Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ON HEALING ~ Groundhog Day...

At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am over 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.
"You can get through anything life hands you if you stay put in the day you are in and don't jump ahead."
~ LESSON #17
(I must first preface my thoughts on the above by saying that I recently realized, after 45 "50 Lessons" posts, that the chain letter of this list that I was working off of was quite inaccurate in the order of Ms. Brett's actual list. I went back and corrected all of my previous entries to match the correct Lesson number. Which is why you find me covering Lesson #17 just now. You will find the remaining lessons to be in random order. For myself, who values accuracy and proper quotation, this is annoying. For you, it shouldn't make any difference - the lessons and my thoughts are in the end, the point - not their order of appearance.)

Tell that to Newtown citizens. Because they need something to pull them through right now. Tell that to citizens across this country for that matter. We all need someone to lead us through this minefield of horror.

In this tragedy, staying put is the problem. I am stuck in that day. My mind won't let me jump ahead. And so getting through what life has handed me is problematic.

I know that the point of this lesson is to take things one day at a time. To not get so caught up stressing over all of the big picture details that you become too overwhelmed to survive the most basic and key steps. But I just want to skip that part. I don't want to process pain; utter torture of the heart and soul. I don't want to plod along and through challenges. I want mommy to kiss it and make it all better. Pat me on the head and send me off on my merry little way, joyful and carefree again.

Instead, I am stuck. Running in place. Groundhog Day. Over and over, experiencing fear in my heart and tears in my eyes. Trying to figure out a way to express my sorrow and support for folks in Newtown who will be forced to go through the depths of despair in order to pull through to the other side. A long and desperate emotional journey. One that they will try to forge through by focusing on something else fiercely that will allow them to move through one day into the next; another family member, a joyful memory, a new cause.

I have my young son to hug and hold tight. I think that I have time for the world to get its shit together, before I have to nudge him out of the nest and give him wings to fly. But we never really know how long that time is. It certainly isn't forever, so I choose to stay put in the day I'm in. To marvel at and treasure how we're living through today instead of living in fear of what tomorrow could bring. And that's how I'm moving through what life has dealt us. I'm the lucky one. I know that. And I feel less guilty about it because I appreciate it. But when I figure out a way to help the healing of Newtown, I'll be better able to sleep at night.


Sandy Nawrot said...

I know, I keep thinking that if WE are feeling this way, how must they feel? My mind almost can't process it. I'm having a little bit of a struggle here because my kids have been quite difficult lately, like to the point where I think I need medication to manage the anxiety. But then I try to put it in perspective because at least I have them. I think only a whole bunch of time is going to heal this wound...for everyone.

Kathleen said...

Well said Molly. I can hardly stand to listen to the news coverage. It is heartbreaking but I know we have to do something to make the world a better place. These things can't keep happening. We have to find a way to put a stop to them.

kelley jensen said...

such a sad day, for everybody.

otin said...

Twenty little angels
crying out as one.
To Heaven they've ascended
Victims of the gun

A coward of a man
an unfamiliar name
Looking to make history
With psychopathic fame

I wish these suicidal
Self destructive fools
Would blow their brains out in their homes
And stay away from schools

So if your life's unbearable
And you've hit the skids
See a freakin' therapist
Please just spare the kids.

Anonymous said...

I really needed this lesson today. It's one I need to post by my bed so when I get up every morning I take a deep breath.
This post was beautifully written, Molly.

Lynn said...

Sweet post, Molly. And all the more poignant for you parents of little ones. There is only so much we can do to keep our children safe, and that's a scary thought. You may have already found a way to help those in Newtown -- but here's something I heard about and plan to participate in. There's an organization (Love Quilts? I think) that's making quilts for all the families affected by the tragedy. You can cross stitch a square and they will put them all together into quilts. Then on the one-year commemmoration of the date of the tragedy, will present them to the school and to the families. Cross stitching a square isn't much, but it's something I can do. Hope you find something you can do to help, too.

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