Sunday, September 3, 2017

Back to Basics
The Hurricane Harvey Edition

Those are the three things that Dr. Katz told me I had to have to survive the birth of our twin daughters. He told me that if I couldn't sleep & eat and take care of me, I would never be successful in caring for them. They were tiny 5.4 and 5.14 and they had to eat every two hours. Nicole was a slow eater and it took me over an hour to feed her and by then I had to feed Claire. When I was finished feeding Claire, it was time to feed Nicole again. I wasn't able to nurse. I couldn't produce enough milk. I felt like a failure as a mother. And then he told me what I had to do to survive, for all of us to survive and to begin to Thrive. I had to get back to the basics...  WATER  *  FOOD  *  SLEEP 

When Kevin died, I had to get back to the basics again. I was so focused on his care for three years, it was hard to wrap my weary mind around the fact that he was gone. I woke up the morning after he died, hearing the most horrible, guttural, terrifying scream, only to realize it was coming from me! My grief felt like my heart was being torn wide open; a pain I had never experienced before. As the days moved forward without me, I realized that I had to survive. The world would not stop. I had to keep living... WATER  *  FOOD  *  SLEEP 

I'm writing this blog to you during Hurricane Harvey. I have power, I don't have flooding (well yet...), and all my family is safe (so far!). But many of my friends, and other people all around me in our community are living with the impact of the strong, long lasting, storm that is dumping water on our area. Over 40 inches of rain in many parts of our community. Flooding, tornadoes, fear and danger surrounds us. Hundreds of thousands homeless and each new dawn brings more disaster to our city. It's time to get back to the basics again...WATER  *  FOOD  *  SLEEP 


But it's equally important to fill our "heart" basics; our spiritual and emotional needs. It's just as important to feel connected, to feel love, and to know you are safe and supported.

That is what the community of Modern Widows offers you. A peaceful place of hope to help you lean back into life after loss. To become resilient to learn to live a brand new life again, to THRIVE!

One of our recurring themes at our first ever Widows Empowerment Weekend in Orlando earlier this month was to take care of yourself first so you can take care of others. In other words, as Carolyn Moor says, "Put your oxygen mask on first! It's the only way you can help others." As women, and especially as widows, we often forget to do that. We are so focused as caregivers to care for others that we often forget to care for ourselves. It is so important.  

"We don't have to do it all alone. We were never meant to." 
Brene Brown - "The Gift of Imperfection"

Living through the ongoing storm of Hurricane Harvey with so many of my family, friends and wisters this past week has made me realize what we really need... 
Spiritually &
We need to be connected and to know we are safe in someone elses care for our soul. I think what I have grasped about humanity is that we must have that human connection to live and most certainly to thrive.

"We must remember that on some level we are already profoundly connected...
The more we go within to tap into this supply, the more equipped 
we are to come from there in our dealings..."  
Katherine Woodward Thomas - 
"Calling in the One"

It has been truly amazing to watch people from around the world come together to help all of us in Houston. At this treacherous time, we have all put aside our opinions, our hate, our pride and bonded together to serve. Right now, in this moment of tumultuous fear and devastation, we have no color, no race, no creed, just connection. We have love and hope and help for everyone that surrounds us in the depths of our despair, swirling in waters of our unknown future. We are not dressed up, we have no make up, or pretense, we are not wearing jewelry. Many have lost all their earthly possessions but together, we are UNITED. Together we link arms and push forward. Together we are connected! We will help each other move forward towards the light and dry land ahead. We shall overcome and we will THRIVE!

We see this as wisters as well. We leave no one behind. YOU are NEVER alone.  But this week, this unbelievable week, has left us both devastated and renewed; alone and together, homeless and bonded. Our hearts are brimming with love. Abandonment is supported by compassion. We are united in effort to rise above the water, the turmoil, and the fear, to work together to begin again and to survive. Yes, we are built To Thrive!

We are far from finished from the devastation from Hurricane Harvey and yet, we have grown so much because of this devastation. I'm sad to say sometimes these things are the only way we learn to grow as humans and it is always about getting back to the basics...We have been called to THRIVE!


PS: The photos of the flood posted are of my daughter and her husband's beautiful home. The night it flooded, their first child - a baby girl was born. We are truly blessed!

Natalie Lancaster
MWC Regional Leader,  
Houston and NW Houston/Katy Chapters
Houston, TX

Natalie I. Lancaster is the Regional Leader of the Modern Widows Club Houston and Northwest Houston/Katy Chapters. She calls herself the "Southwest Regional Director for MWC - otherwise known as the Texas Tornado" and plans to promote chapters across the southwestern region of the United States. Additionally, she is the Innovative Change Leader of Lancaster Leadership, Inc., offering professional change leadership focusing on communication, consulting & training as well as ;life coaching including personal development and transformation. She shares her insights on life and love after loss on eNJoyEvery2nd!

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