There are times in your life when you have to do things alone.
I remember how, when my Dad was dying in the nursing home, and he was struggling so badly, Mum and I were distraught. I remember how I flew into the nursing supervisor's office in hysterics, and he told me to sit down and listen to what he had to say. He was a small Jamaican man, older than me, with a beautiful voice and what he said to me will stay with me for the rest of my days.
He said... Your father is on a journey he has to make on his own. You cannot help him, nor can you go with him. You can't carry him, or do it for him. All you can do, as he walks through the valley of the shadows, is sit and watch, and wait, and love him. (And if you can't do that, get out of the room.)
Sometimes, you cannot make things better or solve every problem. Or take people with you. You cannot retain control, no matter how much you are used to calling the shots, or making decisions. This is something I have always struggled with, because I am a control freak. Well, I once thought I was in control of everything, and then came up slap bang against reality.
I am in a place like that at the moment. I am absolutely calm and peaceful about it, but it is a walk I am taking alone. It is a lonely place at times, but it is something I have to do, and even though I have family and friends who love me, they can't do it for me, or make it better or easier.
I have wondered, over the past few days, why it is that I have no energy and need to rest so much, and I think it is because in a sense, soon I will be able to let go and actually be free to pick up the pieces of my life. When I have finished my walk along this path. I choose not to spend a lot of time with my friends at the moment. I am "going inwards" in a way. I have nothing to talk about, and to be quite frank, the world has heard enough of my hospital trials and death and dispute, and it is 15 months for heaven's sake.
And I think that my friends want "me" back. The me they are used to. Not this woman who is caught up in something which is not easy to talk about. They see a woman, at the moment, who they are not that familiar with, and it is probably something they are not all that comfortable about. I am making assumptions here, I admit quite freely, but I am strange to me too, so I am possibly hitting the nail on the head.
For now, the lighter side of life has deserted me.
I tried to play. I really did. I tried to do things which I normally love doing, and I just cannot at the moment. Even reading a book is beyond me right now. I am usually chatty and involved, an extrovert, and at the moment, I stand to the side and watch and say very little.
So here I am. In a strange place. Maybe I will carry this new introspective, serious side of me forward. I don't know. Maybe it is part of the refining process. Maybe it is just finally sinking in that it will all be over soon. I hope. And maybe, finally, I will be able to let myself grieve for the man who I married 31 years ago, who was the father of my 3 children.
It is a lonely place to be, even though I am peaceful. It is an unfamiliar path, and I can't see where it leads to, but I know I have to keep moving ahead towards whatever lies around the corner.
I am on a journey through the life which was planned for me before I was born, and it has still got many unexpected twists and turns ahead, I suspect. Sometimes, we have choices to make about forks in the road, and sometimes, there are none, so you just keep walking on...up and up... and up. Leaving the path can be perilous.
When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor, and I considered becoming a lawyer. I didn't do either. Now, this week, I will be using the parts of my brain which would have been used to be either of those things. But most of all, I will be being just me. The new me, who has weathered all the storms so far. A little dented, perhaps, but still moving forward.
It has been a long 15 months.