Saturday, March 31, 2007

Changed

Something is different. Something has shifted - twisted - settled - rested.

I feel different. I feel.... better.

It happened gradually, but I've been quite mindful during the shift. After a year of heaviness and pain and cloudy grief, I've turned a corner and I feel my energy returning. It feels really, really good.

I still have my moments, have no doubt, but I'm able to navigate them with less apprehension and more acceptance, knowing they will continue to come and I'll survive them. Cherish them, even. I still have to be careful to not stamp this journey complete, but I feel it is in keeping with who my father was to carry on and live a full life and feel as much joy as I can feel.

The other day, feeling too confident in my new shift, the hospital scenes flashed before me for just a moment, just long enough to feel the bolt of pain that accompanies the visions and to be reminded that even though a wound may heal, the visceral memory is there for a long, long time - perhaps forever.

We had another visitation the other night, this time of an elderly cousin of my paternal grandmother's generation, Fran Spelman. She was an incredibly sweet person and it is hard to imagine a world with one less truly-good person in it, but she lived a healthy, long life, and is survived by a beautiful clan of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. While in the visitation line, I was watching the adorable children weaving in and out of legs, smiling at their lively spirits in spite of the sadness. And when we drove off, we saw the sweetest sight - a gaggle of Fran's great-grandchildren, all dressed in their spring finest, skipping off toward the nearby park, all smiles and pigtails and untucked shirts. I commented how kids actually enjoy these events for the opportunity to be with all their cousins in one spot for several days. And what greater legacy can one leave than a brood of children with beaming smiles for each other. Fran would smile at the thought.

Since we held my father's visitation at the local high school, the principal took the kids to the gymnasium to play. He was like the pied piper, marching down the hallway with key in hand, a trail of children of various sizes following like a row of ducklings. Occasionally, one of the older kids would come out for a check-in, flushed from play, and happy for the chance to run off the pent-up energy. It was the perfect set-up, and my father would've thought the idea just grand.

I must have cried all the tears I have, because for the first time ever, I attended two visitations without crying. Ordinarily, I cry at the sight of another person in tears, at the mere thought of people's sadness, at the very idea of attending such a sad event. But I haven't cried lately. It feels odd, yet okay. I've mourned from my very soul, cried for hours and days, and plunged into my grieving with arms open in submission. And I've come out the other side.

I'm sure the journey has only begun in some ways. My mom loaned us a CD with video footage from Panama, for us to show the kids in preparation for our trip. But she warned me that my father is on it, and so it sits, unwatched. Still photos are one thing - video of him living and breathing, well, I guess I'm not ready for that.

Today in the car, as Brady changed out of his soccer gear and into street shoes, I saw him with different eyes... he's grown so much this year, and I could just burst when I look at him and see who he's become. And it struck me what a powerful thing it is, to look upon this person who came from me, who is of me. And then I thought of myself, and how I'm from my father and mother, I'm of them. And I smile. I honor the circle.

So I'm back to things that, for the past year, were either done on auto-pilot or set aside altogether - running the kids to and fro, volunteering for all sorts of events and groups, complaining about trivial things, and making plans. I am grateful to my friends for their patience, to my husband for his calm and healing presence, to my kids for honoring my need to put things on hold for a while, and to my mom and siblings for sharing their own healing journey with me.

And in the true spirit of my father, that's enough laying around... let's get a move on. Or as he might've said, "Let's hit 'er in the shitter." (Such a lovely sentiment, eh?) :-)

~Namaste~

1 comment:

the Goddess diana said...

Spring is such a good reminder of the cycles... the rain is friend to the Earth as tears are friend to the Soul. The flowers are a'comin'
♥ ♥ reminder to Self ♥ ♥