Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Art of Living

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”-Havelock Ellis

It's been 8 months now, since my grandmother's stroke. During this time there've been a few more health related happenings, a couple surgeries and, a lot to think about, figure out and wrap my change-loathing head around. Whilst any conscious attempt at sorting my thoughts is quickly intercepted by the bowling-ball-in-the-throat-imploding-brain-pain-combo-with-a-side-of-tears, I have been making progress.

A few weeks ago she and I were having one of our regular lengthy chats and she said, "Y'know I've had a good life these eighty-four years..." I wanted so badly to stave this conversation off for some time in Neverary, but I nodded, swallowed and confirmed that I was listening with a soft, throaty inflection. She continued, "and I know you all want me to live forever, but I'm tired now." And then the levees broke, I could literally feel the chemical warfare happening between the man-made stuff I take for maximum daily "sparkle" and my default chemistry. What happened next was totally unexpected. There was no bowling ball, no implosion-there were no tears. It was as if my person had been taken over by a far nobler puppeteer, and without hesitation or forethought, I said assuredly, "Mom, I just want you to be happy".

Huh?! I can't even tell you what we spoke about from that point because I was in total awe. When hit with the realization and magnitude of what I'd felt and spoken, I looked around both bemused and bewildered. I turned to the cats thinking they would, or could somehow, confirm my presence and add credence to the moment, but it was all me.

This is the first time I've ever faced-in clear and present awareness, such a powerful choice; not only for myself, but for my grandmother and my children and their children, and my blog readers and friends and...well, you understand. I've got far to go still, but for a moment I held the power to let go, and in some small way, I did.

Peace


15 comments:

mairedodd said...

that was huge... and i do completely understand... my grandmother came up here to live from florida after 2 hurricanes took the same path right over her - she was evacuated both times... i spoke to her daily, and had always been close to her... time passed and her body started to rapidly go into a downward spiral while her mind remained stubbornly sharp... by the time she ended up in the nursing home, things were not looking good... i would go and read ibsen to her - she was from norway & a huge reader - and we would sit and talk... i, too, was in that place of refusing to face that the body reaches a point where the release of the spirit is nearing... one night, she told me that she had seen her mother... oh boy, i thought, where is this going... but, like you, i took a breath and gave myself up to listening... and she told me how she was tired and that she wanted to be with her family... i told her i loved her... and then shocked myself by saying, 'i will be ok, i love you and will miss you... but we will all be ok - you will be able to visit us whenever you want when you have been set free...' and she seemed at peace... i wish you and your grandmother peace - transformation and change are often painful but can be revolutionary... thank you for sharing your story...

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

What a powerful post. Thank you for sharing this moment of growth and change in your life. I know you'll help so many people with this.

I'm still working on letting go of my grandma, who passed on in February. It's definitely not easy, but in some strange way, I sometimes feel closer to her now than I did before. I still talk to her and feel her with me.

Wishing you peace and many blessings as this revelation continues to unfold for you.

Jennifer said...

How amazing! I completely understand that feeling of that other person overtaking you...that part of yourself that maybe you didn't know existed. There was so much love in you saying that to your grandma...there was a gift in that for her too, I think.

What a blessing, too, to have a grandma to call ma and talk with like that. I am hoping for that for my son with his grandparents...it's a blessing to have love that goes over generations. It makes you a different kind of person. My heart and thoughts with you and your family.

Sherry Goodloe said...

No words, I just want to reach out and give you a big hug right now *sigh*

PussDaddy said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Grandmother. Maybe accepting stuff and letting go is not the same thing. I am not sure it is. Maybe trying to figure out where one stops and the other begins is what is so confusing. I am glad you are coming to some peace, though.

PussDaddy

Ms. Bar B: said...

That was absolutely beautiful. An beautifully uneasy task. One that I have yet to master, but as is everything else, its a work in progress. Letting go is the hardest part, but it sounds like, in that very moment, you and your grandmother connected on a level that will carry you both through the journey.

((Hugs))

tattytiara said...

You never know what you've got inside of yourself until you call on it, eh? I'm very sorry to hear about your grandmother's stroke and the other health issues. Big love to you all.

Beautiful art work.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. I send to you prayers of blessing, somfort and pease in this moment that you will continue to grow and ultimately feel comfortable in letting go. I just lost my grandfather a month ago and am luckily feeling peace in the moments when he is on my mind.

Blessings to you and your family.

fly tie said...

this is really powerful.

i can recal when my grandmother said the same: "I'm tired."

it was with her passing (9 yrs. ago. wow.) that i was in the same place you are. that place of assuredness and, i guess, acceptance as it relates to the death of someone i really love. all without knowing exactly where those feelings came from!

i wish you all the best. :-)

BaldyLocks said...

Wow, what a powerful and touching post, it sounds like you had an amazing moment together. I really wish I had had that with my grandfather.

I hope those moments are a comfort for you. Thanks for posting this.

Ocean Girl said...

Hello Tameka, I'm visiting and would like to hang out for a while :)

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

Wow, that is tremendous. I know it is difficult to do and we can all certainly take a page out of your book. Kudos to you.

High Desert Diva said...

*cheers*

Jill said...

Beautiful--thank-you.

Nicole said...

Lawd..why did I read this! I was trying so hard not to cry. I lost my grandmother five years ago. She raised me, and was the love of my life. I remember vising her in the nursing home, and how big and childlike her eyes were. I remember she kept staring at me. It was later on that I realized she was looking at me for the last time. The last words she said to me were "I'll see you tomorrow Nikki" Ever since her death, I feel so lost.

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