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I had one of those sleepless nights last night. Know what I mean? You go to bed tired as all heck, and the next thing you know...you're staring at the ceiling. (sigh)
Anyhow, as I was lying there, I got to thinking about mom's memorial service. Truthfully, it was altogether different than what I had expected...thankfully. In fact, in a lot of respects it was quite impersonal. Now don't get me wrong, it's not that the loved ones weren't mentioned frequently, because they were. But you see, the service didn't cover the intimate aspects of their lives like I thought it would. And that helped alot.
But you know, it's funny how moments like that trigger something unexpected...or at least it did for me because I got to thinking back about my response to mom's death.
I know it's been said that the first time you really accept death is when you see them in the casket. It's like any denial is stripped away because there they are right in front of your eyes. And maybe that's true in some cases. But, do you know what MY first impression was? "My God...she's straight".
An odd thought to have at a time like that...right?
Or was it??
Maybe to some of you, it would seem so. After all, I should have remembered how tall my mom...right? Well, maybe so...but what if you look at it differently?
What if that first thought of mine was simply an example of how truly powerful love is? What if I said to you, "somewhere along the line, things like height and weight became insignificant to us and so it was forgotten". What if it was love that wiped away the fact that mom was in a wheelchair and allowed me to see NOT her characteristics but rather WHO she was on the inside?
Now that thought doesn't seem so odd....does it?
It's amazing isn't it? This incredible power love has?
I mean, what else can wipe away the things you would normally see and allow you instead, to focus on what really matters. Like mom's heart. Like the small responses I would occasionally see come into her eyes. The wheelchair became a part of WHO she was....not WHAT she was. And there's a big difference there.
Truthfully, would remembering how tall mom was, added anything to our relationship? No. Because love doesn't measure that way. In fact, what love gives you is the freedom to decide what is truly important and what is not.
And the rest is left up to you.....
You know, it's kinda funny. Everytime I bring up this area, I feel like I'm coming home again... How odd that something that used to be so insignificant could now represent something so important to me. Do you know what I mean?
It's like, these pages, filled with bits and pieces of memories, are where mom is. So when I'm here, it's like coming home after a long absence... I open the door and there she is. And from that moment on, everything is "right" in my world.
Do you see why this amazes me? It's like...always before, this was a quick easy way to keep everyone up to date as to what was going on. In fact, to me it was no different than any other place I have in the site. So why then, did that change after she died? When did it go from being a "news brief"...(so to speak), to a place where she now lives?
Sometimes I truly do marvel at the ripples of change that happens to a person after someone dies. You're transformed and yet your not. You're stronger, yet weaker. You're alone but only if you choose to feel that way. And yes, there are indeed days when you feel completely unlike yourself, and yet, in the mirror...there you are, just as you've always been.
Does that make sense? Sometimes I wonder.
You see, I keep thinking to myself...how is it possible to change so much on the inside without it showing on the outer you? Because I have changed...alot. In fact, it's like a day to day discovery.... I'm more relaxed, more at peace with myself, more who I used to be...but yet not. The old me, before mom got sick, was focused on her life...and then I changed. Now after all these years, and after mom's death, I'm finding out I'm not either of those people. I'm someone entirely different. I'm just not sure WHO yet.
And maybe, just maybe, that's one of the reasons why death is so hard. We're altered along the way because of circumstance. Then, when the end comes, we find ourselves lost. We've given up who we were to become someone else, and now that identity no longer fits. So there we are...we can't go back and we're afraid to go forward...so for a while we just "are"...drifting along with no sense of direction until something jump starts you again. And for me, it's this area. Funny, isn't it? But it's true nonetheless.
You see, in here I don't have to wonder about changes. I can falter...have bad days, whine, feel sad... And why? Because I don't feel alone. In fact, I feel like I did a long time ago, when I was a child. I know I can take baby steps, or giant steps...or simply sit idle if I choose...and that will be 'ok'. Then when I'm ready, I can grow again because mom is always here...waiting with open arms for the child whose secure in her love, to return to her....
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