I just want to take some time to thank you, my readers and friends, for sticking with me. I know the things I’ve been writing about for the past year or so aren’t ‘feel good’ pieces. They are raw, uncensored, and about as truthful as I can stand to be. I am a woman trying not only to survive the loss of her husband of forty-two years, but also a woman who is determined to give this tremendous loss, its due. It means something. It’s a land full of discovery, a place where pain cleanses and welds the heart and makes it stronger, better, more prepared to continue on. So, thank you for listening, responding with kind words, and for your prayers. I have treasured and cherished you more than you know.
Unfortunately, I find this foreign country expanding with surprising twists and valleys. Today, I fed my dad two of his meals. As he sat up in his bed, holding my hand, I guess I could have been anybody. But it is my hope that he knew it was I, his daughter. Alzheimer’s is a horribly cruel disease and as my dad slowly fades from us I am once again experiencing this End of Life stuff. I am painfully aware that it is not done with me yet. So, I figure I still must have lots to learn about love, forgiveness, tenderness, sacrifice, and sorrow and probably a whole slew of other life lessons that the holy ground of the deathbed has to teach.
End of Life stuff. Wow! Who knew how excruciatingly rich and holy loss could be? I certainly didn’t. I wish it on no one, yet never have I felt as ‘chosen’ or ‘favored’ as I have in this last year. It is not anything someone looks forward to or envies another who experiences it. However, those of us who have lost loved ones or who are in the process of losing someone they love, a brotherhood and sisterhood forms. The secret handshake is revealed. A nod or look communicates to another volumes that one who hasn’t lost doesn’t quite get. A ‘knowing’ happens and this knowing brings you within an angel’s breath of God himself.
Of course, that’s not a given. If you don’t believe in God, or know God, or trust God, or like God, or respect God, of course loss will be a totally different experience for you. I know nothing about that. Sorry, I can’t help you.
I choose God. I choose Him not out of weakness or fear or desperation. I choose Him out of awe. He is the only explanation that makes sense while still being a mystery. The soft wisps of a newborn’s head. The heart that does not become bitter. The sight of a lion in the wild. The migration of a bird. The sun. The moon. The stars. The crippled hands that still reach out. A broken heart that heals. The last breath. God comes so close at times you can almost smell Him.
I think I smelled Him this afternoon in my dad’s room. I have so much to learn about being a Created Being and what I am suppose to do with that. Loss is just one teacher. There are others. And, we all sit at their feet eventually. It’s the way of God.
So, thank you for allowing me to ramble and stumble upon what I need to do, say, and be, to survive and hopefully, thrive in the years to come. You have been the soft grass under my feet and the shade tree over my head. Thank you.