Dear Mama, do you remember?

I have a faint memory of this.  As a child, a bonafide city girl growing up on a small family farm was not easy.  But I managed.  At least it makes for great stories to tell my children.  And we all love to hear hidden stories of childhood from days gone by, from generations past not present.  Because the past is so fascinating.  In fact, I’m so fascinated with the past I sometimes wonder if something went terribly wrong and I was born in the wrong century.  This is a story I don’t think I’ve told my children.  In fact, it’s a scant memory that came in the quiet of my illness, as I sat thinking.  Thinking about the surrender that has finally happened.

We used to clip our chickens’ wings…

so they couldn’t fly.  Because they would fly away and never return.  They weren’t incredibly smart animals if I remember correctly.  How much brain can you shove in a head that size anyway?  But they were smart enough to understand.  Understand that being caged was somehow wrong.  Understand that if they could fly they could be free. Or maybe they just flew away because they could, who knows.  Regardless, I wondered why this memory came as I glided alone in my room.

And I realized I understood the chickens.

Understood the desire to fly.  Understood the surrender when their wings were clipped.  Understood the home they were confined to.  This body of mine.  The one I’ve been trying to fix for decades.  The one I am confined to.  I think I finally understand that my wings have been clipped.  Every time we find a new treatment, a new doctor, a new idea to try… each time. we’ve been disappointed.  each time these wings meant for flying…. for taking care of my family, for playing with my grandchildren, for traveling with my hubby, for helping other people, for for for… each time my wings were clipped.

It’s time to surrender mama.

And oddly, it has only taken a few days to allow the happy to start seeping back in.  Not hope.  But happy.  Gratefulness that I can see, I can hear, I can walk, I can occasionally cook, I can rock my grand babies in my lap, I can watch the birds out my window.  I can even hear them sing.  So you must be helping from the place in between.  You must be sending the happy and the awareness of blessings in the prison of this body gone bad.  You must be.  And I remember the day long ago, in an airport where you would leave me with two babies and a husband in the hospital, where you grabbed my shoulders and looked square into my eyes, eyes trying to hold back the tears that were ready to break through and never stop, and you told me I was strong.  Strong enough.  And you must be breaking through the fog in between you and me and making it real that I’m strong.  Strong enough.  After all, I’m not yet as Job.  I have so much around me to be happy about.

Surrendering is different than giving up…

it’s accepting.  accepting that while it feels as though something has gone terribly wrong, maybe it hasn’t.  Maybe this is the life I’m supposed to have.  The life I’m supposed to stop trying to fix.  Maybe I’m not broken.  Maybe just maybe it’s the only way to slow me down enough to see the sky and hear the birds.  maybe.  but it’s still hard being the person that always needs help, that always needs looking after, that always seems weak and fragile.  but there it is.  I have to stop “kicking against the pricks.”  Stop trying to create something that isn’t meant to be.  And join the ranks of those with dreams lost.  Those whose lives have taken turns unexpected.  Those who have learned to live a different life, and be happy while doing it!  Those who have created new dreams within the confines of the trials dumped on them.  New dreams.  Hmmm.  Well that’s what’s next.  Not new doctors.  Not new treatments.  Not more testing.  But newness.  Creating a new, different life.  Creating, not fixing.  Huh.

Now there’s something to think about eh?

Don’t leave me just now mama.  Come in my dreams still.  Even though I can’t hear your voice anymore, I can still see your face there. In my dreams.  My young mama.  Breathing strength into me.  It’s funny how I can see you so clearly with my eyes wide closed.  That’s the only way I see you.  Come there, behind my closed eyes, and keep breathing in the strength.  and the happy.  and the newness of changed dreams.  and the you.  young happy you.  After all,

there’s so much life to live yet…

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