Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Coffee and Pineapple


This last week I had the luxury of talking with a friend while my daughter played happily with one of her besties and my husband and my son raced Matchbox cars on the coffee table.

Our conversation topics zigzagged, touching on subjects such as how to teach our girls to ride without training wheels, embracing family dysfunctions, how good pineapple tastes if cut by a Filipino, the emotional journey of coping with the death of a child, and more.

It was a good night.  There were laughs, pleasant disruptions, tears, and coffee, pretty much a perfect evening if you ask me.

As you can see some of the topics were pretty heavy, but the ability to talk freely, share openly, cry safely… it was just what I needed and I didn’t even know it.  I felt a little cleansed afterward.  Like a tiny bit of space was made in my broken and full heart.

For those that don’t know, this Mom About the Town is smack-dab in the middle of lots of things such as raising a seven year old girl to be modest and confident, teaching a two year old to share, loving a husband through the darkest days of our life together, and mourning the loss of his 28 year old son, my step-son of over 14 years.  Life is busy. Life is sad.  Life is full.

Not always is my conscious self so aware of what my subconscious self is working through and therefore I am not always as tentative to me as I should be.  But taking the time with a friend, drinking a good cuppa, and resting was just what my “me” needed.

Some of the new and old revelations of the evening…
1)      Duct tape can fix a wand and save the night.
2)      Kids are loud but when the loudness comes from giggles of happy, loud is ok.
3)      Every one of us comes from a screwed up family.
4)      Death sucks.
5)      Pineapple in December, cut Filipino style is the best.
6)      No matter how alone you think you are; you are not.
7)      It’s ok to be sad… it’s ok to be happy.  It’s ok to be both within seconds of each other (although the DSM-5 does spell out when that can become diagnosable).
8)      Crying can feel good.
9)      No parent should ever lose a child.  Ever.  At any age. Period.
10)   Parents lose children, and it sucks.

I think one of the biggest moments for me that evening was when I remembered Bowen’s concept of “Family System’s Theory” that I studied in my MA program for Counseling Psychology (anytime my ridiculous decision to go to an expensive university pays off, I celebrate it;  I need a million and twelve more revelations).

Essentially the idea is that we all are connected, we all have roles we play in our home, in our work environment, in our everywhere.  We are connected to everyone around us in some way.  The deepest connections are of course with family.  And when one of our family members is no longer here – because they pass away from the complications of the incurable disease Cystic Fibrosis on September 13th, 2012 while you are holding their hand, with no words able to describe the pain your heart endures at the moment they take their last breath and you want crawl up with them and leave the world behind to join them…. I digress.

As I was saying, when one family member is removed from the system… it affects everyone.  First you just stare at the big emptiness that is left behind. That staring at the emptiness takes awhile – nobody knows just how long and it differs for everyone. And it hurts.  Bad.

The overwhelming acknowledgement of just how much that person is needed in your life and how much they are missed is not just a thought, but a physical ache. A gut wrenching hurt.

Staring at the emptiness you realize that the person you lost is no longer present to fill their role.  They are not there to be the honest, blunt, wise, loving, an in your face soother.  They are no there to challenge your ways, to forgive your sins, to offer you laughter, to be a mirror, to offer you a cheesy smile at the perfect moment, to look at you with eyes more soulful than should be possible for a 28 year old. They are no longer there to balance the Harmony of one, the anger of another, and more.

Now we are all left unsettled and missing and I am hoping that eventually we will all be able to accept our new roles, absorbing part of what we miss so much. Maybe those that need are able to forgive a little more, those that need are able to speak up a little more, those that need are able to make changes where they should… taking on the role of who no longer exists in our day to day “play”.  And maybe, just maybe, we can get to a point where we feel connected again. 

Right now this Mom About the Town isn’t feeling connected at all.  Discombobulated is more like it.  But I have faith, and I had the “Aha” moment while eating pineapple that this is just for now.  I will figure out a new normal, I will treasure the new wisdom I have received, and I will slowly plug back in to my family unit, we will all slowly plug back in and we will be ok.  We will make a new norm.

However, it is worth putting out into the universe that right now, if at all possible, I could use a little break from any other roles being thrown into a tailspin.  I need some good status quo in my life while I figure out the emptiness I am feeling, we are feeling as a family.

It won’t be forever, but for right now.. yeah, give me a freaking break!  And in return, I promise to give people around me a break.  Back to the saying that I love so much.  Do no harm.  And when you can… Do good. 

Whoa! That was heavy stuff. Clearly the next post needs to be something fun and light.  But hey, this is life, right? We can’t hide from it.  No matter how much we try.  Mine as well share it and move on.

As for all the other Mom’s about the town… I hope you are doing well, I wish you lots of love, great friends, and occasional nights out where you just get to drink coffee and eat pineapple!

1 comment:

Dear Gina said...

Nailed it! I love those brain resting moments. I love you too.