PLEASE, please note : If you are faint of heart, if you don't like reading about real things, that happen to people with real lives, please look away. I am certain there is a blog out there tailor made just for people from your point of reference. You will feel more comfortable there & will not have to concern yourself with critiquing my unpleasant real life stories in your social media feed. God Bless you.
I have not been writing much lately. I have been spending a lot of time on the phone, listening. A tidal wave has come to visit our world. The "D" word, the unspeakable word, is coming to claim more victims. A riptide has engulfed us. Much conversation, tears, anger, (oh the anger !) disappointment and suffering have recently invaded our family and extended family.
Over the years I have noticed that life is an ONION PEEL. If we allow it to be. Layers are torn away as tragedy strikes and we are softened. What we once thought was an ABSOLUTE in our belief system, becomes a SOMETIMES and we can relate better to our fellow man. Because we learn that life is not certain, there are NO guarantees and stuff just happens.
THE "D" WORD. In my childhood this word was never spoken. What had happened to my parents and our little family was never spoken of. There was a pact made between my Mother and the southern ladies in our family (and let me tell you, there was a big bunch of 'em) that it would NOT be talked about and it most certainly was NOT. (This would lead me to much therapy over my adult life) But honestly, who knew what to do at that time ? In those days, "D" just didn't happen with the frequency that it does now. (The odds are about 80% now that your marriage will fail). I was an oddity at seven years old. No one knew what to do with us, my baby brother and me. I was the kid with a mom who couldn't come to after school events and my brother was the only kid at Cub Scouts whose big sister helped him make his Pinewood Derby car with a steak knife. (MAN that thing was UGLY). And see, what I just did? That is exactly what I've been noticing. We all lapse into that moment of how THE "D" WORD effected us. All the sudden you are back at that moment, realizing that the door to those memories was left ajar and you've stepped through it, onto the shore with so many others.
The emotion comes rolling through like a giant wave that knocks your feet out from under you. Now you are rolling in the surf, your suit filling with sand and small shells from a past you thought you were healed from. That is what has been happening here in my world. I have been on the phone listening to the waves of loved ones lives, being dashed against the rocks. Their souls torn open, their raw hearts exposed. I'm listening to their gut wrenching cries as they fight against the undertow, coming up for air,"Oh my God, how could this happen ? How could they do this ?" Worlds of hopes and dreams are now scattered in the surf. It's floating there adrift, as the future they thought they would have, slowly, ever so slowly, is gone from us. Not just from them, but from all of us who believed we would see it with them. There I am on the shore, the beachcomber. Picking up the broken shells of my own life, my own memories of what that tempest can do to a soul. I watch and listen, as waves smack against the shore. I wonder how anyone can really help.
In the last weeks I have heard my silent parents speak of that time in our lives. I've heard anger from one who was never angry and remorse from the one who always seemed angry. (Curious what age does to us) A few times I found myself telling pieces of my own story, finding that the seashells left by my own D word are still stuck there in my soul. I have been crying. I've caught myself feeling a little anger. So many tides have come and gone and still bits of my life float there, just beneath the surface of the waves. Our own dreams of what would have been, still barely visible as they drift out on the tide. Bumping up against so many others. Those of my friends and their former spouses and their children. Now all of our grandchildren bob about in that swirling wave, forced to learn that life is not absolute and the one true constant thing in this life is change.
So I am taking phone calls, texts and emails. I realize that I have become a store house of their emotions, of secrets told. I try to keep together who I am allowed to tell what to, and decide for the most part it will stay right here with me, sister-mom-daughter-friend. I am holding their fragile lives close to me, loving and hurting. We are hanging on to a life preserver together as we float about in the frothy surf. Suddenly I realize that my onion peel has lost a few more layers, my heart is exposed and I stand and cry with them on the shoreline. The wind whips at our lives as we stand here together. We dig our toes deep into the sand. We link our arms as this wave comes at us, to change what we thought WOULD BE.