Tuesday, July 22, 2014

One More Moment With My Mom

This week I was once again face to face with a part of life that is something most, if not all, wish to avoid.  We treat it as that long lost forgotten part that we'd just like to leave hiding in the closet.  I'm referring to life and death that we all face.

Sure, when we were young, we didn't give much thought to our death.  We were born and we had our entire life before us.  However, the older I get and I hate the thought of getting old, I realize that my life is essentially half over.  It raises many questions from have I done enough and am I doing all that I need to do. It reminds me to ask myself the question of what really matters.

So much of what we do in a day and so much of what evokes our strongest reactions isn't necessarily what matters.  In our final moments, many of these things will be long forgotten and hardly a blip on our radar.

Its been said time and time again to take each moment and cherish it and honor it because at any time, it could be our last.  As I witnessed a funeral today, I was once again reminded of that fact.  Some of us may know that our moments are numbered and were quickly running out of them, but many don't have a clue when their will be no more balance in our life bank.

Today in the funeral, I could not help but think of my own mom's passing many years ago.  I still remember the phone call that night from my younger brother who I had not spoken to in some time.  Somehow, I knew what was coming, but I wasn't prepared for it.  I don't think you can ever be prepared for it.

As the details unfolded, I felt numb.  I wasn't sure I really felt anything at all to be honest.  I was in disbelief.  It all happened so fast.  A car accident that took her long before I thought it was time.  There was no time to take one or two minutes back before it happened.  There was no warning, unless you count my dreams of the car accident when I was just a kid.

I was holding together.  I was trying to be strong.  I didn't want anyone to see my weakness of grief through tears.  Big boys don't cry.  What a cruel thing were taught in this world.

I had not been able to talk with my mom in years because of the abuse I suffered through in my family.  I had been described as the outcast one.  I was the one brainwashed by psychotherapists and hospital staff.  I was the "crazy" one or so that's what my family told everyone.

It was a decision I made many years prior to this that I had to cut off contact with my family.  They were driving me nuts and causing me great anxiety.  It was my only way to survive and begin to find myself.  Letting them go was one of the hardest things I have ever done and coming from someone that suffered through a Conversion Disorder with complete paralysis, that says a lot!

It was a gaping hole in my life that could not be filled.  Yes, I had tried to go on in life and fill it in, but there is no substitute for a biological family.   If there is, I have not found it in all my years of searching.  It doesn't matter how abusive or toxic the relationship is, that biological connection is as critical to life as breathing.  Its difficult to fully let go.

Fast forward to this moment today when I came face to face with my own specs of grief that still haunt me; I cried tears of pain.  I so badly wish I had one more moment with my mom.  I wish I could have talked to her one more time.  I wished I could have felt her embrace, her hug or her words.

She was an amazing lady that put up with so much and sheltered me from some moments of abuse that were coming my way.  She was an amazing lady with a heart that wanted to help everyone, even if she could not find a way to help herself escape the horrors we all faced.  She understood me like no other and she had a way with connecting with other people.

But today, I once again wanted one more moment with my mom.  I wanted it in person.  I wanted that physical connection that I know is no longer available.  There were so many things I wanted to hear from her, and yet those words will never be spoken to me.

Yes, I feel her around me.  I sense her presence.  I feel her warmth and love, but I long for one more moment with my mom.  My tears have slowed down, but they can still be coaxed into existence.  The pain I feel to this day is still real, even though it has healed so much.

In those days following the funeral of my own mom, I wrote many of the songs on my very first CD that I shared with the world.  Dancing With Life was my way of working through the pain.  It was my way of speaking through the pain with my mom.

Don't take for granted what is today.  Don't worry about those things that the masses are worked up about because at the final few moments of life, it will not be what is on our mind.  Do all you can with what you have today in this moment.

In 1991, I had a moment where I saw the white light and saw myself leaving the hospital gurney I was on.  Even though the message to me at that moment was that it was not my time, it took me a long time to fully understand and connect with what happened that day.  I know firsthand that our moments are not guaranteed in the future.

For me, I was given a second chance, but for my mom, there was not one more moment.  Yet, that day was indeed a major turning point in my life (both my own life and death and that of my mom's passing).  It was one of those life changing moments and I continue to walk forward into the light, realizing that there is so much more for me to do.

To my mom and to all those that have lost someone, I feel your pain.  I feel the loss.  I know it gets easier, but they will always be a part of your life no matter what transpires in your day.  The connection of someone so close and dear is not a bond that will be lost or forgotten easily.  Hug the ones you love.   Let them know today what they mean to you and cherish every moment you spend in the arms of their love.

Blog Post And Images (c) 7/16/14 by Don Shetterly

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