I remember it like it was yesterday. I brushed her hair back, held her hand, and told her it was ok to let go. Telling her my biological sister wasn’t coming. Then I remember her husband yelling “STOP! JUST STOP! She’s not coming back. Get that shit off my wife.” and then I remember collapsing in a heap of sobs. Much of that night is clear, yet some parts are a blur. I remember the nurses allowing us to sit with her as long as we wanted. I held her hand. I cried. Standing there, seeing her body was absolutely life-changing.
I have seen grandparents pass. That upset me, but not like this. The woman who physically gave me life, and became my best friend after years apart-left me. You read that right. At that time I was angry. Angry at her, angry at life. She left me and that’s it. We had finally reached an amazing level of love and peace from the past, and she left me.
I was raised by my parents whom I love and adore. They gave me a wonderful life, and they are my parents, whether the biological facts say so or not. I was an angry teenager, and how they dealt with it I will never know. When I was 13 I told her not to speak to me again until I was 18. She listened. When I was going to officially be adopted at 16, she asked me one time if I wanted her to fight it, and I told her I hope she died. So she backed out. She faded in the back again, yet I came to find out later she had kept tabs on me. Followed my MySpace, my Facebook. Then, on my 18th birthday she sent me a message and told me her phone number, email, and address, and left it at that-up to me. I took that chance to get to know her, and I’m so glad I did.
At 20 I got pregnant. She was there every step of the way and was so supportive. She was also honest with me. She believed I’d be a great Mom, but feared my relationship with my daughter’s father. I was too clingy, too involved, and quite dramatic at the time; the relationship was really quite unhealthy altogether. When I finally had my daughter she came to visit and since she first set eyes on her, she named her “Livvy Luv” and doted on her every move. She fell in love with her first grand child and it was one of the most beautiful things to watch evolve before my eyes.
She was there during the separation from my daughter’s dad a year later, making sure the child was always the priority, and making sure I knew the pros and cons of each of my choices. Drama occurred and I always grabbed the phone to call her. She would contribute to my pity party and then after I wallowed for a while she’d bring me back to reality and being an adult. She lived in Kentucky, and I in Minnesota, so we Skyped each holiday and I called her every chance I could. Due to lack of money we couldn’t make it to her wedding. The one I was to be the Maid of Honor for. It broke my heart. I cried myself to sleep for a while. She was pretty upset, and yet found the ability to forgive me. Which brings me to my next thought from today’s lesson.
Forgiveness. This woman whom I owe my actual existence to is gone in a physical sense. Forgiveness. This woman had to withstand the nastiest comments from an angry teenager. I said so many horrible things, and it wasn’t until she passed that among her personal things I saw them. I saw each email, each comment, each letter. She had kept all of them. In the 7 years we were reconnected she never even hinted a grudge. Holding any sort of ill-will whatsoever. Forgiveness. As I had forgiven her mistakes, she had forgiven mine. I remember going through her belongings and not wanting to throw or give away anything. Nothing at all. I clung to her clothes, her pictures, her items she had made and bought for our kids (I had a son the year before she passed). I clung to them and returned home with what I could fit on the plane.
She passed in March of 2014, and I got married in July of that same year. I remember wishing she had been there. I remember the feeling of unfairness that pained my heart, and the “she has the best seat in the house” comments. It wasn’t the same. I wouldn’t see her fussing over the kids. I wouldn’t have her insist she take them and love on them. I wouldn’t have her giving my husband-to-be that speech of “If you hurt her so help me-“. I wouldn’t have any of that-and I didn’t.
Now, almost 3 years later, it hits me. My kids knew her when she was alive. They knew Grammy and Poppy lived far away and they knew Grammy loved them so much. She painted Livvy Luv a chest with her name on it, and the Grammy Song they made up together. She painted a little table for both kids, and made blankets and pillows. But that’s just stuff. The kids won’t be kids forever. Eventually the things she created will be given away, stored away, or thrown away. I have clung to all these items-until today.
You see, I set my intention today to find clarity in something. I will be honest-what I wanted clarity for was not anywhere near this subject, I’m very good at locking up emotions when I truly want to. But instead, I found clarify in losing her. Clarity that it isn’t the stuff she made, or the presents for the kids she bought, it was the message her life made clear. There is no expiration date on change. No conditions in which you should or shouldn’t love. Those items I clung to because she made them, I wasn’t clinging to them for the reasons I thought. I was clinging because the truth is the memories are fading. I can’t smell her anymore. I can’t hear her voice. Each time I try to remember it, it’s just not quite her voice. I can’t think of some of our talks, but I remember having so many. I can’t remember every smile, every tear, or every “I love you”.
But that’s not the point now is it? I found clarity. Clinging to things won’t bring her back, or lessen the pain, or even help me remember her. I will always miss her, always; but I will also always be grateful for her. For once again, when I wanted something and didn’t get it-I rejected life and all it had to offer. Clarity. The clearest thing that I learned today is something I cannot believe I didn’t see at first: I am going to be okay. The signs are all around me, always have been. I need to pay attention, and at each level of understanding, reach out, and accept and release it. For I can only control me. Acceptance…….and release.
Clarity. I intended to reach it, and I did today. It wasn’t what I thought I needed clarity on, but it was a deep sense of calm and understanding when it became clear. Each intention is becoming harder and harder to accept and release-but it is so worth it when you do.
Love to all.