The blues are determine to sneak in through cracks in mood, slight imbalances in hormones, moments of fatigue, bad decisions by friends and family, deaths, bad drivers, memories, what have you. There is a huge potential for despair or just the blues. Yes, everyone has the opportunity for sadness, even the funnest or funniest of them. How can we keep the blues away? Well, you just can’t entirely and if you lose the ability to feel sadness, you have missed the ability to be a feeling human or live in a dream world of lies where everything is ok and we are not surrounded by evil all around us. But one way to minimize the sadness is thr simplest thing in the world and yet the most difficult thing in the world. Humility. When we are humble, we lower our demands of life, our expectations, the perfection demands, the control issues, the deserving disease. Humble closeness to God is the most beautiful and empowering thing in the world. God also helps us. ❤
So today, I visited my Daddy as is my custom for 2 years now, as that is how long they have lived here and that is how long he has been sick. I am so thankful that I have been able to care for my daddy in his home as long as he could be there now in his new home in the nursing home where he can get 24 hour care. But today, for the first time ever, I was met with blank, empty eyes that did not know who I was. Dementia is a horrible disease and I knew this was coming, seeing it in so many patients and understanding the clinical aspects of it, syptoms, knowledge, I know more about this hateful disease than most people do. But. All my head knowledge flew out the window when my hero of my life, my sweet Daddy, my champion and the only man on the planet who has not betrayed me in some way, this man did not know me, his baby. It is rare that my emotions get the better of me. But I can tell you I am a mess. To my closest loves, I rarely unleash my heart, it is difficult for me because I feel so strongly and most cannot handle that. But. Right now, if I don’t let this sadness out of my heart, I may break under its strength. All day around people, no matter where I went, people were, good people, some amazing people that help, my sisters, my best friend, my children, all are amazingly important to me and helped so much but this therapy of screaming to the world in text that I thought I was ready for my Daddy to go to heaven but I am not. It about killed me that he diidn’t know me. My champion. Who will be my champion? Who could love me like that? No one can. I am not lovable enough for anyone else on the planet to love me like he has my whole life. I have been so fortunate to have such a Daddy. I have not always been the best daughter but he never stopped loving me so much that it gave me wings. I could never have accomplished all I have in life without his support and knowing he was there loving me, my hero. A girl needs a hero who she knows she can run to if it doesn’t work out and just be loved and taken in and held so tightly that no harm can get in. Why does this disease toy with us? It is a horrible thing. I lose him in seconds, in minutes, and it is not what it was. My base of support is crumbling and I am a lost little girl holding out her hand for her Daddy and Daddy can’t come this time. He is lost in his mind. He is fading away. And I am left here to watch him trail off. My tears flow as I write, my nose runs, my heart physically hurts me. Torture would be easier to take. Physical abuse I could handle better than this. This is a slow shredding of my heart. And I write this down not to torture you also but to voice words for pain that I cannot say the words to. My mouth cannot say but my fingers are my voice. Maybe you have such pain for whatever reason. Voice it somehow. It has to get out of your mind. It has to leave your body somehow or it consumes and becomes a stronghold or rift in the balance or change in your psyche. How you see the world can change if it stays in there. My tears are slowing as I type. I am realizing that the release of the emotion is as important as the capturing of them. Water flows in and must flow out. There must be balance. Where there is balance, the catcher is not thrown down when the next pitch comes in. And I realize that I still am loved. My support structure may no longer be one man, my Daddy, buuut it is many friends and family members and my love and those who love me and have shown such amazing support during this difficult time. And please continue praying as my mom has surgery to remove her breast cancer as well during all this. Life keeps going. It changes. When I was young, I thought everything adults did was mundane and repetitive and boring. HA!! I could use a little boredom right now. I wish I had been right. lol Laughter heals. I firmly believe that, there is proof. So, I will not live here, though I am definitely here for a visit with grief. I will visit but I will not live here. Dear God, please grant a fast transition through it!
So, when most people suffer a loss, they usually cry or they vent or they get angry or they deny, whatever suits their personality and depth of loss and feeling about said loss. Some go through all the proper steps of grief someone arbitrarily came up with. Some will get really involved in serving others or keeping busy to feel better or distract themselves. Some will self medicate to numb themselves. And grief or loss can come from one aspect of a situation also, not necessarily a person but something about them. Hope will be quieted for a while. Our hope is shaken when we mourn, at least initially. And that loss of hope can continue on if it is something you may never be able to retrieve. So, the only One we can hope in is Christ. God sees what is happening and why. No one else sees all that or can reason it out. So God is the only One who can restore hope and trust in people. I just had a friend die. She was inspiring and interesting. I am sad for her loss. I mourn her passing. Also, my Daddy is going downhill. I mourn for the loss of who he was. And another aspect of life has changed and I mourn that. All this collective mourning has allowed me both the opportunity and privilege to clean my eyes with tears and also to realize how extremely weak I really am and how vulnerable I make myself for loving people so strongly. And it always begs the question, why risk it? Why become vulnerable again? You’ll just get hurt again. And mourning always involves some level of isolation. Always. You feel alone in it. You feel you are the only one going through it. You feel no one else understands your pain or cares or you avoid people because they say all the wrong things and make it worse. And God is always with us. There is one constant companion who gets us and cares that someone does. He is the One that sees into your heart and knows we are worth more than this pain and isolation is giving us. He is the One that realizes we are precious treasures that are stronger for having been weak and wiser for having been humbled and tender for having given it one more go around when others quit. And my heart beats harder and I know I am worth more than this pain is telling me. Pain is a pessimist, a fatalist. And God is not. Mourning is carrying pain with you for a while. And for a while you need to feel it. But at some point you have to realize that it is not a part of you and you can put it down. Healing and hope are optimists and as you decrease pain, you increase hope and health. And it is imperitive that you know that God knows that you are a treasure worth working toward healing and hope. And if what you mourn is still alive it is important to know that no matter how well someone knows us, even if they know us inside and out, they have burdens to bear too, maybe even some mourning they can’t let go of yet. And if they have passed away, mourning and missing them becomes a purse you carry, a memorial to an empty spot you now have where they were. God heals and is hope but sometimes it is a process for our growth and maturity and rarely a quick fix. Patience is the key.
Many things have happened in my life and my response is generally optimistic and hopeful, figuring out what to do, getting things done, charging ahead, always full throttle. My pulse has slowed of late and there is a different drum beat to dance to. I have this new thing in my life called sadness. I am not sure if it is from my daddy’s downward spiral with dementia, fading away or family life and changes or something I ate or some new hormones taking over my body, but I am not liking this new talent I have to cry at the drop of a hat. Never been a cryer really. However of late, I am some sort of master at it. I am changed in this regard. It is foreign territory to me. I, who can always find the funny, search out the stupid, love the enjoyable, invent it good am now in the position where I see the hurt in people’s eyes. I see their pain they are hiding behind the laugh. I feel their sorrow in their encouragement. And I experience it with them. And it hurts. Of course, my eyes are very clean these days, which is a plus. They probably needed that. However, they are clean now so this can stop anytime. An additional side effect is a stronger desire to hold my children, hug them, laugh with them, really focus on them. So maybe even sadness can have its productive uses. Nonetheless, I am understanding more the crippling pain a lot of my friends contend with of depression. It would probably be very much like what I have been going through only stuck there longer term, emotions just doing their thing and you’re left to figure it all out or be a victim of it. I’ve no intention of being stuck here because I feel there would be this hopelessness that would seep in and steal away joy and peace. So, here is what I will try. And I will see it if helps. I will focus on the hope. The great hope of God and heaven and so on AND little hopes of happy days in the sun, cool drinks, warm friends and will drive, even if the terrain has changed. It is still my boat and I will own it and make use of it. Have to.
Normally very happy because it is my choice to be so, it is strange to most that I too have sad days once in a while. I do nonetheless, and I want to explore and share it because you might need to pour out or understand some sad days too and you are not alone in that. Everyone, even perpetually happy people have moments of sadness or days or weeks or months even. For me, if I feel it for a day and have a good eye downpour, it passes by the next morning but that is just my experience. Most of the time my sad days center around my daddy, whose dementia is worsening by the day and I am watching slowly drift off to oblivion. That is my sad spot. We have good days and bad days but even his bad days he is not himself any longer, not fully. There is a point he has crossed where he will never be fully himself ever again. His body, always strong and will even stronger keep on even in their weekened state, but his mind is losing the battle. And missing him is not mourning him because some form still remains and I remember. So the pain is acute and long term. I miss my dad but still have him to visit and care for. And today that hit me hard because his mind wandered many paths during my visit, during our attempt at conversation. The second part of my sadness was my son having a cold but going to his dad’s house for the weekend where I can not take care of him and nurse him back to health, and when I asked how he was I received no response. That frustrates and saddens me because I care about the health of my boy. So these two factors and one other I cannot discuss had led me to the point yesterday where my eyes received a good cleaning and my mind dwelt on the sadness far too long. Sometimes you have to feel it. You have to just be sad. In fact, during said times, I try to be as sad as possible, making it far sadder with my imagination, picturing everyone I meet with hidden sadness and tears about to emerge. Then I can cry harder, more painfully, more heartfealt. What purpose does this serve? It cleans my eyes, for one. Secondly, it gets it over faster so I can move on to the rainbow after the flood. Thirdly, if I do this hard enough, I become ridiculous to myself and will turn it over into laughter. Maybe that is a little crazy, but a little crazy never hurt anyone and by the way do not judge me. lol. If I can convert the energy of the tears into a greater more positive energy of laughter, it helps everything and lifts my spirits, cheering me up afterwards. It is not that I negate or dishonor the sadness but that I pay it homage and respect it but then draw the line at it ruling my life. The sadness must never be the goal, must never rule the show. It is a means to an end, which is to remember that God gives joy and peace and comforts us when we mourn. That is the end of the story, you see, my friend. It is a happy ending. It is an ending worth pushing through to get to.