The way I was raised, there wasn’t much you could do that was worse than going back on your word. If you said you would do something, be somewhere, help someone, well.. you damn sure better do it or die trying.
Sometimes it feels like that is exactly what I’m doing!!
How do you adjust your life to accommodate randomly waking up unable to get out of bed?
How do you explain cancelled lunches or dropped balls to people who are going full speed ahead? To people who are depending on you?
I had an amazing conversation with an old friend today.. two hours of catching up! We’ve never been close, but we’ve always had a connection. So many similarities.. parallels.. as she put it, “I’ve not had an easy life. I’ve had a good life, but it has never been an easy life”
Both of us have had so much loss.. dealt with more grief than it seemed possible to endure, but she’s had the ultimate life changing loss. Two years ago they lost their precious 4year old grandson to a horrible brain tumor.
When this baby got sick this entire county got behind the family. Benefits, meal trains .. they were surrounded in love by Ashe County.
I cried for them. I prayed for them. I thought about them.
But I didn’t call and offer myself, offer gifts of love and time.
Because I was a coward. Because I knew just the tiniest bit of what she was enduring, and I couldn’t face it.
It’s taken me two years to call this woman and cry with her. I’m thankful I did. Even more, I’m thankful she forgave me for being so late.
Today we marveled at the toll grief takes on the human body. The very real damage it has done to her body and mine. We talked about the paradigm of southern woman guilt. How we are programmed from birth to fix it, all of it, everything for everybody. When we can’t.. holyheifers…We sure know how to punish ourselves! How other people don’t understand how the process of mourning takes time. How it’s sometimes uncomfortable for people in our lives to be able to hold that space for us.
Taken a step further, I can see the guilt I have for not being able to fix ME so that I am able to be everything for everyone on my life. Rushing through so I can be back on my feet .. even though no one else expects that, it’s all me.
The guilt laden sin of being undependable.
So here I am, committed to the Odd Fellows St Patrick’s Day Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser on Saturday.
It’s Thursday night and I can barely stand up, and I’m a sight trying to walk a straight line.
If I go, I will have to endure the stares and questions. If I don’t go, I’m letting folks down.
Maybe I’ll just pretend I’ve had a wee bit too much Guinness and find a leprechaun to smooch 🙂
Much love from the Holler, Nancy