Sunday, March 06, 2011
"Child, you never know what's comin' for you," the old lady said. It wasn't a lament really. It seemed more like a statement of fact (as much as opinion) as she nears her 80th birthday with a husband ill and dying, having buried two of her three children and living on with what seems to be an unguarded heart and gratitude for all things.
The very next week we got the call that Bill's mom had been in an accident on the interstate. It was a routine trip for minor repair on the car that placed her in the lane where the crash occurred. Multiple fatalities when another driver (who had been subject to seizures apparently had one) flipped her car and multiple lives careened into chaos. We've alternated days and nights at a trauma center icu in North Carolina 5 hours from home. Brain bleed, multiple fractures, internal injuries, ventilator, feeding tube. Not a list you'd like to compile for yourself or anyone you love... anyone at all.
His mom, Carolyn, is already dealing with cancer diagnosis, the loss of her husband of 57 years and now these injuries. But today, off the vent and still incoherent, she looked squarely at me and said, "you just never know what's coming for you." Oddly repeating the sentiment of my new elderly friend, she added, "but that's good. I think that's good." Way into the night, she spoke of the need to "let go... to let nature take it's course... to get rolling on things... to get back to the fundamentals." She spoke plainly, with conviction, about the angel there with her... calling him by name. These are not new things for me, but new in the context of being present with someone I've loved a long time... Now there will be difficult decisions and days ahead, but "it's all ok, " she told me. "It's all interconnected. I know that now..." she said with assurance and a quiet peace.
This morning, following another restless night in ICU, she looked at me and said in that deliberate, slow, southern cadence, "Robin, your face is fading, but your heart is here. And, that's good." That made me smile. She may not have been able to see my face, but I hope she could feel my heart smile.
I hope you guys -- so present, compassionate and good -- can feel my heart smile. It's strange to miss being away from people we don't even "know." They're right, I suppose, we "never know what's comin' for us." It sure helps to feel your hearts out there even when faces fade. This morning I told her, again, that I love her. "And, I love you, "she said. "You must remember: we're all interconnected, and the love is all that matters." "Thank you for loving so well, " I told her. It occurs to me that I'd like to tell my "spark family" the same... We came here to lose weight, and we found so much more in the process. Thank you all for being such great losers... Thank you all for loving so well.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I'm wondering about doubt. I'm wondering about the ways we sabotage ourselves, psych ourselves up or wear ourselves out. I'm wondering about the ways we doubt ourselves when it comes to diets, relationships, work, life.
I'm wondering about discernment. Do I doubt at all the wrong times? I've made some questionable decisions in the past... flown right past warning signs with clear indications to use caution, yet I'd plow on full steam ahead. I'm wondering if I fail to doubt when doubt is reasonable, throw on my rose colored glasses and roll on. When I find myself in the proverbial deep end, I wonder how and why I willingly sailed off the cliff. That's when I usually doubt... only when I'm flailing in the deep end.
Tonight I'm questioning doubt itself. I was explaining to a super wise, incredibly awesome spark friend (aren't you all?!) that I want some input on this... So, I'm opening it up to you. In going back to work with hospice, my intention has been to find and join the team of professionals who care, Really Care, for their patients/families. I found 'em all right. The local team is just what I'd hoped for, envisioned, thankfully joined. I don't doubt their skill, compassion, empathy, dedication. I suppose I doubt corporate entities. It's hard enough to trust my discernment skills with individuals, let alone corporate structure.
For those of you who routinely balance(d) the demands of what seems like a potentially callous corporate machine with the rewards of some wonderful people/opportunities, how do you do that? How do you suit up in armour to steel yourself from demanding corporate types and keep your heart open to life unfolding?
How do you deal with your doubts?
Monday, February 21, 2011
New Job. New routines. New faces. New expectations. New acquaintences. New challenges. New responsibilities. New potential friends. New ways to make a difference. New fears. New faith. New way of life. New exercise regime. New sleep pattern. New changes. New ways to discover parts of me...anew.
New days. New life... in hospice.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
DJS-Debbie posted a blog today that brought me to tears.
Granted, I've been living in that territory lately. Still, I'm thankful she so honestly shared herself with us. That's one of the many amazing things about Spark. It's as if someone else knows the recesses and roundness of your own heart.
Our Matthew overdosed on heroin and xanax before Christmas. He was clinically dead for 3 min. before they got him back. He told me later with a faltering voice and a sober heart that he went to Hell, that he knew he had to change. Less than 48 hours later, I think, he was using again.
I've not cared much about myself these past weeks. Honestly, I believe God has been/is carrying me. I've been unable to... do much more than go about the business of the bare necessities. No tracking, no extra exercise, no focus on food or sparking. Just survival and gratitude for God's grace, coupled with lapses into the realm of fear.
I was pleasantly surprised this morning to realize that I haven't gained weight, that I even lost a little, that the patterns of just not eating to kill myself actually were in place despite my lack of conscious effort. Oh, I ate. I just didn't feel like impersonating the human trash can I was for too long. I exercised. I just walked instead of really breaking a sweat. I tried to meditate, and followed my fleeting mind bolting, halting, spinning around the wide confines of the universe. I prayed. A lot. I cooked, I ate, I walked. I worked on doing what I could do to change my reaction to a situation that breaks my heart completely. I picked up pieces of me.
I'm still sweeping.
"When we are no longer able to change a situation- we are challenged to change ourselves." -- from Viktor Frankl, is what Debbie posted in her blog. And that sure helped me today as I reflect on this time in 2010. We're works in progress... looking forward to the creation and construction of the lives we choose to live and share here.
Monday, December 13, 2010
I can't write about life now.
I can't put it into words.
I can't seem to wrap my mind or heart around the lessons of letting go.
I can't put much effort into things that held my rapt attention before.
I can't help my son with heroin addiction.
I can't seem to move into the mystery without fear right now.
I can survive the time in this proverbial wilderness.
I can just acknowledge this temporary inertia... this plateau.
I can get my bearings and move forward.
I can make small choices for the better.
I can choose to see the wonder around us.
I can continue to move.
I can find and focus on reasons to be happy, reasons to be well.
I can love the person while hating the disease.
I can forgive myself for being angry and afraid.
I can comfort those around me.
I can accept comfort from those who care.
I can remember we're never alone.
I can have gratitude for the tough lesson of letting go.
I can believe in grace.
I can live with grace.
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