Wanna know the truth?

I signed up for this blog hop more than a month ago. And now, at 11:15 at night (just a few hours before the hop goes live), after a five hours at the funeral home, a wake and too much wine;  followed by the requisite amount of laughter, sharing stories and angry yelling that any respectable family gathering should have, I sit here with no project to share.

It’s the One Little Word hop—the first of the year—and usually I am all over it at the first of the year. I’ve picked colors, I’ve picked a paper scheme; I’ve even envisioned what the year will look like.

On paper.

But therein lies the rub, I suppose, because my 2013 One Little Word is embrace. And the last time I checked, we just can’t embrace paper.

Real life is messy. As Father Fred said tonight at the Vigil, invoking St. Francis of Assisi, death keeps life real. And we’ve had a whole lot of real up in here this past week or so. So much real that I’ve been living my word—embrace—too much to document much of it.

I chose the word embrace because I was hoping that it would lend itself to many facets of my life; and because I’m a word geek, the first thing I did was look up the definition.

em•brace
noun
verb (used with object)
1. to take or clasp in the arms; press to the bosom; hug.
2. to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly: to embrace an idea.
3. to avail oneself of: to embrace an opportunity.
4. to adopt (a profession, a religion, etc.): to embrace Buddhism.
5. to take in with the eye or the mind.

And this may be the wine talking, but as I flip through the gallery and gaze at the projects that others were able to accomplish, I’m pretty sure I know what I’m hoping this year will bring. I want the true definition of that word; an eagerness to receive, an availing of myself and the adoption of newer, healthier habits that will serve me well. Oh—and I want a whole lot of hugging. My daughter reminds me all the time that ‘hugs are good’, and I’m pretty sure she’s right.

But right now—and when this hop is happening—I am embracing grief. Tears. Sadness. And I’m mourning the loss of someone who’s been a constant in my life for my entire 42 years. Not only has she always been around, but she’s always been herself; no pretense, no apologies, no excuses. Just her. I never had to wonder what kind of mood she’d be in when I went to visit, or what she’d have to say about someone, or about me. She was always kind, always honest, always welcoming no matter who walked through her door. She loved everyone—and I mean everyone—no matter what they’d done or who they’d done it to.  Truth be told, I don’t know how she did it. 

So today I embrace the chaos and uncertainty that is life, and celebrating a life that was mundane in the most extraordinary way. I am learning to embrace the messy with the sad with the good with the amazing with the awful and with everything in between.

If you are unfamiliar with One Little Word, you can learn more about the concept at Ali Edwards' blog. You can catch up with my own One Little Word posts here. This month you've come from Cheri's blog and after you're finished reading here, you'll hop on over to visit Lynn. If you get lost, the full list of participants is below. 

Lee: http://thelinarstudio.typepad.com/embracelife/

Cheri: cheriandrews.blogspot.com

Lisa: http://backtoallen.com/category/challenges/one-little-word/  <<———————YOU ARE HERE

Lynn: www.crafty-creativity.blogspot.com

Nikki: www.inkyart.com.au

Kathryn: www.katlodesigns.com

Missus Wookie: mrswookieswanderings.blogspot.com

Veronica: www.veronicanorris.typepad.com

Eydie: www.whatwecreate.net

Karen: http://womenontractors.blogspot.com

Kelly: http://www.septemberblue.net

Melanie: http://mellybirddesigns.wordpress.com

Valerie: http://naughtystamper.blogspot.com/

Marya: www.lotustreecrafts.com

Nupur: http://woodpeckertales.com

Angela: angelanoel.com

Janet: http://lifeinsideascrapbookroom.blogspot.com

Dona: http://orangegearle.blogspot.com/

Ruth: http://suburbansahm.blogspot.com/

Naomi: http://www.poeticaperture.com/

Pam: http://pammiek.blogspot.com/

Kara: http://iwannabemewhenigrowup.blogspot.com

Clare: http://claresthomas.blogspot.co.uk/

Margareta: http://www.paperpilekitten.com/

Tricia: http://onecreativemom.wordpress.com/

Jacqueline: http://goodwolve.blogs.com/jacqueline/