Yesterday, I got a message from my sister Kirby, who died in October 2009. I actually had the unique experience of hearing her speak.
I looked up at the picture in the PowerPoint presentation that the Prosecutor was playing the clip from, and it felt like her voice was coming from above, filling the cavernous courtroom.
She said, “The dead are with us… the loved ones of our past are with us.”
And I heard, “I am with you.”
Then she shared a revelation that came to her from our Great Uncle Bob, a piece of advice he had given her when he was still alive and that she kept with her like a mantra.
Keep things Simple.
There are so many ways to apply and interpret that, but now, while I try to create my self-styled life, this is what it means to me: There are a lot of distractions in life, so many different places to focus, so many diversions. We need to strip all that away and focus on what we KNOW, on that which is essential to who we are. What we love and value above all else, and go from there.
Because I’m into design and décor, I use this analogy. Picture a room. A room with a specific function, like a bedroom. To be a bedroom, all it needs is a bed to sleep on. But you can’t remove that one item for it to be a bedroom. No problem.
But we want to make it pretty, beautiful, interesting. So we add throw pillows, curtains, other furniture, objets, pictures on the wall, a rug on the floor. This is all fine and well. But if you fill it with too many things–so many that you can no longer find the bed–suddenly, the room can’t fill its function anymore. You need to pare it down, let the room be what it was meant to be.
Of course, life is not as easy as a spring cleaning. Even when we find it once, when we achieve simplicity, when we clear the space of our soul and find that one thing that can never be removed from that space because That is what we are, the distractions come back. And they are not always bad. They can be fun, edifying even, beautiful. But if we let them clutter our space, we lose that one essential thing. It happens over and over and over. That’s life, right? A constant effort to keep it simple.
And just accepting that this is always the effort is itself a start.
It’s unreal, the manner in which I got to hear those words from my sister, and it was hard to sit and listen without showing too much emotion in front of a jury that is there to decide how my sister died and if someone is responsible.
But it’s kind of amazing, in another way, that I was able to hear that message from her. And I took it back yesterday. When she said it on October 8, 2009, it was to a group of people she’d just met days before.
But yesterday, she said it to me.
Do you have words or objects you keep with you from loved ones past?