(Photo Credit: Permission granted by Cynthia Angeles)
(“Grief” oil painting by Cynthia Angeles. http://paintingsbycynthia.com)
The past few weeks I have seen things that I have not seen in years, and I mean years. For instance, Mom and I opened the cedar chest last week. She wanted to see if there was anything in it that I wanted to keep. The chest holds memories from my childhood, which contains everything from diaper pins, who remembers using these instead of Pampers, to my dad’s honorable discharge from the United States Navy. I held the yellowed-paper in my hand the whole time we plundered through every piece of precious memorabilia. Somehow scouring through the past evoked a sense of loss for me. Maybe it’s God’s way of speaking to me and saying that it’s okay to let go. That we all must let go, sooner or later.
It’s done. The papers are signed, and the rent is paid. I, on the other hand, am trying to keep the faith that what is happening is a good thing, the right thing. Mom seems ready, and she talks about her new home with childlike excitement.
God, while this is wonderful, I can’t help but feel distressed?
I can’t, for the life of me, understand why I go to bed thinking about her move and wake up thinking about it.
Why am I wearing myself out over something that, I truly believe, will make her happy?
But . . . I can’t help thinking . . .
What if Mom, after the new wears off, hates her new home?
What will I do to make it better?
What if – what if – what if?
At times, I simply do not know what to do next. Downsizing a home with over thirty years of stuff is no easy task, especially when Mom looks to me as her go-to person whenever she has questions.
Most days I’m running on pure adrenaline. I’m anxious all the time, but I think I hide it well. And at the the end of the day, I’m too exhausted to sleep, which makes the next day harder to get through. Today I feel overwhelmed. I’ve been weepy all day, too. Ask me, “why,” and I’ll say, “I don’t know. I simply don’t know.” I can’t help it, or stop it, either. I feel foolish.
Today I gave my Dad’s beloved little Boston Terriers to a friend. Mom cannot take them where she is going. Daddy adored them, he loved all animals. He spent, according to Mom, “a fortune” feeding the birds and squirrels. It was bitter-sweet watching my friend and her husband carry them in their arms and place them in their truck. I gave them the doghouse, new bedding and a large bag of food. Somehow I thought that would ease my conscious, but the guilt of not being able to bring them home myself overwhelmed me. My tears flowed like blood from an open wound. Mom tried to comfort me. She couldn’t, because she cried, too. The “girls,” as my dad called them, are next to the last connection that I have to my dad. After his and Mom’s house is sold, the material connection will be lost.
My dad will always live in my heart, but to let go of the things that he loved crushes my spirit.
Today, God, I need you.
Today I need to feel you moving in me and through me.
Today I need strength to move forward.
Today I am sensing loss – the loss of my dad, his “girls,” and his guidance.
Help me to be a better person, a stronger person.
Help me to help Mom with her life-changing transition.
For it is because of your love and your sacrifice and the relationship that I have with you that I feel confidant in asking these things.