Photo by Rachel Hadiashar
Innocence & Wisdom
"Free floating anxiety," my mom calls it.
When you're worried.
Not exactly sure.
Any number of reasons from
You name it.
There's always something to worry about.
Free floating anxiety.
My mom carries it.
Something we're both letting go of.
I walk in the door yesterday.
After hello, first thing out of my mom's mouth is
Some free floating anxiety.
Rooted in something real, taken to an extreme.
I told my mom a few weeks ago,
I am done with that type of anxiety.
Known as a fear of a man.
I did that most of my childhood.
And then I repeated a different form of that with my ex.
Free floating anxiety, a different kind
Rears its head big-time when a loved one is sick & suffering.
It can be contagious.
There's all the stress from coping with the illness.
The body giving away.
63 year old people looking like they're 85.
Every movement is a struggle.
Death on the horizon.
Loss like no other.
When cancer strikes,
there's the love between people & families that is so strong.
It can become a sad love.
Then there's all the family dynamics that existed before the diagnosis.
Dysfunctional dynamics that flare up under the stress.
That flare up to be healed.
To let that stuff go.
Fear. Very rarely does it serve us.
The stuff that holds us back.
So here we are with some of that today.
The floodgates opened.
Releasing that anxiety.
Lots of tears and letting go.
My son starts hitting me, thinking I am making Grandma cry.
Here we are. Here we go.
Hold on. And I do.
And I have learned to ask for help when I need it.
"Hey, sis. Can you do a session for mom?
I think she could use your help."
"Send me the couple questions she has."
The many perks of my sister's line of work.
We send the questions.
Back to life.
Tears released for now.
Calm over the house.
"I'm hallucinating," my mom calls from the other room.
My mom is on a lot of Hospice narcotics. She has very advanced cancer.
At some point these things happen.
"Are you seeing things?"
Then the wave of dinner rushed over us and I forgot about my mom's hallucinations.
Soon she was making her way over to the table to eat with my son & me.
It had been several weeks since my mom joined us at the table.
Then my mom was talking talk.
Talk I couldn't quite follow.
My brain was straining to understand.
Something about family members. Life. Can't remember the exact.
Then, "see there's Crayola, but I'm not sure there's Crayola inside," she said philosophically
pointing to a plastic art box with a torn Crayola sticker on it.
Oh, yeah.....hallucinating. Now I remember.
"Hey, ma is this like Alice?"
"I like it," I said with a big smile and laugh.
My mom letting go. Letting loose.
Because it's all out of our hands.
Release that fear of pain, suffering, the unknown, the unresolved.
We mine as well enjoy the ride.
This last honoring of Mary Anne.
Her zany, wacky, creative side.
I know that.
But with all other sickness I've known, we get better.
She'll get better. Right?
"Does this ever feel like a dream?" I asked her earlier today.
And last night, "does it ever feel like you're in a totally different body?"
So, there's no getting better in the physical.
Eventual shedding of the body.
No new body delivered in the mail.
If my step-father could order it, he would.
I believe in miracles.
I also accept this is probably the last bit of Grandma Mary we have.
I wish it were different.
But there's still time.
Time for emotional and spiritual, if not physical, healing.
And part of that healing is letting go of the fear that has held us captive.
My sister calls after dinner, during the chess game.
I didn't realize she had done my mom's reading.
And it was right then when the lucidness began.
Powerful stuff. Shifting that free floating anxiety.
Thanks again, sis.
I put my sis on the phone with our mom.
Soon the phones back in my hands, my mom not holding the conversation very well.
"How was the session?"
Something like this....
Mom is crystal clear right now in who she is. Where's she's going.
Our step-dad is so very noble.
Like a sweet giant with a little bird.
Mom is the little bird he just wants to save.
Big love. For them both.
For my step-father who will be left behind.
For my mom who is peaceful & accepting, but doesn't want to be in pain.
So the night went on,
With my mom stronger than I've seen her in a long time.
Moving around the kitchen. Giving me directions.
Me, laughing in the freedom of the moment.
And the wisdom.
And the giggles.
Me & my sis feeling like we accomplished something big.
We gave our mom the gift we'd been trying to for years.
She told my sister, "I am starting to think maybe this stuff in between the cakes is yummy."
Yeah, mom. Bet it is.
She told me, "The problem is you laugh at your son."
"What you're doing with him, well it's not working. It's still happening."
Clear as a bell. Grandmotherly wisdom.
And she's right.
Do I laugh at him....hhhmmm.....?
But my son is certainly working with some dysfunctional anger issues.
I am learning how to be assertive.
Have clear boundaries with a male family member.
My little boy, yes. Gotta know how to treat a woman, yes.
She's right. I can't avoid this.
And then we land just where we belong.
Divine balance between innocence and wisdom.
Going back to the place it all began.
To the place of the child.
Where we're free.
A little wacky, but we know.
And we can live our knowing.
Free of fear.
Free floating anxiety, what's that?
I hope she gets to spend some time here before she goes home.
Some time wise as her Grandmother self.
Enjoying her life.
Having a tea party on the ceiling.
Her favorite part of Mary Poppins.
Her wacky, wise, wonderful self.
I'm laughing that I get to laugh with her.
Laugh til we have tears rolling down our cheeks.
Like the old days.
Crying sometimes too.
Finally, honored to learn from you.
Live under the same roof as you again, at least a few nights a week.
In this time we have today.
Living that divine balance of wisdom & innocence.
Here we go.
Through the looking glass.
Happy to linger her as long as we can.
Hi friends, I write from the heart to tell my life story, and the story of those in my neighborhood called life. Research shows that our children's emotional & mental health is contingent upon us parents being able to tell our life story, or "coherent narrative." This is my coherent narrative, my life story in the making, with some of what I love in life too. My goal is to share my life in a way that is real, uplifting & positive- sometimes serious, sometimes fun. In my practice, I inspire parents to empowerment through reclaiming our life stories and learning respectful discipline. My work is my offering to our children- our future. Wishing you all a happy family!