Hi Everyone – Yes, I know there’s been another big gap in time since I’ve written, and honestly I have no explanation. As 2018 quickly approached, I decided on three changes I needed to make.
The first was a simple one – change my hair color – which I did, I am now a REDHEAD!
The second was to find a job with a stable company that I could retire from – I did that too! After finally leaving a job that sucked the life out of me and destroyed my soul (you can read about that hellish experience here. ), I am now happily settled in a job with a great company who values their employees and treats them well.
Third – I decided to sell the house I grew up in and find a place of my own. The memories here have become too much for me, and as my heart keeps telling me, “you can’t have a life of your own if you keep holding on to the pieces of the one you used to have.” So, I have to go. The latter is actually one of two things that prompted this post. If you’ve ever picked up your life and moved, you know how much stuff you come across when cleaning things out. Old receipts, notes on a piece of paper – both of which you kept for God knows what reason – and little odds and ends that you may have been looking for awhile back, but are useless to you now.
As you know, we lost two well-known people to the tragedy of suicide last week. The first was Kate Spade, age 55 – a woman who turned the fashion world upside down with her sleek, simple, yet modern style. The second was Anthony Bourdain – the celebrity chef who at age 61 decided that his life was over. Both of them appeared to have it all – they looked happy, had plenty of money, careers they loved – but as life teaches us time and again – what appears to be is not always true. And yes, this is the second reason I felt compelled to write this post.
Those of you who follow my blog know that I lost my folks – Dad in 2012, and Mom in 2015. The pain was unbearable. Sometimes it still is, but I won’t go through all of that again here – you can read about it at http://www.stinkerbellsays.com.
Okay, so back to the purpose of this post. As I was going through my closet and dressers in my bedroom I came across the journals I kept when mom and dad were sick. I began to look through them, reading passages here and there remembering each entry, each event, each feeling, with such vividness I felt like I was there again. I cried, I laughed (see the Tim McGraw story) and although at times it was painful, it brought back memories I think God wanted me to see and feel again.
I picked up the next journal after I finished the first, and when I opened the cover, the ceiling fan above me blew the small envelope tucked inside across the room. When I finally caught up to it, I opened the envelope and inside were two pieces of paper. The first was a copy of mom’s obituary – her smiling face looking up at me; the second was a piece of paper torn from the same journal I was holding. The paper looked crumpled, both sides were written on, and I knew even before I unfolded it exactly what it was. On the first side – in my own sloppy, left handed writing – was the following:
I’m laying here in bed
Today we buried mom
And I have to wonder, Is there a point
For me to even go on?
I wish I could just go to sleep
And never wake up again.
I want to be with mom and a dad
As they spend the rest of my life in heaven
They are both gone, I have no purpose.
I just do not fit in.
My days will be full of nothing now,
Except my own attempt to live.
I cannot go on
In a world without Mom here
She is the one who loved me most
And the one I hold most dear.
Perhaps it would be best
If I left this world of pain
And joined the ones who gave me life
I can’t do it – No, wait – I can.
The pills are downstairs waiting,
Calling for me to come.
“Go on, just do it,” I hear them say
“The life you knew is gone.”
My heart skipped, as I remembered writing this; every stroke, every word, every feeling that created what – at that time – was going to be my last poem ever. I was so determined to end my life – I didn’t give a damn about who I left behind or what they would feel. But apparently, someone else had other plans for me – on the other side of the paper the following was written:
I open up my bedroom door
And walk slowly down the stairs
I know what I’m doing is what I need
And I can leave those who claim to care.
As I reach the final step
I find my legs just can’t go on.
Something is holding my feet to the floor
And I can’t move as I turn to run,
I look up to see a silhouette
Of the face I lost today
She smiles at me and nods her head
As if to say, “Honey, it will be okay.”
My feet are suddenly free again
As I turn to walk up the stairs
I look back to see her reflection gone,
But a faint voice whispers,
“Sweetheart, although we are not there,
You have so many people who care.”
No one in my life has ever seen that poem before – not even my closest friends; and only a handful know that this was not my only thoughts of, or attempt at suicide. Yes, there was one other, but that’s a story for another day. It took me a long time to understand the pain that I would leave behind; the people who love me would suffer in a way that I would have been responsible for.
Mom’s been gone three years, Dad, six years and I think about them and miss them every day. I’m not going to tell you it gets easier – in truth, it doesn’t. As I awake each morning, for just a split second, I forget they’re gone and it’s so peaceful. But then reality sets in and I must put one foot in front of the other and try face another day without them.
If you have ever wished you were dead in an attempt to leave your pain behind, or tried as I did to end the suffering, please understand you are not alone. The pain does not go away, you just make room for it, somehow. As each day passes, that place you’ve created will grow, and instead of crying and wishing you were dead, you will smile, and be thankful you’re alive.