I asked my grandfather a few weeks ago, "You know how most of the time you have a sense of the future, of things to come"? He paused, hesitant to answer the wrong way. "I don't have that anymore. It seems so gray."
Then I veered onto other topics; I'm a dodger, a veer-er, an "I'm fine" type gal. It's a huge flaw, for most often it results in spectacular crashes that probably could have been avoided had I just asked for help.
I felt so overwhelmed that I thought I shouldn't even write here, because it's hard sometimes, to put to paper the reality of how I feel; and who wants to be bombarded with more heavy stuff--we all carry our crosses. I want to be the person helping to carry yours; not adding to the weight.
When I jokingly posted below about Little A's recent health scare, I wrote in jest, trying to plaster a smile over my greatest fear; I do that too; smile when inside I'm on my knees, rocking myself.
As an infant, she quit breathing frequently, due to her prematurity, and she rarely slept. There were monitors and 911 calls and breathing life into her, and me hovering around it all, an outsider looking in, shutting down pieces of myself just so that I could sustain.
I told those closest to me that I felt like possibly her reason for fighting sleep was because she knew on some level that it posed a danger to her. Something intrinsic, perhaps. They said it was my own fear-mongering. Who can blame them, I'm a first-degree worrier, too.
She's not doing well--she's been sick daily, she's sleeping erratically, she's crying when she's awake, almost all the time.
Big A turned ten, and when we were putting the candles on her cake, one of the girls laughed when just the number "1" was on there, while I looked for the "0". "Oh, Big A, are you one"? And at that moment, it was all I could do not to cry.
She was one, once upon a fairy-tale. She loved me then, because she had no idea of my flaws and imperfections. I was her world, and now, on most days, it's all I can be not to be her nemesis. I don't have the time to be the mom that I want to be to her, so I try to eek out what I can, but I know it's just not enough; it's not enough.
I want to give her cupcakes for her birthday that aren't four short for her class--who the hell just assumes that conveniently, there are 24 students, since it's the same amount of batter that you have? I want to give her homemade cookies when she walks in the door, and not sad looks when we arrive home at 7:30 and she asks, "What's for dinner"? and I tell her, "I don't know; I just got here, too". ("This isn't her fault, she's a freaking kid, act like her mother, jennifer, and feed her. Jesus Christ. Seriously, you can't even pull together dinner without feeling like you're drowning?") The person inside of me hates me. I hope she never finds me alone in a dark alley.
Some things have happened at work that I'll have to post about later, if at all. I knew that in this field, nearly all of my clients would have major issues and be in need of massive help. I wanted to do it anyway. I wanted to be the person that made a difference to them; peripherally, it looked light and breezy and lofty; in reality, it's dark and heavy.
Last week I was brutally honest with one of my clients; I told him the job market was the worst in the nation and that with his sporadic work history coupled with violent felonies, his placement could take up to a year, if his counselor approved me working with him that long. Instead of trying to deliver hope, I was purposely trying to make him not believe in what I could do for him.
"It's OK, I'm a changed person. I accept that I have to deal with my past, and I'm grateful that you're willing to work with me, not many people are." Who, in that moment, was helping whom? It wasn't I. He proceeded to leave me a voice mail yesterday, telling me that he just wanted to thank me again, and that he was really looking forward to the future. "Fan mail", joked a colleague, "but I was trying to be mean", I countered. She looked at me and rolled her eyes. "Nice try". There I was, trying to be as dark as I possibly could to him, and somehow, someway, he still felt the sun.
And your light, your compassion; it's given me hope and reminded me of things that, somehow, though I thought they were written on my heart, I forgot.
And now, the dawn, the sun, the comfort that there are hands to hold when it's dark.
And most importantly, hope.
I hope you can feel it, too.