Day 2 – Prompt Day 19
Even though I had indicated already that I would likely skip around, I wanted to explain why I chose this one today. I was going to use day 2, then another day, but I had a very bad day, and the one thing that made me feel a little better, was thinking about family, pretty much gone from my life now. I thought of a number that has appeared very often in my family. Nineteen was the day my paternal grandmother passed away, and the only person with her, was my mother. Thirty years later, my mother passed away on the VERY same day as her, but just a different year of course. Many other things happened on this month and day in my family, and it seemed to have meaning to us. It was the 19th of March. So, just for the heck of it, I chose 19, and the prompt was about family…my jaw almost hit the ground. So I knew I had to do this prompt today.
I was not going to do a prompt today. I had a very bad day, and was not feeling positive in any way really. I was depressed today, the project feels never ending, I miss my beloved, my conditions are hard, and even painful, and after over three months doing this, I am worn out in every way. I am discouraged by a bunch of other things, and needing something encouraging, very badly. You know those days, where you just feel battered and alone? I felt that way all day today. I even broke out crying twice. I could not even figure out why. Upon reflection, part of me thinks it has to do with a sense of friction between me and my friend I have had all week (we talked it out tonight and I am feeling better by the way.) Part of me thinks I am just worn and tired and needing a long rest. Part of me thinks it is this awful bed I am having to sleep on that’s pinching my sciatic nerve and messing up my back, sleep, etc. But, a larger part of me thinks its grief trying to find a way to just happen. I miss my father terribly, and I really have not given my self the chance, nor have I had the time the past month, to just allow myself to feel bad and grieve. We all need that time, to release and let go, so we CAN feel better, and I just didn’t let that happen.
You see, this will be my first year ever celebrating Thanksgiving, without either parent in my life, even if at a long distance. I can no longer call my father up, and hear his warm voice on the phone and give him holiday wishes. He is gone now, and I think under some of the pain and pressure of my situation, its finally hitting me. I have not had my father in my life for a large portion of it, he was a bit absentee for most of it, after my parents split up. He also turned to alcohol, and hence it took a toll on his heart over the years, and that’s why he is now gone. And as a quick side note, I am going to address any of you that might be parents right now. PLEASE, I ask with all my heart, take care of yourself, for your kids, if not for you. I watched my mother suffer with illness for 17 years of my life, and then lost her in my thirties. I did not get to do usual mother and daughter things with her in my adulthood, that mother and daughter should get to do. I had to either watch her in pain with a terrible disease, or take care of her. I do not in any way begrudge taking care of her, it was my privilege to give anything back to an incredible mother. What I do feel bad about, is she did not take better care of herself. She took poor care and its part of the reason, aside from genetics, why she got sick. She deserved health and happiness, as much as I deserved a mother who was not suffering and we could enjoy life together. When other people went to high school graduation, I was rushing my mother to hospitals and doctors. Don’t get me wrong, her suffering was not in vain. She taught me a lot through it, which I will go into another time. I could NEVER ask for a better mother. I only wish she had taken care of herself, as it broke my heart to watch her suffer.
Then there is my dad. He pretty much drank until his heart could take no more. If he had gotten help and stuck with it, I would not have to be grieving him right now, and missing his wonderful smile and laughter. Please understand, I adore them both, and am not angry. I am only hurting and sad. So, I tell you this because, if you are a parent, or become one, please remember this story. Your kids need you healthy and whole, they need you to stick around, they want to share life with you, especially as you both get older. My mother smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day. My dad, well, the drinking. I want them back so bad, as they are amazing people, but people who were in pain. So, please, moms and dads, keep careful watch over your health, because losing you young, hurts so very badly. Do whatever you can to improve your life and health, your kids need you so much, even when they are older. You never stop being Mommy and Daddy, no matter how old your kids.
Okay, so I just wanted to say that, but moving on, I will say I cried a couple times today, but I kept going getting my work done. My mind has gravitated tonight toward Thanksgiving being Thursday, and missing them both so bad. I have lost others too, but I am not able to go into that yet. I need time, and perhaps even interaction one day to get quite that brave. For now, let’s just say, there are worse things than losing your parents. But I won’t focus on that now. What little family I do have left, a brother and his family, a couple uncles and aunts, and a scattered couple others, are on the east coast, and I am on the west. So, I can no longer celebrate holidays with any of my blood family. Its very painful. I miss them all so much, it aches until it burns. And that leads me to today’s prompt.
As I said, I was not going to do one today, it was just that bad of a day. But when I got in for the night, my heart and mind nudged me and thought, perhaps finding gratitude will chase away some of the pain. So, it was very fitting, that when I checked the 19th day prompt, it was about family! And now my mind turn’s to the light….
Once again, as I will every day, before I respond to the prompt, I wish to offer gratitude to Crystal Wilkerson, for not only creating these prompts, but for her graciousness in allowing me to use them here. You can find her wonderful work at this site: http://www.crystalwilkerson.com/
My response and thoughts to this prompt, are two-fold. One for what I did have, and two for what I currently have.
There is the past, the family that I had, the gatherings we used to have, the love I used to share with them, and the many warm and wonderful holidays, despite all the trials and sufferings we went through in between. In spite of everything we endured, when they were together, my parents worked hard to make holidays nice, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. After the split up, my mother continued to work so hard on that. I sometimes cry with a smile when I think of Thanksgiving dinner, or Christmas morning with them both, and my brother.
One other special note here, that I hold dear to my heart. When my father married my stepmother, my mother had already been very ill for more than half a decade (he had been married in between), so, well, sad to say, it somehow made it easier for them to be friendly with her, and for them to all be around each other. Now there’s something to ponder. Anyway, I invited them all over for a Thanksgiving one time, and they actually all came, as well as my brother and his family. I was fortunate enough, even with divorce and all, to have not only most all my closest family there, to be able to cook for them all, but also had BOTH my parents there with me too. I remember sitting at the table and looking at them all, and feeling such a profound moment of happiness, joy, and warmth, and almost as if my soul or mind had specific reason for committing to memory, every morsel of that moment that I could. Now I know why. That Thanksgiving and one birthday of mine, would be the last events I would ever have both my parents with me at the same time. I will remember it with utmost love in my heart forever. For that, I am SO grateful.
Then there is the present. For the better part of a half a decade or more, I spent Thanksgiving, largely alone, especially the past few years. But when I got out west, my friend…my best friend, took me in, and made her family mine. One Thanksgiving I spent alone, because I had been shut down and just wanted it to go by. But the following couple of years, I shared Thanksgiving with her, her husband, and two older boys. They treated me like family, and to this day, her and I are pretty much like sisters. This year and last year, a new addition to Thanksgiving has been added, my beloved other half. We have both spent it with her and her family, and I feel SO grateful for them in my life. It is my wish and hope, that next year, I can cook for it, and have people to our home. Also, my sweethearts family, has become mine. While we are not really close yet, I have spent a couple holidays with them, and it was really nice. His mother and I have only just started to get closer, and I truly think she is wonderful. I couldn’t have asked for a better woman to be the mother of my soulmate. And I am so grateful she raised him, exactly as she did. I might have lost most of my family from before, but I have new family now, and I really do feel gratitude for that. Also, I have not lost hope that I will see some blood family back east again someday, outside of a funeral that is.
Okay, so…yes I do feel a bit better. Of course, it is not a miracle cure, and all my troubles do not go away. But it gets me one step closer, to how *I* handle it better, and how I can change my perspective with time, care, and effort. The world will always be chaotic, but I know deep down we have the power to perceive it for better or for worse. I do not master that power right now, but I will not stop working toward it. That is my vow to myself. I will come out of these storms somehow, and both my parents struggles and sufferings will not have been in vain. I have learned so much from them, even their flaws and struggles. I quit smoking 20 years ago, and do not drink more than a drink or two a week, or sometimes even over months. Thanks to my mother’s strength and courage, I never did struggle with alcohol, and found the strength to give up the smoking, and have never gone back since. Thank you Mom! And thank you Dad, even with what has happened, you taught me a lot.
While I still am a bit burdened by current circumstances, thinking about these things definitely has lightened my load just a little bit, so it really does work. It just takes work. I really am grateful for the love in my life, past and present.
So, what do you think? I would love your feedback, your stories, how this might have touched you, or applied to your life. Is there family, or loved ones in your life you can perhaps find gratitude for, if you don’t already? If you do happen to do this prompt, I would love to hear your stories too. I love to learn from others.
If I do not post again, before the holiday, I wish you all a truly wonderful and loved filled Thanksgiving, and for those that do not celebrate it, I wish you a great and loved filled week!
Also, I am grateful for you, the reader…thank you for reading my verbose, yet heartfelt writings and thoughts.
With warmth and gratitude,
P.S. – I hope to do at least one more prompt before Thanksgiving, but there is a chance I might not get to it. I have one other thing to be grateful for, that does not totally apply to this prompt, but to the concept of being grateful. Upon many talks, and the pains my sweetheart and I have endured while I do this project away from each other for over three months now, we decided it was time for me to have a break. We agreed to come up with the money to get a storage unit up by home, and he is coming this weekend to not only share Thanksgiving with me and my friend’s family, but on Sunday, he is taking me home. He is going to rent a truck, load up whatever stuff is left, and bring home to put into storage for me to go through, until it is done, and we can get rid of the extra bill for that storage. I am so glad for that, because I definitely need a rest. A couple weeks downtime, and I think I can tackle the rest of this project. So, getting this stuff packed up, especially the loose stuff I’ve got laying around, is going to take a mad dash and burst of energy to get done, so that we can get back, and get him to work on time Monday. So, I may or may not get in any posts between now and next week, but you can be sure I will be back as soon as I get a quick breather. Its all crazy here, but I really am grateful for the good things.
P.P.S. – I started this post before midnight west coast, so I am counting it as getting done in succession. 😉 It’s something!