When I sat in the ECU holding the hand of my dying mother, it wasn’t about me. It was about being there for her, to be a loving daughter, to be a physical presence for another soul, my mother, as she passed reluctantly from this Earth.
When I helped my father when he visited my mother in her final days, I was there for him, to support him in his grief, to provide his transport, to cook his meals, to talk with the doctors, as he struggled, losing his lifetime companion. It was not about me.
When my husband and I resigned from good jobs, sold our home and most of our personal possessions, in order to be there to care for my father as he declined into ill health, it wasn’t about me. It was to be there for him at 1am and 3am and 5am 24/7, responding to his needs, helping him stagger to the toilet, giving him medicine to ease his pain. As I tried to allow him the space and dignity he deserved as his body failed him, lifting him when he fell, keeping him clean and comfortable, it was all about him, never about me.
When I had to oversee the Will as Executor, to deal with their much-loved possessions; never mine to give or take; I did so with respect and as instructed. I repeatedly asked for help and was consistently ignored by some. It was never about me.
When I grieved for my parents, a hole in my life, it was about me. And while others grieved too, I could barely contain my own grief. But still I wrote the thank you notes and made the phone calls, not for me, but for my parents.
As I sat in my parent’s home waiting for the slow legal wheels to turn, waiting for the right to sell, and my husband cleaned their house after their cancers had taken the limelight causing five years of neglect, it was never about me, or him, but in restoring order and treating their Estate with respect.
When I try to give gifts to my adult children, to extend a kindness, to celebrate their birthdays, milestones, and Christmas, it is about every mother’s joy in being able to give something to the ones they love. Maybe that is about me. But when that joy is denied that is not about me.
When I go to work, to earn money to live, I feel privileged to be able to share a love of books and reading. It is not about me. It is about extending that known joy to others lives.
I only have two eyes, one mind, one heart, and that is me. It’s all I have to experience this world. My conscience is clear, as I know my motives are genuine. I am not selfish, but my loss is all about me. It is impossible to carry someone else’s grief. I can see it, sit with it, give empathy, be kind, if given the opportunity.
What else could I have done, I wonder? There were always others involved in these experiences, and I respect and honour their involvement and personal perspective. It was never all about me. But I can’t speak for them.
This blog, my blog, is all about me. And I have struggled to find my voice again, silenced and humbled by common personal life events. I stagger on; a zombie, like the walking dead.