Cue the Rocky Balboa Theme Song
I have been silent for quite some time now. There are times in life when, despite our best efforts, we sink below the surface, unable to tread water, no longer willing to keep our hearts and minds in hopeful expectation of better days. I remember reading once, in some self-help book, that we humans are moved to change our lives only when we experience extreme joy or unimaginable pain. I can certainly attest to the latter.
These past two years of familial estrangement have been a journey of confusion, longing, heartache and loss. There have been moments of acceptance, attempts to move on from the rejection and the pain, but they have been short-lived. Always, there is the smallest flame of hope fueled by an unwillingness to accept the unacceptable. I have lived each day and night with a sadness so deep in my soul that physical pain is part of my daily existence. My heart literally aches.
I have tried to remove the physical evidence of the past as a way to heal. There are no family photos, no visible triggers of this awful truth that reduces me to tears in an instant. But try as I might, there are the little things that still creep in, the reminders of a son’s love that no longer exists. A found mothers day card, a letter of thanks at graduation, a piece of jewelry long forgotten. These little reminders of what once was remind me of what we were but can never be again, and I shed more tears for the boy I once held so close.
Despair is the force that moves me to change my life now. I am, at last, driven to alter my course by the sheer intensity of this feeling. I cannot do this anymore. I simply cannot survive by staying put and enduring and hoping. I give up. It is over. I accept it. I will gather my remaining family, equally despairing of this loss, and we will start over. We will forge new lives in a place where memories can’t haunt us around every corner. And having endured this hell together, we will strengthen the bonds between us, take care of one another, hold each other close and be thankful for our time together.
I am hopeful now for altogether different reasons and for a different outcome for myself and my family, but hope of any kind is a blessing to my aching spirit. The future has a bit of light to it, a small glow in an otherwise very dark place. It’s a start, to something better, something positive, something good. I will always be sad about this loss, but it’s time to make that a smaller force in my life and let the abundance of good take hold. Here’s to better days ahead in the very near future, to smiles and laughter, happiness and joy, and love for what I have, and for what I once had, too.
Hope springs eternal. I get it now. Like the small plant that pokes its head out of an otherwise dry landscape, we humans cannot help but be resilient. There is something about our wiring that pushes us to keep trying until there is simply nothing left. Closing one door and opening another. Another cliche I now totally get. My favorite Facebook quote ever, “everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about”. Yep, that one works for me too. Have I conquered this battle, ala Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art? Uh, no. But I’m giving those stairs a hard look. One step at a time. At least I know they’re there. And I’m ready.