I feel good. Really good. In a way I haven’t felt for months. Maybe years.
Something shifted about a week ago. The clouds started to break apart Its more than the elation of feeling physically normal after a viral illness, although that is always a nice reward for being sick. I am motivated and energetic and driven to make my life meaningful.
Too much of 2011 was spent wrestling with what could not and can not be controlled. The present moment felt unbearable and I was lost to any sense of hope for the future, because I knew it wouldn’t have Mom in it.
Now, it is 2012. The new year has infused me with clarity and focus. There are some less-than-thrilling parts of my life that I neglected during my mother’s illness (for one, my car has set a new record for filth), but other important aspects stand ready and waiting for me to jump back in. These simple things feel wonderful–planning my oncology certification review. Purchasing a pass to a state park. Submitting and having my abstract accepted at a nursing conference.
If I were to go back one year, I’m not sure I would do anything different. Maybe be nicer or more patient with myself. Watching your loved one die is a slow heartbreak, and I did the best that I could do.
Mom wants me to be happy. It may cliché, but I feel her desire for my wellbeing so deeply, as if its part of my cellular makeup. She was selfless to a fault, and despite being grateful for the time we spent together she was uncomfortable with the degree in which my life was put on hold while she was fighting cancer. I feel her nudging me forward, into the future and whatever awaits me there. I owe it to her, and to myself, to make my life as meaningful and joyful as possible.
I felt from the moment I heard of Mom’s diagnosis that this was It: the point in which my entire life had been preparing me for and leading up to. Well, she is gone, and at times I have floundered with the “now, what?” But the process continues. Grief is transformative. I’m 31 years old, healthy, blessed with a life and a future. I’m going to make it the best and brightest one possible.