You know the problem with resolve.... of course you do. It is so easy in theory, such a challenge in execution. The month of May demanded more time than I had energy to put into it. Maybe emotional burn out, maybe laziness, maybe just exhaustion but I got up this morning, fed the kitties, made a pot of coffee, put on my Skechers and walked. Nothing monumental but it's a start and with another new month on the horizon, I once again have resolve. I miss writing. I miss the comfortable feeling of letting words bubble to the surface and then pop onto the page. I love the feeling of less clutter in my frontal lobe (if that's really where it originates) and I love the feeling of satisfaction that comes with fulfilling a promise made to myself.
The feelings of dread and foreboding disappeared when I got a phone call last Monday that my sweet writer friend had been in a dreadful accident. It was as if my psyche could finally quit searching for the impending disaster. She is recovering by some miracle but she has a challenging time ahead of her and I know she can use any assistance Heaven has to offer, so in your whispers to Heaven, remember her. She is like a spunky little Humpty Dumpty and all the kings horses and all the kings men...and women, are rallying to put her back together again !! I need to see her with my own eyes, just to know that she is doing as well as she can... tomorrow I will.
Mom's catheterization went well. No blockages but some concerns that we will address with a cardiologist next week. I'm so grateful that the people I love are still on the planet but so many challenges once again raised the questions in my own mind as to "Why?" Bad things do happen to extremely good people. But are they making the sacrifice for us? To give us the opportunity to extend ourselves...to reaffirm our appreciation for those ordinary moments that I am so fond of? Do they suffer and break and embrace helplessness so that we have the opportunity to put someone else first?
I remember an episode of the original Star Trek. You remember, the Star Trek with the incredibly scary alien's face that appeared with the final credits? Anyway, in the one episode that I remember so clearly, a woman with the ability to heal is placed in a room with Dr. McCoy who has been wounded or is very sick while her Alien captors, or mentors, watch from behind a one way glass. They are testing her to see if she is indeed ready to accept her place in their world. She looks at McCoy with such compassion but pulls away, knowing that she will have to take on all of his pain in order to heal him. The observers are not sure that she has matured enough to give of herself to that extent. Ultimately she does. Her agony is difficult to watch but despite her pain, she is grateful to have had the opportunity to test herself and her selflessness.
I want to believe that I have it in me to be that selfless... I'm not sure. I know that I would not have hesitated for a second to give my life for Shannon's. My consolation... a thought that gave me comfort in the weeks following her return to Heaven, was that she would never have to experience the pain of losing someone she loved.... not in this lifetime anyway.... and if I had been willing to do anything for her in life... I certainly couldn't let her down in 'death'. So here we are... still breathing, still taking it one step at a time and really feeling the joy when it's given.
This weekend, I think about all of the incredible men and women, away from their families, facing the fear of unknown adversaries, taking on the enormous task of protecting our way of life. They make me so proud. That is the ultimate in selflessness and most of them will never know how grateful I am.
No one wants war. Not President Bush or President Obama or any of the leaders that came before. It makes me sad to hear talk to the contrary... politics doesn't make men less honorable or callous, but it can appear that way. I have to believe that, as Oprah says, when we know better, we do better and we learn a little more every day.
Memorial Day gives us a day to specifically remember with pride and gratitude the selflessness of family, friends, neighbors and strangers who were willing to make great sacrifices on behalf of all of us. I think that maybe all of those, not just soldiers, but anyone who has gone on before us, draws a little closer on Memorial Day. I think when we slow down enough, when we relinquish our place at the center of the universe and trust that the earth will continue to spin even if we take a short break.... we open ourselves a little wider to the love that they continue to send.
I'm not real sure where I was intending to go when I sat down to write, but I feel better that I did. Once again, I've made the resolve to find my way back tomorrow and the next day and we'll see how that works out. For today, I plan to remember....with absolute gratitude not only those who have "left", but those who are still here, still giving, still searching, still trusting, still sacrificing, still protecting.