In the 70’s, the marketing power of the Humane Society was in its’ infancy at best. Spaying or neutering ones’ cat was almost unheard of. We grew up at the end of a dirt road and our house was veiled in the forest that surrounded us. At various times in my childhood, unthinking pet owners dropped litters of kittens ‘at the end of that dirt road’, which coincidentally, was the start of my driveway. My parents dreaded it…I was in cat heaven! I was a shy child and the gentle mewing kittens spoke directly to my heart. Their indulgent napping and kneading and purring were only bested by their incessant demand for stroking, and I loved everything about them. I marveled at their calming energy and felt honored when they decided to curl up around me. I always had a couple of parent-sanctioned cats, but at times had up to 6 non-sanctioned boarders residing somewhere between our basement and the garage. Without formal discussion, I think my parents and I had arrived at a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy about the number of illegal aliens I harbored, and I secretly knew that I would eventually grow up to be the crazy cat lady.
Thanksgiving is a time to feel gratitude for both life’s blessing and for the lessons we learn from its’ challenges. The past few years have been particularly challenging in my personal life. I stood by bravely with my Mom as Alzheimer’s slowly consumed her. Trying to be 100% available to her, left little energy, compassion or time for work, family or for myself. After she passed, I quickly recovered more time in my days. We’ve enjoyed long weekends with family at the beach and on the boat. I’m doing more yoga, more meditation and enjoying morning walks along the bay. With more time, I’ve been able to refocus on Faceplant. We’ve taken business trips in which we’ve discovered some pretty cool stuff to bring to the brand next year. With friends, we raised over $5,000 in the Walk to end Alzheimer’s. This all feels good. I feel more energized. I feel more love and compassion for myself and the world.
This Thanksgiving will be my first without my Mom. I had to catch my breath as I wrote those words. But if I trust my Mom’s message, I know that she remains with me, her loving breath still flowing through me as we breathe in and out together.
In honor of Thanksgiving, may we all find the blessings amidst life’s challenges. May we forgive, cherish and share the blessings. May we all breathe in love, Breathe out gratitude.