It's funny how something as simple as a toothbrush working again as it should could be a sign of hope. Small things working as they ought to. The signs we choose to make into Signs for our lives.
We have a very old Sonicare toothbrush handle, with just one button, and there are no online manual for it that we can find, and one day, during the pandemic, it just decided to stop signaling every quarter of it's full 2 minute working time. I had been used to swapping halves of my mouth on those signals and I felt oddly lost without it, the two times a day I was brushing my teeth. When the cleaners came, I'd been bundling away all the stuff what was on the counter of our bathroom, and I threw it into a very narrow space between somethings John had put under the sink and my WaterPik. It might have gotten its button mashed into doing what it was supposed to again, or something, but whatever it was, it made me feel like there might be good things possible again.
Yes, I still do my gratitude journaling every night. It's easier to write a few things down each night in my bullet journal than it was to write a full blog entry every day, but there's less weight to it? Certainly less room for the story as to why it made a difference in my life, why it made me feel better.
One thing that is small but was super big to me was going into my quarterly teeth cleaning. Last time, immediately after Isabel's death, my gums bled, my pockets around my teeth were really deep, lots of 5mm gaps, and the dental hygienist was abrupt and disinclined to believing me when I said that my daily maintenance was good and I was just under a lot of stress. This time, all the pockets had disappeared, going back down to the 2, 3's and three or four 4's scattered through, which was my usual. The dentist said that I could go to coming in every four months if I wanted, because I'd been doing the every three for the last few years; and we skipped the irrigation with anti-bacterial solution AND the fluoride for the first time in a while because he saw no decay at the pocket in the back that almost always has something.
Another wonder was that three of the peony plants we'd planted last year, decided to grace us with flowers this summer. Usually the plants can take several years to establish themselves well enough to flower, but these three of the five we'd planted, decided to go whole hog. This is one of the deep pink/red ones. There are two plants that are nearly white-pink with veins of magenta painted throughout, that are really beautiful as well. They're mildly fragrant, and it's always wonderful to see them in the very short timeframe that they bloom in this area.
Then someone posted this on Facebook:Epitaph - By Merrit Malloy - Used as a meditation before the Jewish Mourner's Kaddish.
To children and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother walking the street beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
And give them what you need to give to me.
I want to leave you something,
Something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved,
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on in your eyes and not your mind.
You can love me most by letting hands touch hands,
And by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn’t die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
Give me away.
The last line blew me away. Especially those last three lines, which I now get. I hope that the meditation can help you when you need it, too.