...Come again another day.
April has a way of cleansing the earth and the spirit. With every rain drop, a speck of something tainted in dirt or dreariness from winter's path is washed away. With the nurturing ways Spring's showers have to offer, the spirit of the new season blossoms and shows itself through beautiful colors, scents and song. Life is like that too.
On Wednesday, I would have celebrated a child's 10th birthday. Like many women, I lost a precious miracle and have had to say goodbye to a piece of me I'd never know, but always remember.
I have not given much thought over the last handful of years about my loss. With any pain, it does eventually subside or at least it hides in a corner placing little emphasis on itself defering attention to something greater or worse as it comes. I am grateful for this. It has many a day protected my spirit and mood from danger and has averted what could have been catastrophe.
For the last four years in particular, I was exceptionally focused on trying to live up to being the Mommy of twin boys and a four year-old at the time, that I thought I should be. I had little down time to reflect, retreat or remember. Certainly the date was always in the forefront of my existence come April, but it would come and go with a quiet and still I could gently and ever-so-genuinely appreciate and move on from.
The other day was different. While cleaning out an abandoned closet in the spirit of spring cleaning, I was suddenly and harshly interrupted by a fall of a bag from the top shelf. Frustrated at the additonal mess it had made, I soon went to clean it up. It was then I realized upon seeing some written greeting cards and a hospital release form that I was staring my past in the face. I dropped to me knees.
What darkness to evoke the soul and take her back to shattering times of heartache and sadness!
I am uncertain what urged me to pull out the contents from the bag and continue the plunge into a past pain,but I did. It was at that moment the date of April 25th snapped a synapse in my brain causing me to unleash years of built-up and hushed grief.... tears. TEARS.
Like those annoying bystanders and accident stalkers I begrudge on the highway who have to slow down to be part of the scene of the drama unfolding on their route, I too, had to rush to lock the door and have my drama. My cleansing. Why this particular day, this particular year, this particular moment? I'll never know, or at least I can't quite decipher today, but perhaps in time, I might be able to see it as some sort of sign or whisper from above. (I often do take those subtle hints from God as such signs).
Regardless, I had my April showers. I read through the emails and heart-felt cards sent to me during that sad and dark time. I touched my hospital admittance bracelet between my fingers with a longing for something gone. I dug and crawled and let go to the tunnel of despair I remember trudging through so many years ago as if the loss had happened just this year. I let myself just be. I texted my sister for reassurance and validation that I wasn't alone in needing to recall something so raw. I let myself go...back to feeling sorry for this incredible miracle gone....back to mourning a face I would never exchange soul glances with....back to that Labor day (yes, it's ironic and sick, isn't it.) I had my cleansing.
A few days later, I'm here wondering what great message God has for me. I have many theories; the start to cleansing my spirit as I enter into my forties is the first. Perhaps He is reminding me that like any garden or newly planted seed or the aged and vast fields and meadowlands, it takes the trickle of gentle showers and gushing rainstorms, sunshine, time and nature's blanket of love for growth to occur.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
It is time...
I decided long ago that the year of my 40th I was going to embrace the transition. I was going to behold the transformation...accept the decade...wrap my heart and spirit around it and welcome it with open arms. I am bound and determined to keep that promise to myself, but I am not still in my conviction.
I keep teetering that one of the few gifts I would like to give myself is that of a visit to a therapist. I do not feel I am emotionally unwell, nor do I think that I am mentally in need of a diagnosis of any kind. I simply want to allow my spirit to sing, and I think sometimes the noise of life keeps our spirit in a hush. I would like to give her a place where she can release all of the old cobwebs of regret, disappointment, sadness, fear, bitterness and send it off into a big birthday balloon, that inevitably will also cost an arm and a leg. Oh well.
What would I say?
I would speak of the fears that I have as I say goodbye to the thirties. I would share the secrets of the flaws and frailities I don't want anyone to know exist. I would unleash all of the dreams, pipe or not, that are bound up inside, so fragile and meek unable to fly.
They are beautiful things. You allow yourself to make them and some, though unrealistic, keep you young at heart and guided. Some, simply add to your already self-loathing and self-deprication because they haven't been reached...year after year. I have them both.
I have reached many: graduation from college, becoming the teacher I dreamt and aspired to be since childhood and traveling to Ireland. I found the love of my life, had my most fairy-tale-esque and magical wedding, received my masters in education and finally, became a mother...thrice. I have a dream-built-from-scratch- home and a yummy life in that home. All this...before the ripe ol' age of 30. I am blessed indeed and to those doubters, I'd say Yes, dreams do come true!
But what of the old ones? ...the quiet, dusty and hidden-away dreams that tend to get lost in the shuffle? What to do with these when life presents the realities that come with your blessings? Tangled in the chaos and noise of life are these little sweet and saddened voices that find their way to my heart and whisper to my soul... "what about me?" and religiously and habitually year after year, I gaze lovingly at them, silence them, give them a gentle pat on the head and whisper back, "not now, dear...not now."
I must not be alone in this debacle, right? Surely every person has found it inconvenient to make a dream come true? Surely each and every one of us balances the weight of regret taking a path this way rather than that way because of....fear? timing? insecurity? lack of confidence? lack of funds? responsibility? impracticalities? etc. etc. etc.
Insert response to therapist: these are only excuses, i am not brave. i have little willpower and i am afraid.
It comes down to that. I am about to check off the 40 and up box and I am still wallowing in the insecurities and self-abrasions of a young girl who is afraid. THAT, is what is holding me back. I could spew a hundred reasons why I should'nt go follow my first dream: there is no time, I have to work, who would watch the kids, how would we swing it financially, when would I have time when his work schedule is so screwy... blah blah blah. But what it comes down to on that dream is plain and as old as dirt: fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of letting myself down. Fear of fear.
So the grown up course of action here would be to say, screw fear and just try it! That's what I would say to my children. "You are larger than your fear. Fear cannot keep you from becoming who you are suppose to be. Fear is smaller and weaker than you. Fear is a door keeping you from entering into your true self..." ETC.
To begin my commitment to myself and my spirit...is to begin to let go of fear. THIS is a very difficult step, one I will willfully choose to try, but won't guarantee I'll be successful at. But I think I owe it to myself to not only recognize the whispers and unyielding yearning present, but the power it would be to leave this legacy of following a dream on to my children.
Birthday Wish #1: follow my dream.