Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Friday Night Smackdown

Everything that has a beginning has an ending.
Make your peace with that and all will be well.
~ The Buddha

When my brother, Shawn, was a toddler, somewhere between ages of 2 and 4, he had a fish - - a gold fish.  I barely remember it myself (I'm 2 1/2 years older); but what I do remember was hearing him, for months, regularly announce more than anything, "...my fish died."  Because his fish had indeed died.   Gold fish are not known for their longevity as a household pet, and this, for the little tyke, was his first experience with a pet and death.  It touched him in whatever significant way it had that he needed to express it to whomever and wherever possible.  In his own young, inexperienced way, he was striving for Peace (and maybe a little attention; he was a ham at that age).  

Last Friday I was riding a cloud.  I was back outside, in my yard;  mowing, edging, gardening, and excited for a gal-pal evening with three amazing women.  Feeling really pleased with the progress I was making, even in so much as initiating the evening with Debbie, Lisa and Sangree (who, by the way, has the coolest name I've ever heard).  They are bright, sophisticated, beautiful women, inside and out, and I was completely jazzed about hanging out with them along with this progressive step I was making in moving forward creating my life in Florida - - alone.   I never saw the smackdown awaiting for me when I arrived home at the end of the night.  

The quiet stillness and warm temperatures of this Friday Florida evening in March called me to spend some time sitting outside on the lanai instead of plopping myself in front of the TV playing catch-up to dvr'd episodes of Chopped.  Commence smackdown.

It didn't take long to realize I was sitting next to another empty chair (read Empty Chair).  The chair to my right, which for the last year and a half of residence and sitting out on the lanai had been Boomer's chair, was another empty chair.  Together or by himself, that was the spot were he planted his tushie.  I was talking to myself out loud again, (read Anticipation),  "I miss you Boomer.  You would have liked my friends.  They would have liked you too.  You would have totally dug the place we went.  We had a good time.  The food was our kind of food.   I wish you were here for us to go there together."   My little uno a uno candlelight chat started out sweet enough, then the bottom fell out on me.,  "You're really suppose to be here Boomer.  That was our plan.  I'm not suppose to be here alone.  We barely got footing here in Florida and you checked out..."  I went down fast and hard.  I couldn't control it.   The punches to my solar plexus just kept on coming - - for hours.    I bawled.  I screamed.  I paced the house.  I worried my emotional verbal anguish might disturb my neighbors, so in an attempt to drown myself out, and in some way numb the pain, I jammed the tunes.   Finally, somewhere around 12:30 a.m. I calmed down enough to go to bed.  Sleep was another thing. 

In bed I stayed - - for three days.  I couldn't move.  I couldn't sleep.  I couldn't eat.  A conscience coma of sorts.  I laid there, mentally, emotionally and physically paralyzed.  I missed my regular Saturday morning meeting (read Bowing to Russell) with the astute understanding I was in the midst of my darkest days of grief to date and it terrified me. 

Today I emerged.   I spent 5 hours this morning in prayer, meditation and spiritual study to regain my footing.  Here's what I know...

It's not my show, it's a Higher Power's show.  The orchestration of life events, pleasant or painful have very little to do with me.  Part of my suffering as of late is due to my resisting this fact.  I'm not yet at Peace in accepting that my time with Boomer was as short-lived as it was.  I'm not yet at Peace that I have barely established a life here in Florida, while he was alive, only to have the chalkboard completely erased for this do-over I have before me.  I'm not yet at Peace that my dream of owning a little cottage has evolved the way that it has.  I've done the work to intellectualize these issues, but I do not yet have Peace in my heart over them. That's one reason why I ache as I do.  Why is it so much easier to acknowledge and accept this concept of beginnings and ends with people who are still here in physical form?  I'm not yet at Peace with that concept either.  Is it my own naivete with death, so personal and close, like my brother with his fish?   Or is it my own ego, wanting to be pissed-off that this is not the story I want to be telling.  It's not how I would have orchestrated these events - - not at all.  How dare my Higher Power do this?  To me - - this way.

There it is.  The core of my present state of grief and suffering is over the possibility - - the possibility of what could have been, should have been, would have been - - if I was in charge.  Ha.  What a crock.  That's quite an ego, isn't it?  I was powerless over the disease that robbed Boomer of himself and his life (read Reality is the Bitch) and the affects it had on us both, so who am I to think I have any more power now?   I have less, because I know better.   It's up to me to practice patience and acceptance as I continue to grow toward Peace that life with Boomer is no more, not in the way I had known it for one-third of my life.  And that my own show goes on, with both Boomer and my Higher Power together at the helm.

Can it be that I actually have gratitude for that Friday Night Smackdown?   Anything and everything is possible.  In there, there is Peace and all will be well.

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