There are times when silence is necessary. Quiet reflection, stillness, exhalation. I found myself in a state of mind consistent with floating on the stillness of the ocean, buoyed by the salinity, the sun peaking in and out behind the clouds, shadows flickering behind my closed eyelids. It is absolutely blissful, however, not as conducive to angsty curse-filled blog accounts of the unfairness of a doctor mom’s life. I reached steady state. How does one rail against such peace and calm? One doesn’t. One just floats.
I’m still floating. I am enjoying my work, teaching my students, laughing with my patients and fellow healthcare providers. I am running along pathways in the forest and along the roads, listening to my angsty music. Occasional songs from my mom’s funeral playlist intermingle and instead of bringing me to tears, it makes me feel close to her again, makes me remember her voice which I haven’t heard in 2 years. My run doesn’t even skip a beat like it used to. I’d have to slow down to catch my breath because it got caught somewhere in the ether where she now lives and I couldn’t bring it back. I couldn’t bring her back.
There is a delightful rhythm to my life. Morning routines, the unyielding banter of children, letting the dog out and then letting him back in -endlessly forever, the plans for trips that involve running endless miles in strange towns, reading Harry Potter to my kids at night, sleeping again, reaching over and holding my husband’s hand in the night, tapping into new art forms, making something out of nothing -endlessly forever.
I could live in this space forever, endlessly forever, but I know there will be moments to swirl and stir my peaceful ocean. Waves will come, some small, some like a hurricane with massive flooding, spreading destruction everywhere it touches. I will have to find some bit of flotsam and jetsam to cling to, some discarded bits that are really gifts from the universe telling me to hang on! Hold on! Don’t let go! No matter how small, appreciate the gifts that the universe, God provides. Even in the worst possible moments, something will float by that makes the difference between just surviving and truly living. So much of my work is teaching people how to live their best possible lives, but somehow I forgot to tell myself. I took a chance. I saw the blue water, the light dancing on the ripples and I jumped. I swam around a bit and then I laid back, smiled at the sky, and floated.