What is Real?
October 21, 2009
Sept. 30 came and went. It may not be a particularly important day to most but it’s a major day for me. It marks a spot, a time that I will never forget as long as I live. It was the worst day of my life and even worse for someone else. It was the nightmare that no one can imagine. It was the day I wish I could take back. I try not to look at it too hard anymore. I don’t want to live in that day forever.
For most people, Sept. 30th is just a day. That is what is real for them. For me it is the day that my heart shattered, my life fell to ruins and would never be the same. It was the day that I had dreaded for decades and it was the day that I learned love can’t fix everything.
I have two lines of demarcation for my entire life. One is Nov. 22, 1976 and the other is Sept. 30, 1998. That day in Nov. also changed my entire life. I defined my life as really beginning after that date. That event saved my life and started a new life of very intense reality every day: fighting for someone else’s life day in and day out, though we knew we would lose that struggle eventually. In the beginning, I thought it was also the end of my life but it was just the end of my life as I knew it.
It was extremely difficult, painful and fun. No kidding. I had the best time of my life being a Mom. I found that was what I was meant to be, (besides an artist). I learned so much that is real from having been a Mom. I learned things like selflessness, commitment, and what it means to really love someone. I learned that I could sleep leaning against a wall sitting up, every night for 6 weeks holding my daughter up all night long, every night, so she could breathe because she had pneumonia. If I laid her down she would die. I learned that I could do whatever was needed when needed. Things like that are what I learned about myself and the world.
That’s what is real for me.
Sept. 30, 1998 was the end of the battle to keep her on this planet. It was time for her to go and go she did. Since that Sept. 30th, it has been the longest 11 years I have ever lived and yet, I can remember every detail like it was yesterday. Time changed for me that day. The quality of time changed forever. It seems like the days are flying by and yet, I can remember more from the last 11 years then I can really remember from previous decades. It feels like I am continually picking myself up off of some floor, starting over and over again somehow. Isn’t that an odd thought? But that’s what it feels like.
For years I have had to entice myself to get up. Just to get up, get doing, get out of bed. It doesn’t get any easier, the first thought is always the same: oh, another day and she’s still gone. I’ve thought to myself 4, 015 mornings or so that it’s another day my daughter is gone. How can that be? It just is.
And that’s what is real for me.