A Messy Life Musings

Hitting Pause. Nurturing Essentials.

Devotion. Mask by Bernadette Rose Smith

What do you cherish? What delights you and drives you to devotion? I don’t want to know what you like. What do you cherish?

Heading into my third holiday season after Ray’s transition, I cherish that you will read on, and indulge me in savoring a sweet memory from our courtship days while you search your own heart for that which you cherish.

Photobooth shot Ray and Bernadette Rose Smith
Honeymoon Photo Booth Fun 1975

I was working in an art studio in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan when Ray and I met. He’d returned to Detroit, after living seven years in New York City, and had been back only a few weeks when we went on our first date. The city had burned him out – he thought – but he was coming back to find me. We just didn’t know it yet.

I was 20. He was 28. He asked me to marry him, one month later. There was no doubt in my heart that YES was the only answer. Within seven weeks, we were married.

Before our June wedding, Ray went back to NYC to secure his old job, and an apartment for us. We’d met some friends for dinner the night before he was going to leave. It was after work for me so we were in separate cars. When the evening came to a close, I headed home to my parents. We lived in opposite directions, but for a few blocks I could follow him. We came to a stop sign. It was late and dark and no one was around. Staring at his brake lights, I felt this wave of panic roll over me; something could happen to him, he might not make it back. Already, I couldn’t imagine life without him.

I was trying to calm myself down when he put his car in park, jumped out, and ran back to me. He cupped my face in his hands and gave me the biggest kiss, saying not to worry about anything, that he’d be back before I knew it.

How did he know I needed that? It was like that with us. Good or bad, we always seemed to know things about the other without the other having to say. Sharing this soul to soul connection is what keeps me moving into this holiday with grace in attendance. See, I know what he’s thinking now, and what he’s wanting me to remember.

So, back to my original question: What do you cherish? What delights you and drives you to devotion? I encourage you to dig deeper, beyond the surface of “likes,” this holiday season. Find that sweet spot for what you cherish, and indulge in what it takes TO cherish. Be more diligent in recognizing and pitching the nonessentials that get in the way. Be present to the memory-making moments that gift you with the essentials to your spirit. “Re-do-its” are an assumption we make while life moves on.

As for me?
I cherish the ache I feel at the sight of an empty chair at the table this year – because it tells me that I have loved, and that I love, still.

I delight in opportunities to be present – really present – in any given moment, because I recognize all moments are given.

I am driven to devotion when I live my life as an expression and celebration of the Great Love that loves through me – and you.

Have a blessed holiday season, DeAR HeARTs, whatever you do. May you grow in that which you cherish, delight in, and drives you to devotion … pressed down … overflowing. Much Love coming your way. ❤ Bernadette

Mixed medium mask entitled Devotion. © Bernadette Rose Smith.

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2 thoughts on “Hitting Pause. Nurturing Essentials.”

  1. Beloved Bernadette…Oh how I continue to fully hear you from the depths of my soul… my sweet spot continues to be my love.. our love… I love you Bernadette… I just know one day we will meet one another to share our soulmate oneness ..so revel in your presence beloved ..as I do ..as I peeled my apples for our ritual apple Betty dessert… 2 heart shapes in the apples ..my visit ..my I love you ..as I responded, telling him I love him right back ..my third Empty Chair Thanksgiving as well 💔but definitely not empty heart or mind ..I thank God for the memories that I chat with him about, our still moments together ..Thankful for our live an astounding yes 🌹♥️😘🙏🏼🦋 love Sandra


    1. We made it through our third empty chair Thanksgiving, did we not, dear Sandra? And, in addition to old memories, we made new ones with our sweethearts – like your apple Betty dessert “heart hello.” And love continues to grow into new, more expanded forms in which we can take delight though we miss their bodies … Ray was present in “prompts” from two people who did not really know me, nor did they know for whom they were speaking. But I knew and I am grateful. Much love winging your way, honey. ❤


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