musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Goodbye, 2017.

I begged the spirit world, the gods and goddesses or whatever deities were in attendance, to not take you from me in this depraved year. The year began in a menacing and unkind way. Mom died on January 23rd, Donald Trump’s first official day in office. Miraculously though, I had been with her, trying to warm her legs, which had turned blue from lack of circulation, and trying to feed her a nutritional drink, to keep her strength up. I am grateful for my presence, watching over her while you went to your doctor’s appointment, but she had already decided that it was time. You reminded me later, when I told you that I still had not cried and could not be completely sad, that in her opinion, it was well past time. “I’ve had enough of this life,” she said, years earlier.

You were completely devoted to each other, and now I realize that you both stayed here, beyond what you thought was sensible, for each other.

It is late December now, and you have left to be with her, despite my fervent, selfish hopes. In one of your more lucid moments, during the delirium, you said, “whatever happens has to happen.” In one of my more spiritual moments, I might believe that. On a good day, I might trust in that. You even reached up periodically to the ceiling of that bright hospital room, to your partner, asking to be claimed and to be reunited.

And yet, I still find myself, in dense waves, questioning every moment of those nightmarish, Felliniesque days (and, in fact, the 10-1/2 months prior). This discontent and self-doubt leads to the type of regrets that can rip apart the flesh and poison the soul.

There is no point to any of that, you would say. To beat myself up for what might have been had I done this, what might not have happened had I done that, is a waste of energy and an invitation to madness.

Instead, I will trust in the course of events and the passage of time. I will focus on the positives. Shock is the universe’s way to roust us from spiritual slumber. Once awake, we can open our eyes and see beyond the appearance of things to discover new possibilities and realize the truth.

The truth, for me, is this. As much as I wanted your life to be happier, more enjoyable and fulfilling, after mom died, there was only so much I could do. You had lost your soulmate and your motivation for holding it all together. There was simply too much of the past for me to unravel and mend, while the present forced itself upon us cruelly. And as much as you wanted me to be happier, there was just so much you could do. I had to take the initiative to honor myself, believe in my own value and be kind yet firm in my interactions with others.

I will do that now, in your memory.

And when, not if, I am successful, I will believe that the two of you will then share in my joy and my sense of purpose.

It is the only way forward.

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1 Comment

  1. lizi reese

    Julie this is beautiful, an exquisite portrayal of the love that binds your family.
    Know this. You have been a most loyal and devoted daughter, not only with your presence in their lives, but with your deep delving mind that sought to bring them peace, and some happiness, and sought always to understand.
    You will go forth now with confidence and freedom and have your adventures, and I for one, wish you all the happiness, fun, and contentment you deserve.
    Your friend, Lizi xo

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