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.

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5 Responses to “What is Real?”

  1. theporro said

    Do you remember the moment we shared on retreat, when I was crying and trying to explain that it was just one of those good cries compared to bad ones? And you got it and laughed with me while I was crying? Yes, of course you do. Well.

    My turn. I am crying and laughing with you here. I am not sorry or have pitty or sadness, instead I have this cry of “I just totally get it and can understand it even though my story is different”.

    Anyway. Middle of the night in finland. You were in my dream two nights ago demanding for explanation for some odd lump of art I was trying to present to you as “Something ™”. For some odd reason we both were in germany, in one small town nearby Munchen, in same exhibition. Lets hope that was me seeing the future 😉

    Anyway, there was a point. When one has to face shit and horrors of everyday life one really has no other option than to cope with that, no matter how hard it feels. And it is – truly – tiredsome and horrid but then you just get into the worst nightmare part and continue living after it. Even when you dont think you should – or even when you don’t think you could. And days go by, nights come, then mornings, and you are still alive and eventually you achieve something, and then something else and then some other art happens. And explaining that to others is impossible as they dont share, they dont really get it as they have not been there. Or they need too much words. Or they feel pitty and sadness and you just cannot cope with that – you can cope with your personal nighmare but not with the peoples reaction to it. And years go by and suddenly you realise you are actually starting to heal. And you say it – like this blog mark here – and it usually leaves the ring of impact going on silently.

    Anyway, butterfly efect. I cried. For you, for my own personal sorrow of loosing baby. For everything and nothing. Thanks – i needed this cry!

    You know what this means. I owe you one cry. I will try to provide it some year.

  2. meredith11 said

    Porro! I love you. You and I will be sisters forever, my friend, no question. I wish we lived closer together. Imagine the art trouble we would cause!
    Thank you so much for the truth in your comment. I debated for a week whether I would actually post this particular blog. Your comment made it worthwhile. I knew we had a special connection – especially in that moment at the retreat, well actually MANY moments at that retreat! =)
    I can’t wait to see you again. Hugs and love,
    Meredith

  3. theporro said

    I am glad the words reachet to where they needed to. And yes, we will be sisters forever. Odd, but strong feeling.

    I know, you know and the readers just have to assume. Some might even actually get it. For those who do: just take it and do something with it. A bead, a poem, knit a scarf. Whatever. My own personal problem is to just start hatching theese like they were golden eggs. They are not. Just take it, use it, release it.

    And now, for the first time in ages, I am going to take my own advice and go paint something out of this feeling.

  4. […] wrote an important one about what is real.  It made me cry and laugh – I know what that means even though my pain is lesser and my […]

    • meredith11 said

      Your paintings are wonderful and I’m glad you’re doing them. It’s awesome how you put your feelings into them and I can see that.
      My doll jewelry began because I needed to get something out about my daughter when she was alive. She kept shredding all of her clothes and it was maddening. She would chew the sleeves of her coats and started looking like a raggedy ann because we just couldn’t keep up with the replacing every item of clothing she owned all the time.
      I knew that being angry didn’t help. She clearly was having some neurological issues that no one could do anything about. THEN she cut her own hair! It was all jiggy and jaggy and she looked like some kid no one loved. =( It was hard for me to take. Whenever we went out, her clothes were all tattered and now her hair was all crazy! I talked with her about it but it didn’t help and I was still angry that my beautiful angel would look so unloved.
      So I ended up taking my favorite pair of her pajamas (already shredded by her of course) and using that fabric to make my first doll pin. The doll pin reflects the raggedy look my daughter had at the time, including the awful hair cut. That doll has five fingers and toes because after she was born they told me that she had five fingers and toes (like she was okay) before they told me everything else. All of my earlier dolls had five fingers and toes. When Robin Atkins (beader extraordinaire and author) saw that pin she said “You are really talented” and I never forgot that. It was humbling because it really was just a way to deal with my feelings.
      My daughter loved my little doll jewelry and encouraged me to make them. Originally I made them to honor her exclusively. I make them now to honor the women that went before us. They endured unbelievable lives of hardship, discrimination and disrespect so that we women could have what we have today. Mostly, they didn’t know that was what they were doing. They knew that they were sacrificing themselves for their children/families which in turn, helped all of us everywhere. First they sacrificed their bodies often in a world that didn’t respect their talents, opinions or ideas. Their families came first… everyone else came first. This is how I channel my feelings. I make little people as jewelry. =)
      I learned some years ago that many doll makers have lost children.
      Thank you for sharing Porro. As always, you are amazing.

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