ImageI’ve come to deeply understand how an impending anniversary can overwhelm your thoughts and days. How it can cause you to get lost in memories, or to drift away for periods of time. Or the subtle but sharp sadness that washes over you, when the reality of that person not being there is so very evident.

In a few weeks, the two year anniversary marking our goodbye to my Uncle James from cancer, and a season that forever changed me will unfold.

I am sitting in my new house in Nashville, TN. A home that feels as though it was meant to be mine for this season, and such an affirmation of this journey I am on.  Walking into this chapter, has been nothing short of terrifying, exhilarating and hopeful. Every piece of me knows this is part of my destiny ( that is a big word) or as it’s says in the Alchemist; my personal legend.

The belief that when you choose to follow your personal legend, everything in the universe conspires to help you pursue it. It is not an exaggeration to say that it feels as though I just ran and jumped off a cliff and am currently free-falling. But not in a, “you’re about to die” sort of way. In the way that fills your heart and lungs with hope and makes your soul sing. The free-fall still a total act of courage and walk of trust.

In the midst of this major life step and venture, April 3rd continues to taunt me. I only want to call him and tell him everything about my new city, how kind everyone is, to come visit, and to let him crack jokes about the pace of life in the south and to remind me not to talk too slow. I can’t call him, but he did show up.

The day after he passed away several of us in our family noticed the presence of birds wherever we lived, and birds that just stayed. My cousin who I just spent six weeks with in NY, has them too. They stay through the dead of winter, and freezing temperatures. When we pulled up to this house that is now my home, two days after I landed in Nashville, the first thing I heard was the birds. My heart stopped and my breathe caught for a moment.

ImageLast Tuesday, we had just received the keys and I was moving in a mattress with a new friend, when I saw a small bush of daffodils sprouting from the side of the house. The same flower I took him over the last few days he was with us. A flower I hadn’t seen anywhere yet in the city, and definitely not at this house.

He’s here. I can’t call him and tell him about my new home, or the people, or the sweet tea but he’s here. Part of my intention for living in Nashville is to build community that shows up for one another, that changes things for the better by being present and authentic. All things I learned from him. Within days of being here, that was already happening. I can’t call him, but I know somehow, he knows.

He’s part of it.

So, April 3rd is still coming. My heart along with so many others, grieves him and the time we will never have. But, I know my life will be lived with more courage, authenticity, and love because of having been loved by him. His legacy is one to honor, one to continue. I can only hope I make him proud for he was one of the very best that ever lived.

Thank you for the birds, for the small bushel of daffodils that soothed my panicked heart and for teaching me about love.