Thursday, December 1, 2011
Tears, Laughter and Everything in Between
My feelings are so overwhelming that I’m not sure what to write or say. There are so many emotions twisting inside of me that I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry or both. Mostly I want to cry but then I remember the good side of what is making me cry. Like I said I am so very emotional and so uncertain about what I feel or why.
My friend is 52 years old and has progressive MS. She has persevered for more than 10 years since her diagnosis. She had to retire early from a career (United Methodist church minister) she loved, far more than I ever loved mine. She is not married, has no children, and her mother died several years ago. She has siblings, but they are busy with their own lives.
This week she made a move I cannot imagine. She gave up her condominium and moved into an independent living facility. The part of this that hurts me the most is that she gave up her dog of 10+ years – her constant companion and loving friend. She did this willingly, as she knew her dog would do better in a new home than confined to a patio in her new home. And, on top of this, she fell last week (while still in her condo) and probably fractured her tailbone. So, when she tries to lift herself up with her arms, as she has always been able to do (you should see the bulging arm muscles she has for a skinny gal), she hesitates, due to the pain. In that moment of hesitation, sometimes she loses her strength and starts to sway. Somehow, she catches herself, or maybe one of us is nearby, but so far so good.
As she recovers from the fall and her pain lessens, I believe she will begin to enjoy her new life in a different place - a place where she gets her meals and does not have as many “responsibilities.” A place where she has a beautiful and large living room full of windows and light and where people are welcoming and loving. There are many complications to her situation; however, she has had an amazing outpouring of support – from friends, church, UMC pastors (active and retired) and, well you-name-it. She is so loved and hopefully she feels that throughout her entire being this week and forever.
So, I go back and forth between saying I can’t wait to get to heaven to ask God why this has all happened to her and wanting to fall on my knees and thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed on all of us in this situation. Regardless of which way I go, I seem to be full of tears. These tears are a combination of sadness and joy and sometimes both at the same time. I am thankful for her internal and external strength and for her great faith. Knowing her has made me a better person and I am thankful for her friendship. I don’t understand so many things in this old world and I am emotional about many of these. Sometimes emotions just don’t fall neatly into place like the moves usually portray them. Sometimes these emotions are so confusing that they make the Hallmark Channel seem simplistic. I believe this is one of those times….