Posted in Life Writing, Mindful Monday, Parenting

Mindful Monday – uh, Friday…

A weekly exploration of…well, me!

Yes, I know. Monday was some time ago – better than half a week, really. But sometimes mindfulness takes precedence over the calendar or the clock.

This was one of those times.

Monday was the birthday of our secondborn son, Elijah James. I was mindful, all day. I just never took the time to write about it, because I was engaged with living it.

Sometimes, that’s the true meaning of mindfulness. Just being where we are, doing what it is that we are doing, feeling what it is that we feel…

Okay, so that was Monday. What about Tuesday, Wednesday, and most of Thursday – or all of it, if this post isn’t up by midnight? (It wasn’t.)

Well, I was –

  • Living

  • Contemplating

  • Connecting

  • Creating

  • Pondering

Elijah lived only twelve days. Those twelve days have become his, in my mind, and they encompass a tremendous array of emotion and thought.

I needed to be where I was, attentively, on Monday, and since.

Actually, we all really need that, all the time.

Monday could easily have been a day of intense frustration. I was emotionally raw, primed for an outburst – and I can’t honestly say that I didn’t have a few moments of crankiness…

My focus, though, was on enjoying the day as much as I was able, and being present in ever moment of it, and with my own emotional state.

  • Monday began, for me, with my NNWM writing group, which meets each Sunday night. Those of us who stayed late were getting ready to go, and I noted the time, mentioned the date and its significance, and kept on loading my computer bag. I wanted to be home, with my beloveds.

  • Before I went to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, my daughter gave me a picture she had made of all four of us (labeled) holding hands and grinning – with me holding to a branch of Elijah’s Tree, which my Accomplice and I planted together, one month after Elijah’s death. It’s very sweet.

Art by Annalise S. Burton. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.
  • I woke up, after writing well into the morning, to a hot day, and a hotter husband (Well, OK, I do think he’s pretty hot, but what I mean is that he was working on replacing brake lines in the sun, so he was hot, and tired, and frustrated – we’d been car sharing for the better part of two weeks, already).

  • I helped him bleed the brake lines, and he was tired enough that he had trouble with anything unexpected.I did a quick breathing meditation in the car, so that I wouldn’t react to his understandable frustration, or take it personally.

  • When the lines were all bled, but there was still a small brake fluid leak, I offered to take his paycheck to our credit union. So I drove off in my car, all alone, belting out Jewel’s Spirit (I just found out that my car, which I’ve owned for nearly two years now, has a random feature, which added a bit of mystery to a CD I know by heart…).

  • I made it to the credit union…five minutes late. I wanted to drop his check into the night deposit box, but there were no forms or envelopes, so I had a bit of frustration, and talked to myself and whatever closed circuit camera was watching. Maybe they’ll be more careful to restock in the future…

  • But I got over that fairly quickly. I still had Jewel, and a little money in cash, and I was all alone…

  • And it was rush hour, so I took the scenic route home, and found myself only a block or two from a friend’s house. I haven’t seen her in so long, her teen daughter looked like her, to me!

  • She wasn’t home, but I chatted for a few minutes with her children, whom I’ve known since they were babies, and then went home.

  • I got in a bit of writing-related stuff, and then…

  • We took the kids on an adventure we’d planned for them – to the local drive-in movie theatre, to see a double feature: Minions and Inside Out (which the kids and I saw in New Jersey a few weeks back, but loved enough to go see again). A lovely time was had by all, even if the fifty dollar bill I thought I brought to pay for our evening turned out to be a ten, because I didn’t put on my reading glasses before I tucked it into my wallet…oops. My Accomplice and I were both surprised by that one, but we recovered.

  • And so, midnight and the birthday passed, at the drive-in, and another year has passed since the birthday that went so very differently than expected.

I might have tried to orchestrate the day, or made it about Elijah, and nothing else. Instead, I made the mindful choice to do what I could to focus on joy, expression, connection, and life.

It was an effort, at times. But it was worth that effort, to live the day as it came, without ingrained preconceptions of what it should be.

Maybe that’s the best tribute

to our son who died –

that, on his birthday, we lived.

More Mindful Monday at Silver Threading.

Our little boy lost….


I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

4 thoughts on “Mindful Monday – uh, Friday…

    1. It kind of had the same affect on me to live it. It does get – easier’s not the right word. Worn in? Woven into the fabric of life?

      Something along those lines, anyway. I know what July means, for me. I try not to get swept away, or have preconceived notions. I try to find a bit of joy – and there’s lot to find in my life.

      And I survive, and then July is over, and August brings our anniversary, and easier breathing.

      Thank you for your comment. It means so much more than I can say.

  1. What a fitting tribute to your son. I love the way you dealt with your feelings. Yes, I agree with you. Your mindfulness about your family and actually living the day with joy is inspiring. I am so happy for you. <3<3<3

    1. Hi, Colleen,

      Sorry it took me so long to respond to this one. I tend to need space from my feelings about Elijah as much as I need to talk and write about him sometimes.

      I’ve come to a place where I see this seeking after joy as not unlike the way I try to make my living children’s birthdays special…

      And there seems to be healing in it, for me.

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