Baby Daddy’s Uncle Buddy passed last week. He was kind, strong, and decent. He wasn’t overly affectionate, but he always made those around him feel loved. He had a severe temper, but it rarely showed. Baby Daddy is probably more like him than any of his relatives. He will be missed.
We drove to Memphis for the funeral with Cousin G. She kept us laughing till our stomachs hurt, telling stories of her childhood shenanigans. She’s still bitter about the time her dad took her Red Rider BB gun away for a week because she shot her brother in the back. She said she shot him in the head too, but the ruckus was about the back.
Of course, we also told stories of Uncle Buddy. The past five years had been hard on him. He missed his late wife Bonnie terribly since the cancer took her. They were married 55 years. They were a good pair. He didn’t really want to be here without her. It was easy to see that. She was the kind of woman you didn’t easily forget.
G said Bonnie gave her some of the best advice she’d ever gotten. Not long after G had her daughter, she was by her own account considerably overweight. Her appearance depressed her. I imagine the lack of sleep and postpartum had something to with that too. The story goes that it was summer and everyone was going to go swimming. G was going to beg off. She barely wanted to leave the house in her condition, much less be seen in a swimsuit.
Bonnie pulled her aside and told her to get her swimsuit and go to the pool. She told G she would be much happier in this life if should would learn to make her peace with whatever phase she was in. She said, “Life is all about phases. Each one leads to the next and that one will go to another. This is your phase. And this too will pass.”
She said if you didn’t like something about your phase, it’s almost never a secret how to change it. But in the meantime, don’t miss out on the good stuff of the phase you’re in. Don’t miss the fun at the pool with your child because you’re embarrassed about your size. Your child doesn’t care.
Bonnie was not a small woman herself, but she took pride in her appearance. She wore flattering clothes that fit well, garish accessories and sassy shoes. That woman made a statement when she entered a room. She loved cruises and she packed her swimsuit and jumped right in the pool with everyone else. She said, “Sometimes I’m the biggest gal there, sometimes I’m not. But I’m having a great time, every time.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about Buddy and Bonnie. We all miss them both, but it feels right they are together again. I’ve also been thinking about Bonnie’s advice and how much it applies to me. I fall easily into the trap of, I’ll be happy when… I’ll be happy when all of Monkey Boy’s personal business is personal. I’ll be happy when my work is this or that. I’ll be happy when we live in the new house. I’ll be happy when my to do list is completed and my Inbox is empty. I’ll be happy when I lose 10 pounds.
But this is my phase. And this too will pass. And I must make my peace, so I can be happy now.