Difficulty with Titles

As my life journey continues, I’m having to think, and rethink…and think some more some things that have been said to me, implied or I’ve said in the form of remarks, cliches, sayings. A couple of “titles” I’m chewing on, asking questions, digging deeper…simply meditating.

“Princess” – If a “princess” then I am entitled to royal treatment. My crown in place, not a hair out of place, face on, constant smile (cause who wants a sad or frowning princess, right?). Sitting primp and proper on her beautiful throne, high above anything and anyone. Expecting to be served, entitled to a happy full life. Every desire met. Her word is law! Reminds me of the Porcelain Doll

“Warrior” – the title alone commands awe and admiration. A picture of one with full body armor, stance ready to pounce, to win. Raging on, taking captives, winning against everything and everyone, cause “losing” is NOT an option. “Surrendering” would be a sign of weakness, a thought that shouldn’t even cross the mind of such a specimen. Superheros aren’t adulated for their humanity, right? They are “super natural beings” with “supernatural powers”. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Signs of weakness and thoughts of surrender are NOT an option! No tears, no sadness…not allowed to be human with ups and downs and all the emotions that come with them. “I am woman, hear me roar! I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan…” “I got this!” “No pain, no gain!”…and on and on.

Depression, panic-attacks, anxiety, PTSD are deep dark secrets, full of guilt and shame, hiding in the shadows. Therapy is a four-letter word. Princesses and Warriors don’t need any “help”. Days that lay you out, cradling your body in a fetal position, rocking back and forth hoping it will silence the voices, the pain, the screams…shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, what will they think? Princesses and Warriors don’t go down, they are always standing, pushing through, reigning and conquering.

Can we be allowed to be simply human? Is that not enough???

Fisted Hands

Hands closed…tight, tight! Veins pop, the flow of “life” is cut off. Holding on for dear life, thinking, “if I squeeze tighter ‘nothing’ will be lost; nothing will ooze away.” It has been said, “he who dies with the most toys wins”. Grab, grab, grab…holding tight, oh so tight. Eventually, there is no room for “more”.

This could be said of possessions, but what about relationships? People come into our lives for a “moment” in time. Nothing and no one stays forever. My parents, both gone. My sister, my brother – gone! Friends whom I thought would be around forever, gone! Some have physically moved away, others relationally, while others have completely been severed.

There was a time I thought that by holding on tightly I could protect, shield, keep forever. That’s not how it was meant to be…acceptance is a journey worth taking.

Learning to be present, in the moment, because “tomorrow” will bring its own or it will never come. Today is a gift! This moment is a gift! Drink deeply of the moments gifted to you. Keep your hand open, your heart open…love, live, laugh!

The Impact of Words

“I’m so proud of you!” Wait, did you just say that to me? I must have heard wrong. You don’t mean it. You’re just saying that…and on and on and on.

Used to having every word and decision questioned, positive feedback is hard to accept. I remember once I was asked to handle a task. I asked for all the requirements and such. The person giving me the lead said, “You got this! I know you can handle this. I trust you.” I almost fell off my seat. In fact, I myself questioned “my every decision”, so afraid of making a mistake. Once the task was finished, I remember thinking, “I did it! And, it went really well.” I was so surprised.

Words can build or tear down!  Words can wound or heal! They can be said to me or I can say them to others.

Let me be slow to speak and quick to listen. Quick to give positive feedback, and slow, or better yet keep my mouth shut when tempted to criticize or tear down.

 

My Grieving Friend

I saw her. Her steps were heavy. Every move cautions, as if each move threatened to shatter her brokenness. Somber, every facial line etched deeply. Her frame and movements seemed ancient compared to her real age. Her beautiful body bowed, like she had just been hit in the stomach and all the breath was zapped out. She seemed unapproachable, quiet…her mind far, far away.

She spoke softly, almost in a whisper, almost as if she didn’t have enough air in her lungs. I had no idea the sorrow and the pain she held deeply, reverently. We would sit for coffee, often. At times she spoke, but mostly she listened. There, yet, absent. Her red lipstick always on point…she needed color, somewhere…anywhere.

Cautiously, briefly, she opened a window of her soul to me. We entered a sacred place…her garden. Filled with color, serene, holy. In the midst of her vibrant garden was a memory garden filled with the most mundane of things, yet each was set with purpose, with care. A bench, a bird bath, a cross, an angel, and lots and lots of miniature roses. Oh, the tears, the memories, the talks that garden held. We stood in silence, it was a sacred moment. She shared that her 21 year old son had gone off an embankment; that she had to identify his remains; that she missed him; that this was one way of honoring his memory. I gasped, I couldn’t say a word, but felt privileged that she had allowed me into the sacredness of her pain.

Many, many years have passed. I now sit in my own memory garden. Mine has rocks with messages, butterflies and plants that attract butterflies. My daughter loved butterflies. I put a rock with her name on it…something about her name.

My dear grieving friend, how much you taught me through your silence ❤

Grateful

“Life is a gift…the way to handle a gift is to be grateful.” ~ Claypool

I’m grateful that I birthed You; that I heard your first cry; that I heard your first word; that I got to cuddle you; to feed you; to bathe you and yes, even to clean you.

I’m grateful when you would run to me when I’d pick you up from school; your talks; your dilemmas; your hurts; your smile.

I’m grateful for having the privilege to homeschool you; for having coffee with you; for sitting around in our pajamas; for doing your hair.

I’m grateful that you would call me and send me encouraging notes while you were away at school; grateful for your stories; for you trusting me with your defeats.

I’m grateful that we spent every minute of your end-of-life journey together; slept together, colored, giggled, played dots…hugged, oh, how we hugged. To be able to tell you over and over again how much I loved you, and that YOU showed and told me how much you loved me.

I’m grateful that we sang together, prayed together…and got to hold you as you departed. What a privilege!

I’m forever grateful for the privilege of being your Ma, Mom, and Mommie ❤

“…the best way out of darkness is the way of gratitude.” ~ Claypool

My First Born

After being told that we would not be able to conceive, then having two miscarriages, YOU burst forth and shattered our world! Even then, without You knowing it, You brought joy into our discouraged existence.

I LOVE that You made my tummy swell with life. Every move, every kick…living, vibrant, ready to burst forth. In fact, You were so ready to come “into” our lives that You came early. I still remember Your Dad’s excitement and tears.

I LOVE Your passion. Your competitiveness. Your smile.

I LOVE that You came to me for “huggy-time”; that You laid on my lap so that I could scratch your back.

I LOVE that you defended Your Sister, even against me; that You would fight, but still be together; that You loved her; that You made her feel special; that You remember her; that You miss her.

I LOVE the love and respect You have for Your Father; that You make him feel special; that You have beautiful memories.

I LOVE that You love; how You look at her; how You touch her; how You have adventures together; how You dance.

Life has handed us a hard blow, but we are trying together, each with their own regrets, but NOT dealing with them on our own.

I read this:

“…I was helped by my only other child, my son, Rowan, who steadfastly called me on to life and away from a preoccupation with the tomb.” ~ John R. Claypool

It resonated with my heart.  Son, thank you for calling me onto life and away from a preoccupation with the tomb. I hear You! I see You! I LOVE YOU ❤

That Day

That long corridor…step by step. Feet as led, heavy, stuck, yet needing to move forward. That closed door…don’t open it! But, it needs to be opened…gasp! Into a cold, morbid room…knotted stomach, stuck to the spine. Was I even breathing?

Barely standing, gasping…wondering, how is this even possible? My legs felt like they would give way…a hand, loving and strong touched me – my son by my side!

There you were…no smile, no rolling of eyes, no “Hi Mom”…no movement, no sound. Your butterfly t-shirt, comfy pants and comfy socks, such normalness…yet, it didn’t seem right. The teddy bear named Gabriel was in your arms. I remember when it was given to you. I remember when you clutched to it, now it seemed, well, not right. I hear, “take as much time as you’d like.” Time…really, “as much as I would like?” Can I freeze time? Can I stop time? If I could, this is NOT the place I would choose.

“Time” ended…the choice was made. My husband, my son and I put our hands on that door, none of us wants to close. That door that will mark the “end” as we know it here on this earth. It closes, it snaps…my heart shatters, again.💔