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what's comin'

Sunday, March 06, 2011

"Child, you never know what's comin' for you," the old lady said. It wasn't a lament really. It seemed more like a statement of fact (as much as opinion) as she nears her 80th birthday with a husband ill and dying, having buried two of her three children and living on with what seems to be an unguarded heart and gratitude for all things.

The very next week we got the call that Bill's mom had been in an accident on the interstate. It was a routine trip for minor repair on the car that placed her in the lane where the crash occurred. Multiple fatalities when another driver (who had been subject to seizures apparently had one) flipped her car and multiple lives careened into chaos. We've alternated days and nights at a trauma center icu in North Carolina 5 hours from home. Brain bleed, multiple fractures, internal injuries, ventilator, feeding tube. Not a list you'd like to compile for yourself or anyone you love... anyone at all.

His mom, Carolyn, is already dealing with cancer diagnosis, the loss of her husband of 57 years and now these injuries. But today, off the vent and still incoherent, she looked squarely at me and said, "you just never know what's coming for you." Oddly repeating the sentiment of my new elderly friend, she added, "but that's good. I think that's good." Way into the night, she spoke of the need to "let go... to let nature take it's course... to get rolling on things... to get back to the fundamentals." She spoke plainly, with conviction, about the angel there with her... calling him by name. These are not new things for me, but new in the context of being present with someone I've loved a long time... Now there will be difficult decisions and days ahead, but "it's all ok, " she told me. "It's all interconnected. I know that now..." she said with assurance and a quiet peace.

This morning, following another restless night in ICU, she looked at me and said in that deliberate, slow, southern cadence, "Robin, your face is fading, but your heart is here. And, that's good." That made me smile. She may not have been able to see my face, but I hope she could feel my heart smile.

I hope you guys -- so present, compassionate and good -- can feel my heart smile. It's strange to miss being away from people we don't even "know." They're right, I suppose, we "never know what's comin' for us." It sure helps to feel your hearts out there even when faces fade. This morning I told her, again, that I love her. "And, I love you, "she said. "You must remember: we're all interconnected, and the love is all that matters." "Thank you for loving so well, " I told her. It occurs to me that I'd like to tell my "spark family" the same... We came here to lose weight, and we found so much more in the process. Thank you all for being such great losers... Thank you all for loving so well.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    3433 days ago
    Coming from a person who has consciously (and selfishly) practiced living life with emotions that are allowed and assigned to only certain individuals in my life (parents, siblings and children), this hit me in the heart.

    The thing the stands out to me most is that there is no anger in any of this, no blame, no fear...simply acceptance.

    In the dictionary in my head, if I looked up GRACE I think you and Carolyn would have avatars next to the definition. I have not journeyed with you through any of this but your words today have had a profound affect on my willingness to live with an open heart.

    Thank you.
    3513 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/9/2011 3:29:22 PM
    3513 days ago
    This is a heart wrenching story - bittersweet. My prayers are for Carolyn and your entire family. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words.
    3515 days ago
    Robin, I'm so sorry for your troubles. Sending you all love and good wishes. Take care of yourselves. emoticon

    3515 days ago
    Robin... my heart breaks for your pain... but rejoices in the confirmation of love ! Love is what we have to give, who we are and how we live. My prayers for Carolyn's best outcome, whatever that may be. My heart surrounds you with warmth and strength my friend ...
    3515 days ago
  • SUNNY332
    What an absolutely lovely blog, Robin. I too am crying as I not only think of Carolyn's life & the impact she has made in your life but also the amazing impact you have made in her life. I am so blessed by this blog and will be praying for the days ahead knowing that God is in charge and His will for Carolyn will be done.

    God Bless you all and if I haven't told you, I also thank you for being a part of my life. My heart is smiling also, my sweet friend.

    Hugs, Sunny
    3515 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing, Robin. I hope that I can always be open and let things be as they are. And perhaps someday I will learn the name of the angel by my side. May you and your loved ones be blessed and comforted.
    3516 days ago
    Oh Robin! Tonight I finally felt that I could handle a little reading and here I find you... compassionate, poignant, especially articulate, a heart unguarded (takes one to know one), inspiring... and a voice I treasure in my world.

    I'm walking beside you as best I can from a distance... I hope I'm not holding your hand too tightly...

    Love & prayers,

    MAY GOD ABUNDANTLY BLESS YOU, and those you love, in every way that you require. May he hold you gently in the palm of his hand in a very personal way, and may you rest in the fullness of his love, his grace, his strength, his wisdom, his rescue, his redemption, his healing, his inspiration, his restoration and his mercy as you require it! May you carry in your heart always an extra special awareness of God's great love for you, may you feel his sweet and gentle touch upon your life, and may you see his miracles all around you. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!
    3516 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6096849
    The amount of wisdom that comes with someone who lives 80+ years can be so profound and scary at the same time. Speaks volumes of how good and open your heart actually is. I'm sending your family good thoughts and light. Godspeed.
    3516 days ago
    Robin, I havent cried all week. Till now. I love you, too.
    3516 days ago
    Oh, dear Robin, I pray somehow you can feel my arms wrap around you over the miles. With tears for you in my eyes, I see your heart smile. Thank you for sharing this with us. I know you don't "know" me, but I AM real and AM really praying for you each time Jesus brings you to my mind. May you fee His strength & love as you minister to this dear loved one. emoticon
    3516 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8930045
    Thank you for sharing your story. You have made my heart smile, too. emoticon
    3516 days ago
    I feel your heart smile daily Robin. Love to you. emoticon
    3516 days ago
    Oh my God, Robin, what a splendid and poignant soliliquy (all but the last paragraph, that is) about a being you hold high in love and esteem. I am so sorry for her difficult journey and for yet another mind-boggling challenge in your life.

    And YES! I deeply feel your heart smiling. And thank YOU for loving so well, here and there.
    3516 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/6/2011 8:01:32 PM
  • DAISY443
    Robin, I am so sorry to hear about Bill's mom. She sounds like a truly amazing woman. What a astounding insight she is showing, coherent or not. And what compassion you display, although, I am not at all surprised by that! Thank you for loving her so well and for sharing that love with your Spark friends!
    3516 days ago
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