If you found your way to any fundraising site this summer, you may have seen my post;
“While I have donated to the occasional fundraiser, I have never placed myself on the receiving end. However, I find myself in a place familiar to many and feared by all. This morning, my mom passed away. She has spent the whole of my life, living by her own rules and following the beat of her own tambourine.
Due to the struggles, she faced (and what I believe to be a life self-medicating due to repeated trauma) for all of my childhood, I constantly feared receiving a call informing me of her death. I think I have been on pause, too busy holding my breath—
This morning should not have been such a surprise. I should have been ready. Prepared. Alert. Expecting. “Readier”. Truth is, I just was not. I was adrift. Floating on a waving sky of unknowns and what-ifs…”
Losing my mother was devastatingly tragic. Getting the call at 2:30am and hearing the nurse say, “She’s gone” both stopped me in my tracks and propelled me deep within myself to a dark place I had never seen. For a good and long while, I sat on the side of my bed and gargled on my next step and not a single clear thought would form. Now, you have to know me…I’m a bit of a mental mountain climber. I am never at a loss for a next plan b, c, d, e, f, g, h, I, and all the way to z. I work in an industry that requires me to solve problems, monitor, and adjust countless times per day. I thrive on the challenge of navigating choppy waters and excel at seeing the lines outside the box. Yet, in that quietly screaming moment, my whole world stopped being and I just sat. I sat and I breathed. Each breath I took reminded me of the life roaring in me and carried me to open myself to taking a next step.
I began to formulate a plan for packing, traveling 956 miles, planning a funeral, and meeting the expectations of my employer. As I worked to manage my life in that minute (and it truly was a minute at a time and nothing more) I thought about husband, three kids, really old but wonderful dog, and I wondered how I could walk past the pain. How would I keep my cool when the chaos of a long car trip began? How would I manage my teenagers’ raging emotions and control my own? The answer was right there… I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be able to stop the tears, to block the nightmares, to calm my fears, nor shield them from my hurt and anguish and the truth is, I didn’t even need to try. In that season of broken and battered my family needed to see me need. They needed to know that mommy is not always going to fix it. Mommy didn’t have all the answers. Mommy needed someone to lean on too. I feared they would be disappointed seeing behind the curtain and discovering that I was only human, but instead this opportunity for transparency allowed them to discover something great. They learned how we all (even those we think have it all together) need a support system of friends, family, and community. They learned that they are able to contribute greatly to our family and they learned how to put on their wings and lead the way. I watched my sweet (ages 16, 14, and 6) babies love on each other like never before, hold each other a little tighter, and shower me with the affection and warmth I didn’t know I needed.
As parents we wonder if we are getting it right, but what I learned is this… You will not know if you got it right, until things in life go all wrong. If things begin to fall apart around you and you all continue to stand, you are more than halfway to victory.