A friend once told me, of how he admired my resilience. I never thought of myself resilient.
the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity:
“nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience”
After officially looking up the term, I understand why I felt this didn’t fit.
Mainly because I despise nylon.
My first memory of loss was when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. It was my little dog Tiny and her lifeless little body lying on the grass after my Father picked her up from the street as he said “she was hit by a car”
The age of nine, my best friend lost her Father. I recall going to her house with my parents, bringing food and even at that age I couldn’t understand the concept of bringing food, but it seemed like the right thing to do. From the time we sat on her bed, talking about what it felt like for her, to the silent wave in the church at the funeral, I had no idea what it felt to lose someone you love. I just know I felt her sadness.
My Grandfather was the first family member I lost. Trying to understand how I was never going to see him again was something a young child could not embrace.
I lost 2 of my paternal uncles in the years following. Watching the impact it had on my Father with each one and not knowing his pain, I was lost on what to do for him or knowing what to say. Both Parents, who passed before I was born, he lost years before.
1979. A tornado wrecked my hometown, and in its path, my Brother suffered the greatest loss of our community as it took his youngest son, injuring his two older sons and paralyzing his wife. Their home was lost, but that seemed to be trivial at the time. This was when I first felt complete heartbreak. My Sister (in law) survived with a courage and strength, I so admired. She was such inspiration to our family. She was such a light for me.
Two years later following intense surgeries and therapy, she went in for her last surgery to remove the metal rods that were placed to support her spine at the time of the injury. Her body could not sustain the complications and internal bleeding from that surgery and that night, and we lost an Earth Angel.
My maternal Aunt had a severe stroke that eventually placed her into a nursing home before she passed on several years later.
My Mother soon after had a severe stroke that put her into months of hospitals and rehab just to get her home, where my Father quit everything he knew to lovingly care for her.
Not long after, my Maternal Grandmother died. My Mother could not imagine her life without her. Her heart breaks again, as she moved through her physical struggle.
As did mine. Again.
Years pass and my Mother developed bronchitis, which ruptured a blood vessel after a coughing fit. The amount of medication and blood thinners that inhabited her body, made it impossible to get the bleeding under control. Despite the pain she was in, she knew God would give her mercy. She died a painful death. I saw no mercy.
My Father left this earth 8 years ago after a battle with cancer. The years after my Mothers passing, he continued to shine and contribute. He loved his family, his friends, his church. He still fought for his country in ways that only a veteran could. He left me, left us with humility and love.
My Brother suffered a Heart attack in 2014. After 2 weeks in the hospital, he had enough and went on to join the rest of my family. Leaving his family behind much sooner than we hoped.
Me resilient? Not so much.
Losing my Son has been by far the most unimaginable loss. While I know what heartbreak feels like, there is no preparation for what heart loss would feel like or what it would feel to have a part of my soul severed so severely that at times I have no idea how to navigate anything, not to mention never hugging him, talking with him or cooking for him again. Watching my daughter grieve through this is a whole other pain in itself.
Life is fucking hard as it is. Now this?
I will never go back to the same shape. Everyday I look in the mirror and acknowledge the change. I continue to have faith that this new shape will keep moving to that steadfast love, a lovelier light and a stronger divine connection. This band of Angels, FAMILIAR Angels that surround me, and my daughter, encouraging strength and courage…. can not be doubted.
What I’ve learned is to not be resilient to change. It resists the plan and in turn the struggle continues. The connection remains. Just stop to see it, feel it and hear it. Yes, I do believe in God, but I believe he resides in all of us to do good work for ourselves and to love unconditionally. As any Father would want us to do.
In the meantime… Bring good food to a friend.
Sit with them on their bed and talk of love. Brush their hair, express the heartbreak. Cry. Wrap them up with new light, with that familiar light. Always say I love you and never leave without a smile.
This. This is life.
As is music, and dancing… and a good margarita.
The sum of all values from zero to infinity are less than love.