Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Precious Gifts

The last two weeks or so has been really hard on my friends. I have two friends about to lose their moms to strokes. Another friend just found out that his mom has lymphoma.

I feel like I'm a shitty friend. While these aren't super close friends, I've met and spent time with their moms. Both are fun, fabulous women. About a month ago, they both had a stroke in the same week. Both seemed to get better, and were sent home or to a rehab facility. Both have taken horrible turns for the worse. They aren't expected to make it much longer.

If these were close friends, I'd know what to do. As they aren't,  I sit back and send my love and happy thoughts, and cry for totally selfish reasons. Yes, I'm horribly sad for my friends, but I can't NOT think, "what if this was my mom?" That makes me a fucking wreck.

There are two thought places I just can't go, losing my son or losing my mother. If the worst were to happen... I can't imagine ever getting up off the floor. My brain just goes numb.

When I was younger, I couldn't imagine being an adult. I felt certain I would die before I was 18. When that didn't happen, I figured it would be before I was 21, simply because I couldn't imagine myself beyond that point. I now understand why I couldn't... and still don't consider myself a grown-up. But when I look at the "Don't Go There" places.. it's the same numb nothingness.

I don't know how to be there for my friends, as a secondary friend. (I don't say secondary like it's a bad thing.... that's simply the truth of it.) My place is not there, with them.. holding hands and being a shoulder to cry on. There are closer friends who belong there, and are. I just wish I could send my support in a more coherent, unguarded way. Unfortunately, my words of love and support are shallow and choppy because of the guarded place I go when thinking about their situation. It's so hard to turn off the personal aspects and make it all about them.

I've had life shattering loss before. There's nothing anyone can do for you. I don't know if people can give you enough support. I don't know that any support really helps. You have a process and you go through it. Hysteria, pain, the long period of numbness, grief and acceptance, then the healing. Charmin died 23 years ago this October... and I'm still healing. The period of numbness lasted the majority of my 8th grade year and I have very few memories if it. The healing has come in spurts. Many times I've felt that I was over it, then it all comes back. That's probably natural in this sort of situation.

I so badly want to tell them that they have a rare opportunity. While watching someone die slowly sucks beyond belief, it gives you the chance to make your peace with each other and express all the things that would haunt you if you couldn't. I didn't have this chance with Charmin. Her death was sudden and unexpected. I did get it with my grandfather and even though it was hard to see him lying in that hospital bed, knowing that I would never hear his voice again, knowing that I'd never get to tell him again how much I love him and hearing him tell me once last time that he loves me. Experiencing the last time I would EVER willingly let someone call me Krissy. Precious moments that I wouldn't trade for anything. Gifts. Each second is a precious, totally selfish, GIFT.

Use them well.

But I don't know how to relate that without sounding totally trite.


Cele said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you friends as I echo your thoughts to them. Take every moment to say your hearts content - so that you will never regret the word you didn't say, didn't hear, and so that you can never say the terrible word, "I never got to say goodbye."

I try very hard to live each day as if it were my last because you never know. Love is an emotion I embrace and share freely, never leaving an opportunity and meeting without telling a person what they mean to me. I never, ever want to be able to say words of regret when I ignored opportunities.

Daughter mine, I love you with all my being - you are my joy and laughter, you gave me a grandson that is the light of my life, and you have always remaind my best friend and companion through thick and thin. You have never failed to love me or accept my love unreservedly, and to forgive me when my parenting sucked. I am humbled by the beauty of your soul and the generosity of your heart. Although you can hold one heck of a grudge... luckily that isn't against me.

Psamanthe said...

I hold grudges against people who have earned them, and you have never earned one. We all have bad moments, child, parent, friend, and lover..... that doesn't make us bad in that role.... That makes us human. No one can be 100%, 100% of the time. If you must hear it... I forgive you for being human, but I am thankful every day of my life that I was fortunate enough to have gotten you as a mother.

You raised me to be thoughtful, inquisitive, kind, giving, and loving. Sure, there are things that I thought as a parent or an adult, I would do differently... But why did I feel strong enough to do my own thing? Because YOU raised me that way.

Everything in me that is good, came from you. I can't think of a single personal flaw (and I have many) that I can say are a result of your influence. Not one.

As a matter of fact, I was one huge pain in the ass child. I'm sure that you, on numerous occasions, beat yourself up and questioned what you were doing wrong... and worried that I was probably going to grow up to be one fucked up individual. I'm sorry I put you through that. And there was a point in my life where I could have taken that wrong turn.. But the thing that brought me back was you. YOU! I knew that path was wrong, because of you. And I knew that it would hurt you.. and I couldn't do that BECAUSE I LOVE YOU.

Psamanthe said...

Jen's mom died on Saturday. Terri's mom......... they still don't know what's wrong with her. Not a stroke... then they thought sepsis from a massive UTI... but that's not it. She's still pretty much unresponsive. Her kids are trying to get her transferred to Harborview in Seattle, where she can get more specialized care. They're trying to raise money to pay for the transport and keeping up with her bills.

Muhammad Atif said...

Precious moments that I wouldn't trade for anything are gifts.

Tor Hershman said...

The 100% fact of The Bible
"Without Serpent/Satan The Bible would end on Page 2 with something as this...
"And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed and they lived happily ever after