Hard Times and Strong Women

I once saw an interview with a man who had suffered a tragedy. The reporter asked him how he was and his thoughts on moving forward. His answer was one I will never forget:

“It is what it is and it ain’t getting no isser”

Bottom line is that life is life, and it really doesn’t matter of we like whats going on or not. We just have to deal with it as best we can.

And so, with shaky knees, I move forward. I hear the whisper in my ear “Always remember who. You. Are.” Because at the end of the day, whatever you are, you have to live with it.

And so I remember who I am. And I hold my head high, even when I don’t feel like it. Because in life, you can’t just stop. That’s not an option.

So it’s going to be hard, it’s going to hurt, it’s going to be the most difficult thing. And so what? None of us gets a pass on this one. We tend to want hide it up, wash it down and turn off the light.  But then there it is, staring you right in the face, in the mirror. So instead, here it is raw and unpolished in all of it’s beauty.

There is strength in blood. There is strength at the bottom of your heart that goes deep down into the deepest parts of the soul. And that is where the good stuff is, the gold. That is from where our strength comes.

My brother came down this weekend, with his two sons. And as we all sat down around the table or outside on the deck, it was truly good to see them. Good to laugh and and share their memories of our father and enjoy the company of family.

And as they are here, my family, I find that sleep is sound at night. A house, a home, should be filled with family and love. Faith, laughter, tears, and everything that comes with it.

Because when things get tough you have to get through, you just have to. You reach deep down, where the soul meets the heart, and you pull yourself up. You remember who you are and from where. You rise, you pray, you claw, and you stay persistent. Because it won’t always be this hard. And you take million baby steps, one heart beat at a time, and keep your faith.

It can be so hard though, when you are exhausted.  It can be hard when you are perpetually taking care of someone. It is brutal when the house is quiet and still and lonely. And you just want to curl up under a blanket and have someone help you, gently, softly, kindly. When you want a cup of tea, but don’t want to get off the couch or out of the bed to make it.

This week has been indescribable.  But the obituary is done, the flowers and plants are ordered, the caterer has been notified, the service has been picked out, complete with bible verses, songs and scriptures that I have carefully chosen. I should get the final word on the reception venue tomorrow.  And almost everything has been done, while hosting and taking care of a house full of people. It is difficult to plan an entire memorial service by yourself. The, upside is that I have slept well , with people here filling the house.  But I am exhausted burning both ends and the middle of the candle.

Because you can only take care of others for s long before you become an empty vessel.  It is time for me to take a break from all of this care.  With the sad and exilerating realization that I no longer have anyone to take care of in my life but me, I wonder what am I going to do?

Refill.  Not sure how yet, but it is coming.  It must. First thing is to go up to Blue Ridge with a gift certificate left over from the holidays.  Pampering.  And being in the mountains, maybe renting a little cabin, where I can relax, breath and reset. I can go hiking for the first time in so long, and reconnect with nature.

I am tired of takers and those who don’t give back, tired of being the strong one, tired of taking care of everything myself and tired of running on an empty tank.   I need to be looked after and cared for for a while in companionship and friendship. So much has been lost, it is time to find those parts of my soul again. It is time to pray and feel the answers. It is time to have a normal life, like I had before when I was so blissful. I have done right by my parents, now it is time to do right by me.

I was told that I must take care of myself during this grieving process which is something that has been hard up until now, because it seems that everyone else needed everything first.

And as friends help me, hold me and make sure I am not alone while I sleep, I can start the process of shedding this weight.  All of the responsibility, the expectations, the Q&As, all of the everything. And it starts with arms around me as I sleep.

And I know, I will be OK. Because of who I am. Because of who they taught me to be.

Note: I am so very thankful and blessed for my friends at this time. They are my saving grace right now. Cards, calls, messages, visits, thoughts, prayers and so much love.Thank you and much love.