Self-Care Tip #180 – Sharing will take you out of isolation. Be a friend to yourself.
If Valentine’s is about Love, today felt like Valentine’s Day to me. Your support, my friends, came to me like bouquets of home-grown roses, lilies, daisy’s and bird-of-paradise. You swept me up and carried me over a threshold of something I didn’t want to cross alone. Thank you.
Carl, dear Carl, is always surprising us. He told us yesterday about his own amazing dad and then said,
I can truly say I know how you feel.
Even though much of this feels unique to me, I know it is not. Pain is not unique. It is our choice to experience it alone or in community. I choose you. Thank you for choosing back. Thank you for my flowers.
Mom has always been a fierce lover of flowers. She arranges them dramatically and gives them out, believing that their beauty is enough for now. She never worries about when she won’t have any. I actually don’t ever remember Mom without them. She just can’t stay away. Either she goes where they are, or they seem to some how follow her. Sounds like story fodder but it’s true. She will be one of the loveliest in heaven, just because she was designed to be. I can’t imagine all that Mom will learn on beauty through an existence disconnected from time. I’ll know where to go when I want to gather some for you.
Mom goes to see Dad every day. She’s usually wearing something shiny or bright or both. Dad’s hospital room is in full bloom and there is always food for nurses or visitors. This is how Mom does her fighting for Dad. Through beauty. Not bad, huh? She washes him every day so she can spare him as many further humiliations that come with illness. He is lotioned up; more able to receive than he ever is outside of the hospital. In their own way, he and she give to each other like that. I’ve seen Dad cry and Mom just push aside the tubing and get in beside him on his electric bed. In the hospital, a lot can happen.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and Dad said,
Well, I guess I’ll just have to let this one pass.
But if Valentine’s is about Love, he doesn’t have to worry too much.
Since round high school, Dad has told me that I have to sing some day at his funeral, “The Only Thing I Want Is To Be With Jesus,” By Joni Eareckson Tada. I am sure I never will but he refuses to believe it.
The only thing I want is to be with Jesus. Just to see Him smile and say well done, what a day that’s gonna be. I want to feel His strong and Loving arms just hold me to His side, and to be with Him, throughout eternity. Just to be with Him is heaven enough for me.
My seven year old asked the other day,
Mommy, will Papa be alive when I have kids?
I told Dad and he laughed. He’s an easy laugh.
That’s a really good question. What a mind.
Dad has almost died about a zillion times and it’s easy to feel like he will live forever. All I know is that if he keeps putting me through this, I’ll need you there to take me out of the isolation and remind me that none of us have been chosen to be alone.
Question: How has pain been a connecting force in your life? What has helped you share what seemed impossible at once to let outside of yourself? Please tell me your story.