I am hunting through the bag of trail mix to see if there are anymore salt-coated raisins that I love. Someone has already gone through and taken all the m and m candies. (Matthew!!!) I also look carefully for almonds, though there are thousands of other nuts in here too. But really I'm looking for my Loved Ones.
Loved Ones are all that matter to me right now. The only faces I am longing to see are my family's. I know this sounds infantile, but I'm going through those LifeStages again and it is what it is. I know I will see my husband tonight when he comes home, and I love seeing my kid's faces throughout the day, but I need to see my mother's face now to know that she is well, that she is still here, and I need my brother's voice to tell me that it is going to be okay, that I am going to be okay. They are like the m and m candies and I am shaking the bag trying to find them in there.
I once read that Anna Quindlen said that no one really grows up until they lose their mother. I have often wondered about this. People also say (this is from some article or another on How To Behave on an Interview) that if you clasp your hands together, it represents holding your mother's hand, and means you are not very secure in yourself. I am one of the Lucky Ones who still has my mother. I am lucky also to have other siblings who keep me feeling part of a family. They keep me knowing that our childhood really happened because it seems like a part of it just disappeared.
Dunbar's number is a number describing the maximum number of human relationships our brains can effectively manage. It tops off at about 150. Companies have used this number to determine factory size and location. Malcolm Gladwell also applies the same theory in The Tipping Point that the maximum number of intimate, or inner circle, relationships you can really have in life is around 12. He says there are only about 10-12 people whose deaths would really affect you. Those 12 m-and-m's out of 150 nuts, (who I love too!) but I need an m and m. I feel like someone has eaten the m and m's and I am surrounded by nuts, literally and figuratively, who don't really matter right now. I just want my Loved Ones.
The bond of a Nurturing Family is the third thing that is keeping me going right now. One of my previous bosses once said, "You can never be nurtured enough, you can never be nurtured enough, you can never be nurtured enough." And she said it three times, just like that. It is so true, and truer now than ever Before. I suppose this should have come first in my Stages of Life that I've been trying to describe. Really it did come first. All our extended family, too, who held us during the First Few Days and the Funeral and the immediate After. Thank you for holding us. I just was so blinded that I could hardly see them. Like a newborn who can't quite distinguish colors yet, I saw them only in black and white. But I know they were there. Nurturing Family, the Loved Ones, make all the difference in the world.
No matter how long it takes to find that m and m in the bottom of the bag, when you see one, you feel better and none of the other nuts matter.