The Unveiling of a Painted Soul

Water Red Heart

Ever since New Year’s Eve, the entire world around me changed. My family and I had lost one of the most influential people of our lifetime. My grandmother was incredibly strong and damn, was she feisty. I’m pretty sure that she wasn’t afraid of anything. Even if she was, you would never be able to detect it. Even during her last few days with us, when her world was surrounded by concerned loved ones and medical personnel, she was still doing her best to keep us calm.

As crazy as it all was, I’m glad to know that my grandmother is in a better place, and not a day goes by where I don’t feel her spirit in some way. This is why I felt the need for a personal reflection on these past six months. If you have ever lost someone you love, then odds are you’ll understand. A few things I’ve learned from my grandmother:

If they don’t like it, then they don’t have to look: When I was a kid, I had my hair cut really short. One of my aunts was a “practicing beautician” and decided that I should be one of her victims. As I walked around school with my boyish haircut, I would cry because of all the mean comments that the other kids would make. My mother did the best she could to help me through this time, but it was my grandmother’s wisdom that stuck with me. She always reminded me that I don’t have to please other people. In the end, it was how I felt about myself that mattered. This advice has stuck with me to this very day.

You need to find a good man: When my last relationship burned down to the very essence of nothingness, my grandma reminded me that there was still someone out there that would be loyal and loving. Even though I argued that no such person would ever exist, she promised me that he was out there. It wasn’t until two weeks ago, that I looked up at the sky and whispered “Thanks Mom (grandma), it turns out you were right, but then again, you always are.” Through a crazy leap of faith, I found my Prince Charming. He fills my world with so much happiness that I forget what pain feels like. I never thought that would be possible, and I thank God, the spirits and my grandmother every day.

If it happens, it happens, but it always happens for a reason: These words seem so simple, yet they are so profound. You can’t stop certain situations from happening. You can’t stop people from making certain decisions, and you can’t stop acts of fate or destiny. A few months ago, I had a rough patch. My paycheck kept bouncing, my car broke down, people that I grew up with kept unexpectedly dying, and I felt like I was entirely alone. I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. But, just like everyone else who feels lost and alone, I pushed through. I had to keep living because if I didn’t I would be wasting my life. And although the sadness can cloud our optimism for the future, it’s imperative that we hang on because in the end, it all happens for a reason. If I wasn’t in constant peril about my bounced checks, I never would have become motivated enough to find a new job. If I hadn’t decided to admit to my mistakes and apologize to those I’ve wronged, I never would have found Charming. If I hadn’t lost so many people that I loved and cared for, I never would have been reminded to show love to those who are still here today. We can never predict our future, but we can choose to believe in it.

***This is for my grandma! She inspired me to do better, to be better and she often reminded me that sometimes the best advice was the kind that no one ever listens to. Love you Mom (grandma)! Thank you for watching over all of us!

Yours truly,

Rhonda M. Farabee