The Circle of Life
“Simba, you have forgotten me. You have forgotten who you are and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself Simba, you are more than what you have become; you must take your place in the circle of life. Remember who you are…. remember….” -Mufasa, The Lion King
The title of this post just had to have a quote from The Lion King. Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out a lot of things. I use to have a place back where my parents live that I could just go to think. In the desert and a much larger city sometimes you have to get creative. So, I started thinking about the simple things in life that made me happy as a child which also brought me much comfort. The three things that have always remained constant are my love for ballparks, animals and music.
Albuquerque while much larger than the town I grew up in has ballparks attached to dog parks. PERFECT!!!! So, when I need some ‘down time’ from being a wife and a mom, I drive to a local park and watch the animals play in the respective area while taking in all of the sounds of the ballpark and my IPod. My senses instantly become overloaded and the memories begin to flood the good times in my life of opening day at the softball fields. The familiar smells of charcoal grills with hamburgers and hotdogs, fresh cut grass and dirt can take me back 20+ years to a time when I had life by the tail and was trying to enjoy the ride.
The sound of the pinging of aluminum bats. The cheer of the crowds and the familiar laughter and talking among teammates in the outfield bring a ‘genuine’ smile to my face which few things can do these days. I think to myself sometimes, “What I wouldn’t give to be able to play one more game being coached by some of my beloved coaches and the adrenaline pumping through my veins at a rate that only an athlete can understand.” For a brief moment, I’m at peace.
I notice the still changing seasons which bring about new birth evidenced by green instead of brown, dormant, winter grass. Little bits of green have begun to appear slowly almost with the fear of another final winter blast. I begin to think a little deeper about recent situations and notice that once again the only thing constant has been change. Friendships are changing. Therapy is changing. Our family size is changing. Everything is once again changing. Scared? I must be honest and say yes. Sad? I cannot tell a lie. Excited about what lies blindly ahead? You bet!
I begin to think even deeper and internal conversations lead to this revelation. When my Nannie passed away, 9 months later I meet my best friend who would become my wife. My wife’s uncle passes away and Marshall is born almost one year later. Sarah just passed away in February and we are within weeks of having our brand new baby boy join our family.
I’ve been dealing with some things and have answered questions in a way that brought on a comment from my wife, Melody saying, “That sounded just like something Sarah would say.” My heart has been so heavy recently because I have some situations that I would like to hear her guidance that only she could help me to understand. Her wisdom was such that it was written on my heart. I must admit, though, that I wish it was written on paper.
The above quote from The Lion King hit me with a handful of Sarah and my Nannie. My grandmother would’ve “churched” the idea up with some of her ‘special’ words. Sarah would’ve said it almost exactly. Remember, she was and always will be my Yoda.
Then I suddenly had a vision of both Sarah and Nannie meeting for the first time in heaven. The solemn mood soon led to a deep belly laugh with this vision. Those that knew Sarah knew that she had a one of a kind swaggered walk of confidence rather than arrogance. I told her a few days before she passed and was still somewhat coherent that, “Mel and I had a baby that was born in Heaven and if she would keep an eye on it with my grandmother, we would greatly appreciate it.” I refer to our child as “it” only because the doctors were not able to determine the sex of our child at the time of its demise. She indicated to me that she understood what I was saying and when I looked in her eyes. As usual, I was filled with peace because of the level of trust we had always had between the two of us.
The funny part comes in when I envision the encounter between my grandmother and Sarah. She had seen pictures of my grandmother so, there’s no doubt she knew what she looked like. Anyway, I envision Sarah looking around and see this older and shall I say very spunky lady with this itty bitty baby in her hand. So, she walks up to her and says, “Hey, who’s little one you got there?” Nannie being the brash and sometimes ornery woman that she was responded, “Who are you?” Sarah replies, “Hi, I’m Sarah Pardue.” I have a “friend”, as she would usually tell stories, that she and her wife lost a baby about the age of that one right there and asked me to check on for them. Nannie would reply, “This is my great grand baby. My granddaughter and her wife lost a little one a few months ago.” I can almost see the wheels in Sarah’s head turning and putting 2+2 together and getting 4. She said, “You wouldn’t happen to be called Nannie would you?”
Let me interject this by saying that Sarah had the nose of a bloodhound to sniff out addict behaviors. And the “street smarts” to outwork Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami on any kind of murder case if she were needed. There was a resource somewhere for something that she always had at her fingertips.
Anyway, Nannie would reply in her very hysterically, unique way, “Who are you?” Sarah would simply say, “Yea, I thought so.” As Nannie starts to reach for her familiar house shoe that she would use against the squirrels to fling at them like a monkey does poop, Sarah would say, “Dana told me you were a spit fire. I told her I would come by and check on this baby. You see, this baby is part mine too” as she would chuckle. Nannie would say, “Dana? How do you know Dana?” Sarah would just look at her and say, “Let’s just say, I know how hard headed she can be and possibly where some of it came from.” They would both have a good laugh and then the storytelling would begin. And even then Sarah would abide by HIPAA regulations.
Whether this actually happens or not, I’ll never know. Sometimes the things that keep you going are knowing that the people that meant the world to you are together and have finally met each other like you always wanted them to do. More importantly, lately, I have been feeling so lost, lonely and just flat out missing and needing to talk to Sarah. I need and want HER opinions. Am I glad she’s at peace? Who doesn’t want close friends/family to have personal peace? I miss her to a degree and a level that even I don’t understand.
Through writing this post, I have received the answer in black and white through a quote and the feelings this writing has stirred up for me. I do NOT have the ability to read between the lines so open, honest and direct communication is what I require for understanding. I am also in no way trying to minimize the passing of either of these beautiful individuals. Just a mental scenario that has kept me comforted recently that I thought I would share. Sarah in essence sort of “kicking me out of the nest” from heaven by saying, “Dana, you have it within you to do your work and find your own answers now. I will always be a guide for you as are your ancestors. But, this journey is about you and only you. Go now and find your answers and peace as you have helped others find theirs.”
And my tears have turned to smiles if only for a moment.