The past couple of weeks has gifted me with answers to a couple incidents in which I pointed fingers to another. What was that gift? “For every finger you point, there is three pointing back at yourself!” Wow! Basics of Life 101!
Today marks a very sad occasion in my life. 16 years ago my sweet kid sister took her last breath on earth. At 38 her life was plucked out from under her with the nasty, insidious disease of cancer. Darlene was an old soul, a kind soul, she worked hard and played hard. I think back on her life and I am so grateful that she lived her short life, well. She really did.
Those close to me know I mention this every year, and at least weekly I mention the cancers in my family, or the losses I’ve experienced. It isn’t “to dwell”. It is that grief has been the hardest walk I have ever been through in my life. Last night I said “goodbyes” to an online friend who I believe is in final stages of dying from cancer. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. And now I am offering prayers for her, that this please be over for her soon. Too much suffering.
I mention loss and cancer because both are a big part of my life. Every day, it doesn’t matter how many years it’s been, I have to make choices to live my life the best I can, with realities that aren’t easy, not in the least. I’m not “stuck” in grief. Part of my daily choices are to live my life to my best, accepting my own shortcomings and issues, and there are many! Some day I succeed, other days I have a hard time getting out of my own way, but because of what I have been through with family and loved ones, I try to make my life and each day purposeful, I do this for those who I have lost and no longer have that opportunity. I do this because they have taught me to appreciate myself and my life, the earlier which is my greatest struggle. There isn’t enough time in this day to share my struggles, nor am I into sharing them for the world to see. I will share on some, because it’s part of healing for me, and my hope is that if my blog(s) help one other person through a crap time in their life, then my own suffering isn’t in vain.
At this age, and well over a decade of living alone, I have come a long way baby! I will always be the person who wants to help others, I will always offer experience, strength, hope to another, always. But what has changed is that I must do this for myself, first. The world doesn’t need to know nor do most people care what I’ve been through in my life. Thank god! Otherwise I may be another “celebrity” that idiots look to for answers! Yes, I said it. Celebrities too often have a larger sense of self importance than the rest of us. I’ve learned that it is important to take care of and love myself, to have self respect, but equally to know heightened self importance isn’t the authentic person that I consider myself to be, and aspire to be. I’m reminded many times why we have two ears and one mouth! To listen!
This week I am starting anew with some self care things, and rather than to beat myself up because I had lost my way to these, I am proud of myself that I picked up the phone to make the phone calls to help myself. I didn’t discuss this with anyone, it was something I did for myself, something I recognized I needed. I’m getting far too old to keep beating the shit out of myself for being human. Will I do this perfectly? Um, probably not! lol.
I have been enthralled in feelings of fear for someone close to me, someone who I love. Every essence of my being says they’re headed for trouble. But this time, I have the experience of watching another person I love self destruct. There is nothing joyful about it. It is hell, first losing respect for someone, and also “waiting for the shoe to drop”. The fact that I reached out for help for myself tells me I have learned that the only true person I can save is myself. And if someone doesn’t care that much about themselves, no matter how much I love them, (and I do love deeply), I cannot fix or make another person love themselves. With that said, it doesn’t mean I stop loving them.
So today, on this day, I am remembering my sister(s), her antics, her love of life. I miss her more than words can say, but I know i always will. I’m not a believer that “time heals”. I don’t think it does. I think time teaches us how to coexist with whatever it is, for me today, the loss of my kid sister. I had to do the work, I had to walk through the barbed wire fence, and scratchy bushes of grief to get to where I can recognize when I’m in need of help, tears, other. In the beginning, it just isn’t impossible, at least it wasn’t for me. The waves were too often and inconsistently. Nor am I right now, allowing the very fear I walked in losing a love to alcoholism, with another person close to me. My job in all of this is to take care of myself (and I’m still learning HOW to do this).
I guess I could say today there has been tears, I am thankful for insight gained today, and I am grateful for where I am and who I am today. Getting “back on” a train isn’t as hard as trying to catch it at 90 mph with insane thinking! I am grateful. I hurt, I feel, I have sadness, but I also have choices to help myself, I am learning! And for me? That’s enough right now. I am learning. I am also very grateful for the many friends in my life who gently remind me to be kinder to myself, and sometimes this happens when they are beating on themselves or other. Detachment doesn’t mean I don’t love them, it means I offer prayers for them, help when asked, but I first and foremost take care of myself, first.
Love to all reading this