Today I got sudden flash of insight that moved me to a flood of tears; the good kind of crying. Thankfully I was alone; sudden sobbing isn’t well accepted in “normal” society.
I’m shaking my head in disbelief at the source of this inspired moment; it’s almost funny … actually I’m about to giggle (tee hee *grin*) … the universe works in mysterious ways! Bear with me, I shall explain.
I wasn’t actually alone when IT happened, I was on the phone with my sister. This might not sound very inspiring, but considering how things have evolved between us during our Dad’s journey of recovery from cancer (he moved home he’s doing so well) it’s freaking amazing!
You can read my previous post for gory details. I cut contact with my sister – in self-defence. Basically I ended up angry about my interpretation of my sister’s behaviour and the impact it had on my life. Paying bills with very little income put me in a bad mood; and it was all her fault. I tried convincing my family that I was right – she was deliberately manipulating the situation to her benefit – it was ALL about the money. I didn’t feel heard at all; so I shut down and stuffed it down – just like I was taught to do as a child. Anyone ever hear the phrase “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about?” … ummm yea, emotional self-regulation wasn’t really talked about in Scotland in the early 60’s!
But I digress. I deliberately chose to avoid my sister; I wouldn’t pick up the phone and the thought of the being in the same room with her gave me such angst I could imagine shoving her so I could get away. She avoided me too, for the first while, and it was the best thing ever! I know I’m “not supposed to say things like that” – another childhood mantra – but it’s the absolute truth. The relief was physical, palpable and highly pleasurable – like a phewwwwww with an ahhhhhh at the end 😉 …
Darn my sister anyways (laughing now) – she stopped avoiding me. Even had “the nerve” to pick up the phone when I called my Dad’s house, she could see it was my number “how dare she????” My thoughts ran along childhood lines again (see a theme here?) … she “always was poking me” … she “always knew exactly how to set me off” … I was “always getting in trouble because of her” … and worse “dammit anyways she’s making me act like a child!”
Then she had even MORE nerve by calling me and asking me to help her. “Arghghghghgh,” said I (on the inside) … as I listened to the message; there was no way I was going to pick up and actually TALK to her.
The helper in me couldn’t resist though; she wanted to know how to reset Dad’s answering machine which still said to call my number. It would help my Dad … and I wouldn’t have to field calls and be reminded that he didn’t live with me anymore. So, I called back to leave a message, planning to hang up if she answered; but I couldn’t do it – I tried to, but tense silence drew out the terse answer, then I hung up.
And that was pretty much the last time we talked until this morning. She was sharing information and I was saying as little as possible. Then she began telling me about my Dad and what they do together – she ended with “and just hanging out” … that’s when it hit me and I stopped listening; she kept talking quite happily in the background. Eventually I had to stop her and get off the phone, but in a thankful, open way – so I could process what had smacked me between the eyeballs.
What was it? A sudden recollection of a moment; a full colour video replay of my father talking to Galileo, one our cats, outside in the sunshine. They were so connected and attuned to each other, Dad was so tender, his voice was so loving, his touch so well received and returned … and I was so moved to see him like that; my heart got so full that tears overflowed out through my eyes … it was beautiful.
And with that moment, I realized how precious the time I had with my Dad was; six months of him living with my family allowed me to know him in a new way. I’ve been so mixed up with the noise in my head and wrestling with what is going on; struggling, seeing “poor me” and “evil sister” … I spiralled down into deep depression. Again; argh!! I’ve been there, done that, I’m a work in progress … thankfully my “recovery muscles” are getting stronger with practice (*grin*)
Today, I realized how much I miss those magical moments and what a gift they were. I saw my Dad in a new way, under a new light; a tender loving light that came from him … I’m welling up again in gratitude, just remembering. Now, instead of lamenting my loss, I can cherish those precious moments; like this one:
And much more recently; this moment – growing together and glowing together – or put another way 136 years of life experience between the two of us! I am grateful for aging; perhaps now I’ll be more graceful about it? Ha ha!
Here’s the thing; I didn’t know I was stuck until I let go – so now I can say thanks to my sister for smacking me between the eyeballs by describing her good times with Dad – as bizarre as that sounds – it’s my truth – so there (sticking my tongue out!) Who knew I was the jealous type?
So now, by choice, I hereby declare: I continue to look to the good, while acknowledging the lessons brought on by “bad” stuff. I can’t stop fear, I can’t stop flashes of anger or anxiety; I can acknowledge them and allow them to pass on by, all part of the joy of BEing human.
In summary; the big laugh about all of this? In the beginning “sister + talk of money” equalled disaster for me. Today; “sister + talk of money” equalled breakthrough.
Isn’t the universe hilarious that way?