The Beauty of the Tapestry of Life

Diana Beebe, Mermaids Don't Do Windows, MDDW, Diana Beebe's Blog, science fiction, fantasy, Young adultWhen August announced that she was planning this blog fest again, I was thrilled! Here’s my post from last year’s BOAW Festival.

But then, I had no idea what to write about this time. I wrote and deleted at least three different posts. Then, this one emerged from the middle of another idea.

Life is good, isn’t it? I see so much beauty in the women around me. That is the beauty of women—weaving their lives with fullness and love and joy and excitement and strength and purpose. These are the qualities that inspire me.

Sometimes those qualities are frowned upon, depending on a woman’s stage in her life. I’ve seen many ways society makes widowed women feel odd about moving on with their lives, as if doing that in some way lessens or dishonors the memories of their late husbands. Steve wanted me to live my life and move on (see my BOAW2016 post) at my own pace. But not doing that would dishonor him and our 23 years of marriage.

We are all who we are because of our experiences and who have been in our lives. It’s beautiful to see that and to hold onto those good times and memories. I am who I am today because of my experiences with him. It’s unavoidable. I can’t be someone else.

If one thread ends, we tie it off as best we can. We add new strands. The patterns will change a little or a lot. We decide on the designs and colors of our lives. We take the beautifulness of who we are with us everywhere.

A friend told me a story about a woman who’d been widowed after a couple of decades of marriage. She remarried. Her new husband wanted her to erase everything from her life that had had anything to do with her late husband. *arches an eyebrow*

That’s like asking a woven tapestry to get rid of all the threads of a certain color. Is the weaving going to hold together after someone pulls out all the green strands? Not likely.

Well, she divorced him and went on to do her own life’s work, which was related to work that had been important to her late husband and her. She’s living a purposeful and meaningful life. In a way, she has her ex-husband to thank for his being such a selfish brat. She found better threads to weave into her tapestry.

In the last year or so, I’ve seen one of my too-young-to-be-widowed friends remarry. Another explored the idea of dating. And I’ve found a best friend in the man I started dating. New threads taking new directions, weaving new patterns.

I’ve seen my divorced friends go through a similar grieving period—mourning the loss of their former marriages. They’ve found their strength to move on and discover themselves, too.

To be clear, a single woman (single, widowed, divorced) doesn’t have to be defined by the threads that a man might bring to the loom.

The beauty of a woman is like a woven tapestry. I think this applies to men, as well. Just as we can admire the beauty of a wall hanging or a woven rug or delicately-embroidered lace, we can love and appreciate the weaving of someone else’s journey in life.

We all (women and men) deserve to have people in our lives who appreciate and love the life’s work we’ve already accomplished. And whether we continue weaving our lives with threads that represent other people or we choose to keep weaving independently, it’s a beautiful design.

In what ways have you redesigned your life’s tapestry?

This post is part of the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VI! To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11pm PST March 11th.





29 comments on… “The Beauty of the Tapestry of Life”

  1. Pingback: The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VI! - Girl Boner®

    • Diana Beebe

      Thanks, Laura! I wish you well in your journey. May you find exactly the threads you need!

  2. You know… I learned that some of what happens in my life might not just be ‘bad luck’ but as you say: a thread of experience woven into the tapestry of my life. Something to learn from – and it makes me stronger… knowing more of what I want and what I deserve. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea about seeing my path as a woven tapestry. Very interesting.

    • Diana Beebe

      I’m so glad you found this helpful. I’ve often wondered what my life would’ve been like if I’d done certain things differently–you know, those regrets we have along the way–but then I realized I wouldn’t know any different. And I would be wondering about other different paths. Ha! Love the path your on.

  3. I love the tapestry analogy, and that you are honoring your husband with your happiness. 🙂

    Soooo….will we see you this month at the California Dreamin’ Conference??

    • Diana Beebe

      Thank you, Jenny! Oh, you know that’s one of my favorite conferences! I wish I could make it this year. March is a crazy busy month. Give everyone hugs for me!

  4. Oh, this is so perfect — did you see that my mom is weaving the fest prizes? 😉 I was humming Carole King’s “Tapestry” as I read your post. So lovely.

    • Diana Beebe

      I did see that about your mom–beautiful work! And now I’m hearing that song. Thank you, August! 🙂

  5. Just under two years before I met my Accomplice, to whom I’ll have been married two decades this August, I held my fiance, Tim, as he died of cystic fibrosis.

    Tim knew, better than I did, that his life wasn’t going to last as long as mine, and he asked me several times during our relationship to please keep living, and that, if someone wanted to love me, and I thought he was worth loving, to please let him.

    When we moved back to my native New York, I brought Jim and our baby son to visit Tim’s grave. He had such a part in making me who I was when I met Jim; I couldn’t have made the journey that connected us, or been what Jim wanted, without loving Tim first. So it felt natural to share that with my husband, and the child we’d created from our love.

    Jim understood that. We’ve never seen a reason to hide the histories that made us from one another.

    But my mother was incensed. She simply couldn’t understand why I would draw any attention at all to that previous love – even though he had done so much to set the pattern of my tapestry.

    I love knowing there are others who do understand. Why we went, why my children know about Tim, and why he will always have his own place within my soul and my tapestry.

    I suspect you’ll also understand when I add that I grieve and celebrate with you, Diana. <3

    • Diana Beebe

      Oh, Shan, your story is beautiful! And I do understand, completely. Thank you for sharing this. <3

  6. Le sigh. I am divorced just a year after 20 years of marriage. It has been such a painful and difficult time for me, but I am starting to come out of it…slowly. Slowly. And I am rediscovering parts of myself, too, that I thought I’d forgotten. Thank you for sharing your words.

    • Diana Beebe

      My heart goes out to you! Allow yourself to grieve at your own pace and in ways that feel right to you. I wish you all the best. {{{HUGS}}}

  7. Grief is such a complicated, irrational and unique experience. As you say, each person has to decide when and how they will move past it, and I love your analogy of a tapestry, and how the people we have known, loved, lost, found are threads woven into who we are. I’m glad new threads of love, friendship and happiness are finding their way into your tapestry, Diana.

    • Diana Beebe

      Kassandra, thank you! It’s been an unexpected (and sometimes hard) journey, but I’m so grateful for the peace I’ve found.

  8. If we’re searching for wholeness–which I imagine most of us are–then of course it is impossible to pull out threads from the part of the tapestry that has already been woven! Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

  9. You know, I read somewhere that widowed people who were happily married tend to jump back in within a year or two of their loss because they’re not afraid, they know a partner can enrich a life, and many know it’s what their lost love would want for them.

    I love your tapestry analogy because it’s so dead on. The people and experiences in our lives come together to create who we are. From there, it’s faith and acceptance that help us to embrace the beauty in the lives we design.

    • Diana Beebe

      Kitt, thank you for such a lovely and thoughtful comment. I hadn’t heard that, but it makes perfect sense–at least for me. My husband left me with such a gift of peace and love, but I have to admit that I didn’t have any plans to date again–ever! Well, love has a way of surprising us when and where we least expect it. 😀

  10. “The beauty of a woman is like a woven tapestry.” Indeed, it is, Diana. And I agree not one thread can be pulled without it all unraveling. Beautiful post.

  11. Beautifully said, Diana. And I’m happy that you are adding new threads to your tapestry. Your happiness shines in your INSTA! Cheers.

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