I have gone through feelings of fear, confusion, unsureness and many other emotions that are confusing to me.
I honestly thought I was prepared for this moment all my life, as my mom has been sick most of my life, its all I knew and always feared her death even when I was little.
I don't think anything ever prepares you for someone's passing, and this one hit me really hard because of the relationship my mom and I had. It was complicated.
My heart hurts, and yet I want to live the ways she never could.
As I sat down this evening and looked over at the shelf that holds my mom's memorial candle and urn, I realized something, I realized a choice I have; a choice to do something my mom never had the choice to do when she was alive - to be free!
I have written about this hard place I have been in for over a year and a half now - the isolation from the people and things I love and the things that defined who I am.
Slowly I have been making my way back to those things in the past month or so, but every time I get close to something big, something gets in the way and sweeps me off my feet and right back into the pile of fear and unsureness!
Even my therapist shakes his head and wonders why with every step forward does there have to be a step backwards. Why the detours when I am trying so hard to go forward? Questions we will never know . . . . but the choice still remains to be mine.
In looking over at my mom's candle last night, I thought to myself - my mother never had the choice to get up and take a step. She was confined and bed-ridden for years and years because of the illnesses that caused her so much pain and agony. She longed for moments she could walk outside and feel the sunshine on her face. She longed for those moments she could get in the car and just drive to her favorite store to shop. She longed to move out of the isolated life she was forced into - she had no choice.
This isolation that I have been in for the past year or so has confined me - the difference is, I do have the choice - I just need to take that leap of faith to embrace these choices that are willingly right in front of me for the taking. I feel like I have been in an emotional prison for over a year now and yet the door is unlocked - I can walk out anytime I want.
Tonight as I look over at the life my mom had with no choices - I am choosing to honor her by embracing the choices I do have. With the help of my support I am going to continue taking the steps needed to move out and away from the isolation that has confined me this past year. I will embrace the detours as lessons and reasons rather than stop signs and u-turns. Maybe God created the detours and maybe there is something to be said in those places that challenge me.
Instead of looking at these pauses and breaks as things against me, I am going to look at them as places to sit and re-route the path according to God and his will for me - and the best part is, I am not alone, I have support sitting aside of me through every step.
The steps I have been taking the past month or so have been small, slow and little, but they have been good steps needed for whats ahead.
Tonight as I sit here, I think I am ready for the bigger steps to honor my mom for the choices she didn't have, and allowing myself the choices I do have.
I am tearful writing this tonight because I feel God is giving me messages I need to hear, and those messages are telling me that even in the unfair detours, pauses and breaks in the steps I have taken, the choice is still here to move far and beyond what I imagine for myself.
A part of me feels sad that my mom didn't have the choices to step into life the way she wanted and hoped for, and I do have the choice and I want to honor that.
I am not taking away the hardness I have been through - that is without a doubt real and true. I have very good reasons for feeling the way I have felt for the past couple of years - I was hurt and I was triggered, I was wronged and I went into a isolated depression that took me far away from the "me" I know I am and can be - but I also know deep inside I have the strength to move out and through and forward.
I see the choices my mom didn't have, and I see the choices I do have and I choose me.
It may not be easy, and maybe there will be times I stall in fear, but something is different this time; something feels big in this moment - this time I can see the things I want to walk towards a little clearer than before.
These pauses and breaks and detours I have gone through along the way are no longer seen as ways to stop me from the path forward, I am now looking at them as reasons and guides to make the path stronger and more meaningful as I move out and away from the isolating I have been in for way too long.
Like the quote says above "faith is about taking the first step even if you can't see the whole staircase" . . . I may not see where I am stepping, but I also know that I have the choice to take those steps and I am supported along the way - each - step - forward!
This is for you Mom . . . . using the choices you never had and making them my own.