Monday, April 18, 2011

Wholly week

Oh look!  The Retarded Mother has had another thought and decided she needed to share it with the blogosphere.  Is this conceited?  Yikes. I hate arrogant people who think everybody wants to read what they write.   Ooops.  There I go again.   Me and who I hate.  And so there you have it.  You're on the runway with me now.   You might as well stay. 
It is Holy Week.   Taylor and I began by having our own little Palm Sunday service on our carport.  I sang.  He held the oak branch.  Wholly Holy. I mean it.
This  wholly/holy week has sort of jostled me around too with some pretty profound juxtapositions that have left me both full of thought.... and tearful.   Curious circumstances have laid my life with Taylor slap up against the lives of some real live human beings at the top of their game.  This past week,  I have interacted with Fulbright Scholars,  Most-Likely-to Succeeds, Endowed- Chair- Named- For -Him person,  She publishes two books a year writer, and  close relatives who have won big awards.   There is a synchronicity here.  I am supposed to be noticing something.  A lesson is being offered. 

Even up there in that picture, it's impossible to say where God is not.

Am I brave enough to open my eyes and ponder it?  If I am willing, I  know that it will lead me towards wholeness and healing. (Thank you for letting me use words like this.  Are you barfing?)
      I have sat with  Taylor this week  as he was  hooked up to a Tens Unit.  Have you ever seen one of those?  It's to help relax the muscles in his neck.  (Over-share----sorry!)  But it sort of visually makes the two of us look even more awkward and alien.  No Fulbright Scholars sitting in this kitchen.  That's for darn sure.  Just a regular mama and  her son living this life--- consciously and lovingly---but a bit on the outer fringes of what People Magazine might have on its SUCCESS page. 
    I am both amazed and amused at how ironic and metaphorical and illusive and unfair and hard and magical and transcendent life is----all at the very same moment. 
What struck me way down to my core being during this holy week is how really it all---this life/these trappings/these outward decorations for which we all relentlessly yearn--how really it is our souls that matter.  Our souls and our hearts and our willingness to love----like really love-----gnarled hands, webbed feet, wounded sides, scarred skin, imperfect lives-----it's that willingness to see ourselves and the other person as worthy, as beings/people  to be heard and treasured. 
That's going to end up being the bottom line.   Go ahead.  Read to the end of your life's book.   I swear, you're going to find out that this is what it's about.
I admit it.....reluctantly.  I compare myself and my life to others.  They have this.  They earned that.  They were awarded this.  He has this degree.  She got honored for that.  Their children are perfect.  His house is bigger.  Her legs are thinner.   She can do math.  All of it.  And then where does that leave us/leave me?
I just don't want to hate my life or feel like it has not been enough.  While I nor Taylor have yet to  be awarded any of the Nobel prizes--- nor have I ever won the bathing suit competition in any soul/Taylor's soul is alive and abundant and thriving and willing and available and nourished and resplendent. 
 Souls--- Alive. Abundant.
 Resplendent sounds pretty darn radiant, doesn't it?
Holy radiant.
Oh Lord, and we're only half way through this  Holy Week.
Wholly radiant.
That ain't so bad.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Asking for Help

I come from a family of hard workers/educated yeoman farmers/ heavy lifters.  Seriously, I was raised to take care of myself (and others), to not require or ask for much, and to handle whatever comes along---with a smile on my face and a song in my heart (and on my lips) no matter what was going on.  I am not a whiner.  I have a high threshold before I begin to complain. I can stand a lot. I can be brave.  These traits were implicitly rewarded  in my family.  Do your part.  Try not to have many needs.  Don't ask for help.
Translation:  You can do this.  You can get through it.  Just keep on going.  Plow on through.  Chin up.  Nose to the grindstone.   Are you getting the picture?
   I haven't written in a long time.  I have been in a dark place.  My role as God's wife has been tested. And, just as I figured and sort of knew all along, I never really was God's wife.   That was just something I had tried to squeeze my way into.   You see, for these past few months, I have worked harder than ever to "fix" Taylor's pain, to figure it out, to dig around and find one more answer.  What I did find out from a doctor at Johns Hopkins is that Taylor does have degenerative osteoarthritis of the cervical spine.  On a recent Friday afternoon, the orthopedic surgeon simply said, "Taylor is not going to ever get better.  You are into managing pain from here on out."  So, there it was.  Harsh. Truthful. Words not palatable but information that shifted our course.  So, for the past five years I had been on a barefoot trek across the medical Sahara thinking there would be a cure---a way towards healing and physical wholeness for Taylor's spine.   News flash mama:  No. That won't be happening.   Regroup.  Smile.  Sing.  Move heavy furniture all by yourself.  You can do this.   Really?  I don't think so.
      Last week I asked for help.  I hate to admit I need help. It feels a bit like failure.  Even knowing all of the things I can say to myself about how healthy it is to see a professional, I still drag my heels.  Let me try one more time to do this on my own.  But I knew I was going under and I was beginning to be afraid.  I do not know how to read this life map about how to raise a son in chronic pain.  Forget the retarded part.  That is a piece of cake.  No kidding.
 Retardation=piece of cake. 
Chronic pain=This is way too hard. 
    So I went to see a counselor.   And, I sat there and cried.  I told her I don't know how to be a  mother to Taylor.   I don't have answers.   Heck, I don't even know the questions.  But, I did something huge for myself:  I took care of myself.  I asked for help.  And I got help.  I was heard and acknowledged and comforted and assured I wasn't crazy.  (Well, I can't swear to that last thing.)  I shared my stories.  I guess I already told you I cried.  And then some more.
And, I'm going back.
For help.
It's ok to ask for help.
Is there a bumper sticker that says that yet and can I have one?
Anybody else want one/need one?