Walking away is not an option... dialogue must prevail.

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."
- Kenneth A. Wells

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller

Friday, September 26, 2008

making lemonade...

My birthday is coming up soon and I miss Mom. And things are happening around me that just make me sad and blue. I was slashed into by someone I care about... I feel like I have to protect myself from now on. I can't spend part of my morning crying in my office ever again.

I read a fellow blogger's truth grenades tonight (thanks Jen) and these words felt like she had been in my head (or at the very least my heart):
"I don’t hold grudges. I forgive and forget. But if you hurt me bad enough, you'll never get a piece of me back. I save that piece for myself."

I've decided to take some of the pain and turn it into something positive. A walk down memory lane... I posted this account almost exactly 2 years ago on the old blog, the one that belongs in my past... I was reminded of it in a very painful way this morning. I guess some people lose touch and sometimes the old short-hand one has with a friend gets lost because we take it for granted and stop working on the friendship. Or because maybe it wasn't what I thought it was.

So here goes:

This weekend I took my father (who gets motion sickness when someone rocks in a rocking chair in the same room as he is – yes, it’s THAT bad) to see Mom at the hospital. Got him in the car, and drove the approximately 30 minutes it takes to drive into the city and navigate the side streets of downtown Montreal. He didn’t complain - and usually he uses the ‘passenger side invisible break’ at least 3 times in a drive of that length.
Once we got to the hospital he walked what seemed like 100 feet to get in the building (the door which leads to an elevator just a mere 10 feet from where we parked the car is closed on Sundays... of course!) Okay, so it wasn’t 100 feet, but it sure felt like was, Dad walks slowly, he’s 86… remember watching George Burns walk in the final years?

Once in the building I sat him in a wheelchair (why didn’t I think of it before the long walk… sheesh!) and took him to the ER (yes… she’s still in the ER as they don’t have a single free bed in the Oncology ward or the free world for that matter!) to see Mom.

What came next was, well, it was magic.

My mother knew that my father was coming and had asked my aunt (her sister who had come in from out of town to visit) to brush her hair. The most wonderful smile came over her when she saw Dad. In her eyes, I saw a young girl, giddy from her first crush.

I pushed the wheelchair up to the bed and stood back as my mother took my father’s hands in hers - as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my father is legally blind – he can no longer see the details of a person’s face, much less if her hair is properly coiffed. But my mother’s face is etched in his heart.
She brought her head close to his and they kissed, and I watched them with some guilt. I felt like I was intruding in the most intimate of moments, as they talked to each other with their heads close, their foreheads touching. And I let them be alone together because I don’t know when or if my parents will see each other again in this lifetime.

‘In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.’
- Paul McCartney

In the meantime, I hugged my aunt, and told her I love her. I thought she was going to cry in my arms, but the women in my family have been through a great deal and we know, there is always someone who needs us and we draw strength from each other.
I know that as my aunt looked at my mother she was reminded of my grandmother’s cancer, the gauntness of her face, the frailness of her body. But my mother and her sisters are the strongest women I’ve ever met, and it’s a trait that I intend to carry on and so will my daughter. My aunt and I chatted about her husband, who has lost a leg to diabetes and is relying on her more and more, becoming less and less sure of himself… and about everyone else in the family who is going through a rough patch. And I know that when the end does come, I’ll be holding many of them together, as my mother did before me. I am not the eldest, as is my mother, but I have inherited her resolve and her role in the family.

I could see that although he was happier than... no... that’s not the word… serene, I think it describes it better.. more serene than he’d been in a long time, Dad was tired. So I told him we’d go home and he could have a nice cup of tea and rest. He kissed my mother, and told her he loves her with such tenderness that even a non-softie like me can’t help but be touched by it. She beamed, and I forgot, for a moment, that she was ill. My father was the best painkiller she could be given.
They had talked everyday since she was in the extended care facility and those little chats had made them feel closer, giving them strength. Much like chatting with my wonderful extended family that I love so much, my Soul Patrol brothers and sisters, has lifted me when I need support. But since she's been admitted to the hospital last Thursday, it was the first chance they had to speak.. to reconnect..

‘Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists.... When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence.'
– Goncourt

Seeing my parents together again gave me renewed faith and hope for the world…In that brief time… I saw Magic…

‘I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.’
- Shelby Eatenton Latcherie (Steel Magnolias)

When I read this again, I was reminded of just how lucky I am that my parents loved each other so much... and that they showed me that that kind of love does exist. Now I'm fortunate enough to have finally found the man who makes me feel like a giddy schoolgirl every time I see him and who's voice still gives me butterflies when I hear it over the phone.

To the person who hurt me, I hope your heart sings and that no sorrows darken your life. But since you don't believe in me and think I'm selfish and can't feel for someone else's pain... I'll be keeping my distance. I suspect this will cost me other relationships. And that pains me. But I have to respect myself enough to know my truths. If someone doesn't believe in me, I can't believe in them.

May your lives be blessed with love and compassion and true kinship with those around you.


Lu' said...

I wished I'd read this tomorrow and not right before bed. Now I am crying, but maybe I will dream of my Mother. I was nine when my Father died, basically they didn't involve the children. We did not attend the funeral. When My Mother died I was on the East Coast and she on the West. She died alone in a car. I wish I'd been allowed to attend my Fathers funeral and I wish so very often that I could have been with my Mother when she died. Anndi you write so beautifully.

I'm sorry someone jagged you, damn it. *kisses* for the boo boo. Enjoy your weekend, it is another day cutie.

Akelamalu said...

Oh honey this made me blub like a baby. It so reminded me of when my own dear Mum was dying of cancer. She was at home, thank God, but one time when she was really bad my Dad took her on his knee and nursed her like a baby until she fell asleep - that's when I knew just how much they loved each other. I'm crying again now as I type this but I thank you for bringing back that memory for me. xxx

Akelamalu said...

PS Oh and I meant to say that sod whoever hurt you, don't you let them change the beautiful person you are. xx

Dana said...

Hmmmmm ... beautiful!

Anndi said...

Lu: I'm sending you hugs my friend. I hope you had wonderful dreams. You deserve them.
Thanks for the kisses. Writing this and letting go of the hurt and all that's associated with it was like lifting a huge weight.

Akelamalu: I hope you found other good memories as well my dear.It's a gift when we are fortunate enough to witness that kind of love.
I'm good. I've let go after I wrote this. I had to so I could keep that piece of my heart. Thank you. HUGS

Dana: My parents' love was beautiful indeed... it is a rare thing to see a commitment so strong.

jenboglass said...

Oh, Anndi. This is so beautifully written and so touching. It's Saturday morning, I'm sitting here with my son while he watches Scooby-Doo and I'm just bawling. Bawling reading your eloquent story about your mother. Your parents sound like such great role models for love. You are lucky to have witnessed their special moments.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm sorry you're hurting. Hope you feel better soon. A very touching retrospective. Glad you posted this one again.

Brian o vretanos said...

Anndi - That's hard about your friend, and a moving story about your parents...

Jeff B said...

Peace my friend...simply peace.

Mimi Lenox said...

"But my mother’s face is etched in his heart".....what a gift and a blessing. We all should be so lucky to find this kind of love. Beautifully written.

Sorry you are hurting.

Anndi said...

Jen: My parents' relationship was beautiful... soul mates.

Charles: Thank you. I'm slowly getting there. If only my body didn't feel like it was hit by a Mac truck... Glad you liked it.

Brian: I'm sorry too.

Jeff: Thanks you. That's what I look for, it's what we can all hope for.

Mims: I'm fortunate that I have. And thank you for your kindness.

Raven said...

What a lovely post. How beautiful to have had parents with that kind of love and such a strong, warm family - and now love of your own. Hope your spirits lift over the next few days. Over the years I've come to think that people come and go in our lives and it's ok. I've been hurt more often than I like without usually quite understanding why. But life does go on. Everything that happens has a purpose and everything that happens is ultimately what we make of it. You have chosen wisely, it seems.

Desert Songbird said...

You were very blessed to have parents who loved you so much. I grew up thinking my parents barely tolerated each other, but I saw a love between them at the end that makes me smile.

In the end, you can only count your blessings and remain true to yourself. If others don't appreciate that, then there is no blame. It just is.

Ron said...

Thank you my Libra friend, for sharing such a beautiful moment in you life.

You expressed it with such clarity, that I actually felt like I was there with you.

And I think it was so enlightening of you, to take this experience and allow it to heal your present situation with your friend, and turn it into something positive.


You and I are such very similar souls, Anndi. And I think you summed up this whole post with the words that I would have used, exactly.

I know how you feel.

Sharing much good energy with you, dear lady.

Thanks again for a very special post. I feel blessed to have experienced it.

Dana said...


buffalodick said...

You are such an empath... The pain you absorb on others' emotional behalf must be brutal at times.. It is good to be a caring person, but do not let it sap the finite life force you have been given.. you'll need some of that energy for the days ahead.. You are special.

Bee said...

You were lucky to have such a beautiful example of love. My grandparents are like that. One for the other.

I know how much words can hurt. I wish you the strength to stand by your decision. :o)

Anndi said...

Raven: I'm glad you enjoyed reading about their love. I was blessed to witness it.
People do come and go, but sometimes it's sad when you have to put become cautious about those you loved.

Songbird: I don't think we can see that depth of love until we're older ourselves.
And you're 100% right.... it is what is. Just sad when your eyes are opened.

Ron: Thank you so much for your kindness my libra friend. I knew you'd like this story.
The confrontation was painful but it brought this memory back, so it served two purposes.

Dana: You hugs and prayers when I was going through this meant the world to me.. and you hugs now are precious.
Love you my friend.

Buff: I'll take your advice to heart my dear... *hugs and smooches*

Bee: It's a gift when we experience it, isn't it.
Yes, they do. And from some people more than others... Thank you for the extra strength. You rock!

Bond said...

This reminded me of those days/weeks you spent with mom...

I was touched once more by your words.

Anndi said...

Bond: As difficult as those days were for me, I know they were even harder for my father who couldn't be with his soulmate during trying times.

Words are very powerful and should be handled with care. They can touch or they can harm. I'm glad my words weren't the later. I've seen too many hurtful words lately.

Bond said...

I know what you mean about hurtful words...I have had many thrown at me recently also

Anndi said...

Bond: That's too bad. Hopefully it didn't make you cry.

Turnbaby said...

I love how beautifully you express that connection they had and what we all seek. I'm so happy for you finally finding yours Angelbaby.

I am sorry you have had this conflict. It pains me to think of you crying.



Anndi said...

Turnbaby: And I'm happy you've found yours my friend.

Thank you. But it was what it was and I've decided to forgive. I'll be guarded from now on.

Hugs and smooches