Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Settling In

"Ohhh, Austin." I say quietly, with a sigh, as my throat tightens and tears well in my eyes. I shake my head, take a deep breath and walk on.

This process is repeated frequently through the day, especially when thoughts of him come to mind, or when I walk by one of the many pictures of Austin I have throughout the house. It's been almost 14 months since Austin's accident and I still have "Austin on my mind" in everything I do. But, it's different than a year ago, or even a few months ago. My emotions are settling in.

After I take that deep breath and begin to "walk on" I slowly exhale, letting the "feelings" settle deep in my soul. A year ago the feelings were brand new, raw and excruciating. Today, these feelings have morphed into me, become a part of me, set their roots and made their home.

I was looking at a Dinner Plate Hibiscus I bought the other day. It needs to be planted, so that I don't have to remember to water it every day. At first it will need a little TLC (tender loving care) and extra watering, but eventually the roots will grow and take hold and only on scorching hot days when it hasn't rained for a while, will the plant require watering. It will have to be trimmed here and there, with the dead leaves pinched off, a little fertilizer added occasionally, and mulch laid down in the spring and late fall. But other than that, it will grow and grow and produce beautiful, rich and vibrant flowers every summer.

So it is with my life after Austin. In the very beginning I needed to tend to my emotions on a regular basis (sometimes hourly). They required watering (aka tears). As I did this, the roots of my new life started settling in, taking hold, and growing. Occasionally, I still need to give myself a little extra time, to weed out the things I cannot change and let the memories and thoughts of Austin settle in, grow roots and warm my heart.

I have a beautiful Weeping Cherry tree in my front yard that was given to me last year, in memory of Austin. I watered it and watered it and watered it last fall. The winter was harsh and cold this year, but in the spring the tree bloomed beautiful flowers and reminded me that we must also weather storms, but once we have we will blossom again. Austin is with me everyday, all day. In everything I do, every conversation I have, he is there. And as my life continues to grow and bloom, he will always be rooted in my heart, soul and mind.

The Austin Tree

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