A walk through the pain caves. The only way out is through……….
As we begin our first few weeks of 2014, I find myself reflecting on what was a true roller coaster year. I am so very blessed with a wonderful life, a husband who I love and who adores me, two healthy children and a very loving family back home in England. I am happy and healthy and live a fairly stress- free life. But, health is something we all too often take for granted, until major life changes come our way.
My parents are still alive, and have been happily married for 61years. My mother still reigns at the matriarch of our family, so when she suddenly became very ill, in July, it put me and my family into a complete tailspin.
When a loved one falls gravelly ill, it seems like the world shifts, that it goes out of place. The things that carry so much importance normally, suddenly no longer matter. Time changes, our mood changes and our accustomed level of happiness is jeopardized. When we go through times of stress, our view on life changes. Adrenaline races though our bodies, our stomach feels like it’s in knots and we often have trouble sleeping. Stress will slowly kill you if you don’t get a handle on it. This I know.
This past year dealing with my mother’s illness, I had a lot of time to think.
For most of my life, I have lived by my philosophy , “Everything happens for a reason and that reason is to benefit me” . It is a philosophy I intentionally chose, so that I would be in charge of my emotions and never be a victim. These words of wisdom work wonders when things are going well, but when life suddenly changes or circumstances send you in a downward spiral, it is hard to maintain this oulook.
Recently, a friend of mine suffered the loss of her teenage daughter in a tragic accident. A fate no parent should ever have to face. Such an overwhelming, devastating loss. There is nothing anyone can do or say to take away her pain.
As I sank into sadness with these situations- my mother’s illness my friend’s loss, a situation that no amount of money or time can fix, I was lost and unable to make things right. I cried, I prayed, I chanted, I meditated, I medicated and finally surrendered to God. As we wander through the pain caves, the only way out, is to find our way through them. There is always sunshine at the other side. The question is how long is the walk?
To hear a mother speak on the loss of a child is heartbreaking. It makes me want to fully appreciate the good times, the quiet times, even the boring times, but the times when life is easy, when our loved ones are around, the times we always take for granted. I thanked God that none of us know what the future holds. Would we be able to live our lives if we did? Or would we live them so much better?
Thankfully through the graces of God an abundance of prayer from all over the globe and the help of modern medicine, my mother finally was able to recover from her long illness and was recently released from the hospital. My friend I am sad to say, has a long and difficult road ahead of her. She is embraced by an outpouring of love from her community in remembrance of a young girl who was truly loved, by those around her.
Her words at the memorial pierced my soul and melted my heart. “Forgive a little sooner, love a little stronger, hold your loved ones a little dearer, because nobody knows what the future holds.”
My wish for all of 2014 and the coming years, is that I will hold onto these words and remember. That I will live them and experience them and be present in grace and in light.
January 22, 2014