syndrome really hit, and when I not only mourned her death – but the loss of my children, as “children.”
Slim stayed close by my side and got me through the hardest year, including the end of my happy engagement and long term relationship just 90’ish days later. So much lost in such a short time…
That’s when I finally overcame my binge eating disorder, my uncontrollable off-the-rails overeating.
The level of grief and void I experienced during that period could not be filled, not even with food.
I realized then that nothing I could possibly eat would bring Molly back to life – or fix anything else for that matter.
It’s when I adopted the practice that became a habit, a total mindset shift and healthier approach:
FEEL the void, don’t FILL the void.
I allowed myself to feel awful, to feel sad, to feel lonely, guilty, cheated, angry, empty, anxious, etc.
I needed an outlet for those overwhelming all-consuming feelings I was used to stuffing back with food, often eating myself into oblivion – what I jokingly called a “food coma” that literally rendered me useless.
I started walking: “pounding it out on the pavement.” I’d grab the leash and Slim and I would take off on an angry fast paced walk, or a slow mindless wandering, depending on the mood.
We started out with half mile walks, then a full mile, then two. When I was really angry, we could pull 4 miles in 42 minutes… pounding it out, sweating it out.
We did this for weeks and then months, until eventually our walks became ours, enjoyable walks we did because it felt good and because it was fun – just because.
New feelings replaced the old ones: appreciation for the cool breeze, excitement over a neat find, anticipation of something new to explore, a smile at the bright warm sunshine on my skin, a laugh at Slim romping through a creek.
I still miss Molly. I miss my children being at home. I miss having a close and happy relationship with my daughter. I still think about what might have been, what I could have done differently, where things went wrong, all those things…
But life is full of twists and turns, to make you grow, keep you on your toes, force you to appreciate, teach you to love harder and spend your time more wisely – and make you change, hopefully in positive ways.
Because all things do change, for better or worse. This too shall pass… is the rich man’s greatest fear, and the poor man’s greatest hope.
Today I’m reflecting more than celebrating. I’m a GREAT mom, and I take pride in that. To my children, to my danes, and to the rescue danes I’ve fostered over the last 9 years.
Being a great mom doesn’t mean everything always turns out great. But that’s okay. It was my mission in life. Mission accomplished. ✔
Happy Mother’s Day to you. 🌷 However you feel, whatever your story, happy or hard, I wish you at least one genuine smile today. Lots if you’re lucky. ❤
Just know that wherever you are, whatever is going on, this too will pass. Enjoy to the fullest love big and appreciative deeply, or breathe in relief – and hope … for what’s coming next.
p.s. I’ve been working endlessly on the MCT Oil breakdown and the product value/quality comparisons for you. That post is coming out next, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at my MCT Product Comparison Spreadsheet if you’re curious. 😉
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