With hand over heart, I commit to living a life of love.
Why do I feel the need to shout this from the rooftops (or send it out over the waves of the internet via my little blog)? Because I am heartbroken, I am ready to scream “Uncle!”, “Tap Out!”, “No FUCKING More!”. Because I find myself fighting the instinct is to turtle, to find a way to just avoid life instead of finding a way, a desire, a passion, a soul-shaking vigour to live!
August 20, 2016, after struggling with COPD, chronic renal failure that had led to heart problems, my Mom let herself slip away from us to a home in heaven where she no longer has to struggle, deal with frustration of wanting to be able to do more and having her body let her down and make everything so very difficult. I had gone to see her on Monday (we had planned for her to come to my house that week to go through some of the boxes still under my desk, stored there after her move from independent living to long term care). She hadn’t had a great night again but sent me away for a few things – some grapes, plums and peaches, a little pocket money for her and some sunglasses to slip over her own eyeglasses when outside. When I came back later that day with everything she was surprised that I had done it so quickly, but when speaking to her she wasn’t even really lifting her head to look at me when she spoke. I held her hand and said “Oh Mama, I understand how tired you are, how every breath is a struggle”. That was the closest to a goodbye we came – I don’t think either of us could bear to say it.
Tuesday I took her some fresh little strawberries from my patio basket – she hadn’t even gotten out of bed, but she ate them (still laying there propped on a pillow) with a smile, saying that they tasted like real strawberries – they were still warm from the sun. Wednesday morning the facility called my sister saying they were concerned about Mom, she was lethargic and not eating and hardly drinking. She in turn called me and I met her there along with my other sister. We slowly started letting the family know Mom was not good after Mom asked to go to the Hospice – this woman we had seen come back to life when we were sure she was a goner so many times before had made the decision that she was ready to go. After a few short yet unbearably long days Mom let go with her 3 girls sleeping beside her.
This just felt like the last straw on my back after d6 years worth of some pretty crappy events. Some of them I felt I had a partner for, always my Mom had my back. And yes, I have a loving and supportive network of friends, and Mom would be so very proud of the way my family has encircled me with love, compassion and support, but this challenge definitely has me drawing on every bit of strength to push through. I am feeling lost, I am feeling abandoned in a purpose for my life, and though I have many who love me I am feeling that my nucleus is gone and I could disappear easily without a gaping hole. Please note, this is not a desperate cry from one who is suicidal, though I realize how reading that may sound. But this is the beginning of a war cry.
I am admittedly feeling sorry for myself, and though it is okay to feel and mourn and every now and then wonder how a banshee got back into my house when I hear a strange wailing, I will no longer allow myself to be a victim!
Yes, living a life with love sets me up to be heartbroken, crushed, hurt almost beyond repair, but love is a truly amazing strength to behold and it allows me to live a life that is VICTORIOUS!
Even through all of this, I am so very grateful for the relationship that I shared with my Mom. She was always a mother first, but also my friend. I will dearly miss being able to go to her for her guidance, wisdom, and often painstaking instruction. Our roles reversed somewhat in these last years, but she never lost her ability to nail things on the head when needed. I hope that I was as compassionate with her as she was with me.
The other night my tv turned on after 2am (and the remote was on the nightstand – no possibility of me rolling over on it or one of the boys stepping on it), there was an episode of the Golden Girls on TV. When preparing the video tribute for Mom I had found a picture from when we were at a shin-dig for my Uncle Martin where they were doing a skit of the Golden Girls.
This was the conversation going on in the tv show (I hit record right away) between Sophia and her late husband Sal…
Whether or not you believe, it all seems a little too coincidental other than Mom finding a way to reach out and share her wisdom with me once more.
Sophia’s husband, Sal (the ghost) says, “You think you got problems try being dead.”
Sophia asks, “So how are things?”
Sal responds, “everyone thinks Heaven Is right Above, actually it’s a little more to the left.”
Sophia asks, “What’s God like?” and Sal responds “Nice. I see from upstairs you kind of lost your spunk, what’s the matter and what I’m supposed to feel sorry for you? No the Sofia I know is a survivor! Some things you do remember.”
Sophia says she’s 83 and she doesn’t have the energy for this and Sal responds “You have lost your spunk you know maybe I don’t find you so attractive anymore you’re not the same Sophia.”
She gets upset and he responds “See there’s the spunk it’s still there but use it on yourself and not for me.”
Sophia asks “Do you think I’ll be okay?” and Sal responds “if I didn’t would I have made the trip?”
Sophia says “I miss you” and Sal responds “hey I’m always with you and when the time is right I will see you with my face”
And so Mama I thank you, once again, for sharing your wisdom with me. And it is because of that wisdom that I will reach out to those around me, that I will rely on those around me to “smack me upside the head” when you can’t and I need to find my spunk again, or give me that safety of a hug that only comes in the arms of someone who loves me when I just need to cry. It is because of that wisdom, Mom, that I issue my war cry and “I commit to living a life of love”!
Meaning, for me, I will remain vulnerable and open myself to others, I will begin taking care of myself with proper nutrition and trying to sweat out the toxic energy, I will find the music that makes me dance and blast it, I will pray on bended knee that your wisdom and love always finds it’s way to me, I will ask for the continued prayers that have surrounded me and kept me strong through all my most difficult times, and I will live a life that draws to me the love that I radiate. And I hope and pray that during the times when I don’t have the strength on my own to get out and find the fun and joy in life those in my life will continue to share and include me in theirs.
And to those of you reading, may you also live a life of love that, though the tears and sorrows, shows you great beauty, blessings of loving friends and/or family, hope, and most importantly the faith to get you through.