Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What It Looks Like From Here

There is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels for someone, for someone, pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echos.
Milan Kundera 

I feel too much...all the time. 
There are a lot of rules--"shoulds" and "ought tos". 
The news rubs me raw, so I do not watch it. Maybe it is because I feel it all so intensely that the world scares me. Maybe that is what you see in my small world that looks like control, sounds like me judging.

It might be that my mother was the unchanging, solid piece of my life-- that makes me so passionate about being the "mother" that I am. 

My grandfathers died before I was born, so I did not know them and my father was sick my whole life died when I was 17. It was my father-in-law that healed some of those tender spots in me. He delighted in his grandchildren, giving them the gift of his time and attention. He treated me as a daughter and the love and nurturing he gave filled holes in me that I didn't realize were as vast. A sense of security of "knowing" you are cared for, As cancer was robbing us of him, I did what I could to make all of our time count. I knew what it was like to have illness take away what was "normal" as a kid. So I stressed over how to keep life as normal as possible for my children,being honest with them as we helped Grampa on his journey away from us. I pushed the family to do all they could to have "no regrets". It was another loss, too soon and I grieved deeply.

It is definitely all the illnesses that has made the telephone something I shun. 3 of my sister's 4 children with hereditary pre-cancerous polyps requiring major surgery, and their father, my brother-in-law died of cancer in his stomach, my other brother-in-law battled synovial carcinoma in his brain for 11 years. There was multiple brain surgery, chemo and radiation and the loss of his eye---try to explain those things to his nephews and niece and prepare them to see him and to lose him. There has been my nephew's burns from an explosion and a serious motorcycle accident. My niece's surgery for Thyroid cancer and her sister's surgery that exposed ovarian cancer and all the treatments to beat that.    
My brother's diagnosis with leukemia and his bone marrow transplant that I donated to him just 5 weeks after the birth of my second son. There was the hernia operations on my other brother and the complications that made him septic and caused his death. There was the 10 days in we spent in Children's with my 2 and a half year old whose appendix had ruptured and filled her abdomen with poison, surgery on my 2 yr olds face to remove a pyogenic granuloma and the emergency room trip when he was hit by a batted golf ball that split open his cheek. Luckily it was not a bit higher or over to the left---missing blindness or death. We won't talk about losing my mother.

It could be that all of this and more makes me seem to need to be in control, makes me sound like I am judging or pushing or holding on too tight. The world is uncertain, scary and loud so I hang on tight hoping that "home" will always feel secure. 

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