My stepmother just got remarried in the same church my father's funeral was in 14 years ago. She was radiant, full of joy and love and peace. I watched her join her life with someone who wasn't my dad and, after swallowing it for most of the mass, my feelings momentarily poured out of my eyes as I realized: she had to heal to do this. She had to decide it was okay to move forward, to continue to love my dad and what they had, and then to give herself permission to love once more, to find joy again, to celebrate again. And then, this, the bolt of lightning that made the tears explode: no one is asking me to stay here anymore. 'Here' is in a place of so-many-years-ago, mostly-latent but sometimes up pain. No one is asking me to be the old me anymore. Just like no one expects my stepmother to never love again because she lost my dad, no one is asking me to hang on to any of my past lives. I'm the one who's been gripping, terrified of what letting go will really do to me. I think she probably decided to let herself heal because the other option didn't feel good or sustainable anymore. I can do that, too, and a new window cracked open that shed some light on that today. I used to think healing was a straight shot, a here to there and done sort of thing. But for me, it's looked more ragged and craggy and ragged and craggy things are beautiful, too. I've never had a spiritually healing moment in a Catholic church before. It's amazing what love can do. xo.