Monday, January 18, 2010

sittin' with my candle....

last nite as i was washing my face,
i saw a spot on my forehead...just a
blemish...a zit kinda thing that'll go
away...but it made me think of my dad.

he had this spot on his forehead that
was there for years and years.

from the first moment i saw it, i felt
it was an outward manifestation of the
anger that was inside of him.

and it stayed and stayed.
and every time i saw it, i thought of
that. sometimes it would really flare up
and be really red and other times it would
just be there. and i would always think of
the anger that he held.

thinking of that brought me back to his
hospital room as he lay dying.

i had gone in real early one day. real
early. i wanted to beat the family and
get in to have my very own time with him.
so i was there before sunrise.

he had a great window in his room. the best
window i've ever seen in a hospital room.
you could really see the sky. day broke
while i stood there next to my dad. i could
look from the sky to dad and back again.

i was saying goodbye to him and telling him
that i loved him and i was crying as i did
so. i looked at that spot on his forehead
and took my tears and gently, so very gently,
rubbed them onto that spot of his.

as i sat with my candle this morning, i went
back to all of that. that's the most profound
moment regarding my dad of my life. it was
my goodbye.

so then i went to my mom. what moment comes
out like that? she's still here. so what's the
moment with her?

the answer was immediate. the memory was quick.
i was the one to tell her that someone she
loved so much had just killed herself. i was
the one to hold her while she wailed.

i have never held anyone before while they
wailed. it's a feeling i'll never forget.

another memory came...

i remembered holding her tightly
while i explained to her that dad was gonna

i had walked in later on all of that. talked
to fewer medical people, and yet, my brother
and mother still didn't understand....he was
dying. and i had to tell them.

i thought of all this stuff as i sat with
my candle.

i thought of a buncha things....the deaths
we've experienced as a family. the traumas.
and the secrets that have been entrusted to
me that no one else knows.

i thought of standing there holding people,
of standing there holding secrets. of helping
people thru...of keeping secrets that feel too
much to hold sometimes...

and as i thought, the tears ran down my face.

without thinking, i put my hands on my forehead.
i held my face in my hands. and then i remembered
that blemish on my forehead and i took my tears
and i rubbed them on it and i showed myself the
same compassion and love i had shown my dad.

and then i held my shoulders and thought of my
mom wailing....and me holding her....and i let
my insides wail. i let it echo thru my veins.
and i held myself and allowed myself to not be
okay for a moment.

and then i thought of who i was.
and how the worst moments in my life, i was
alone. doin' what i had to alone.

i like that part.
that's not a bad part.
that's an empowering part.

i am strong and i need to see it.
i am strong and i need to hold it.
i am strong and i need to use that strength
inside me.
i am strong and i need to use that strength
to offer my stories.

i am strong and i need to use that to know
that all that i've experienced has been a gift.

all of it.

not just some of it.

but all of it.

including the stuff that makes me shudder.
including the stuff that makes me choke up and
cry when i tell it.

all of it.

as i look out the window at the sky this morning,
the tears come again. there's been a lotta anger
in me the last few days over unresolved things...

this morning, right now, for the moment, there's
this breath takingly awed gratitude for every bit
of it.

it's my life.
it's the biggest, fullest gift i'll ever get.

and i don't feel angry about it this morning.
i feel awed by it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's my usual response to your writing.
But today---WOW!

And YES!