This is a rare portrait of my family and me, taken December 2012. We need to do them more often, though I recall one taken with the kids, adults, and Santa in the last 5 years. Social media says the memory – or at least when it was posted online – is 10 years old today, December 27, 2022.
The black-and-white treatment has an “elegant yet nostalgic” charm. If it was in a newspaper, the caption might read:
A candid moment with Mama, Papa, and Pre-Teen Bears in the oak-filled yard of their South Texas 1969 ranch house. The Moshers hope to welcome a Baby Bear in the coming year. (Courtesy Photo, 12/2012)
Mama and Papa Bear welcomed Baby Bear, who is now six years old. Pre-Teen Bear is now Sister Bear, about to turn 18 and graduate high school. As a family, we left our oak-filled lawn of South Texas for a backyard pool in North Texas. We have said farewell to far too many people and, more recently, welcomed new friends and a global family. The decade has memories of stage shows and performances in two metropolitan areas and hope for more shows in years to come. In 2022, we celebrated the “first” first day of school for Kinder year and the “last” first day of school for Senior year and dozens of smaller milestones before and since. This much living… for me, for anyone…. the emotions are mixed, varied, intense, and deserving of attention.
A Full Circle Reflection
Two weeks after posting the family photo, Momastery blog posted 2011 Lesson #2: Don’t Carpe Diem, which went viral and found its way to me. The Momastery blog introduced concepts like “Chronos time” and “Kairos time,” being a “Love Warrior,” and the first “mommy blogger” that made me feel normal in my ordered chaos approach to life. The blog permanently affixed “we can do hard things” into my family’s vocabulary, where it will remain for time eternal. For me personally, the blog provided a brazen voice I sorely needed. When I rundown the list of significant family events over the last 10 years, I likely adopt Momastery’s tone, finishing with a dry laugh and a causal, “… and somehow, after all that, we didn’t divorce like the statistics said we should have.”
Momastery defined beautiful as “full of beauty” in Don’t Be Pretty – Be Beautiful In 2014, strengthening the word into something we can actively fill ourselves with, even in times of challenge and strife. For my family’s reflection, nothing sums up our last decade as well as Momastery’s sentiment about the brutal and the beauty found in life… every day… all the time.
Brutiful. A portmanteau of brutal to start and beautiful to finish.
As the new year turns, many will keenly feel the spots of grief, loss, and unrealized futures, myself included. This is the brutal part, best taken at the start. But, beautiful tucks right alongside, making it bearable, making it brutiful, and offering unique moments of joy, opportunity, and comfort.
I hope we can all finish with the beautiful.