I started this year vowing to immerse myself in positivity. To say my vow has been tested is an understatement. Granted, this has been a year of huge achievement for me, it has also been a year of great loss; and now I'm losing again. I've never heard the words, "six months to live," outside of a the big screen and I have to believe there's a more sensitive way to state the same point.
Although I'm sad to lose another loved one I'm happy that, like my grandmothers, he has also lived a fulfilling happy life. He's content with the situation and handling the news well. My mother, on the other hand, is preparing to bury her husband, only a few months after burying her mother. For her, my heart weeps.
Someone recently told me they admired my strength. It's no secret I don't take compliments well so I instantly questioned the sentiment. The only rational explanation is that I'm not strong, I'm still learning, and I have the greatest possible teacher.
My mother has every reason to lock herself in her room with a gallon of chardonnay. No one should lose a partner while they're still mourning a parent. But she can't, and she won't, hide from the world. She'll stand by her husband's side and smile whenever he needs it. She'll keep his adult children and ex-wife updated on his condition and learn to use FaceTime so he can see them all as much as possible. She'll never cry... at least not in front of anyone. She'll make all arrangements according to his specifications and she'll continue to tell me she's "fine," even though she knows I know she's not. She's hanging by a thread but I know that thread won't break.
My mother is strong. She is the strongest women I've ever known. No matter what life throws in her direction she takes the hit and continues to play. No, she hasn't always been the best mother or the best wife or the best friend, but she has been the best example of what a strong woman is for this woman right here.
And there's my feeble attempt at finding the positive in yet another devastating loss.