Tag Archives: depression

My Many Hats

8 Sep

I have a collection of hats.  Some of which belonged to my grandmother, Ella, from the 1950’s and beyond.  Her collection, in particular, is special to me.  I am able to keep Ella with me, though physically her absence is felt.

vintage hats

A few of Ella’s collection

In many ways, I wear different hats throughout the week.  I am speaking metaphorically, of course.  The hats I wear involve, or reflect rather, the varying ways I make it through each circumstance of each day.

I put on my ‘professional hat’ while at work.  That hat remains devoid of my sorrow.  I put on the hat of ‘faith’ which encourages others facing a challenge.  And encourages me as well.  I wear a hat of ‘progress’ which propells my every, sorrow-filled step forward.  I wear the hat of ‘normalcy’ when my daughter and husband, and dogs, require it.  I wear, too, the hat of ‘mourning’, the black veil that fictitiously remains intact–pinned perfectly, to my coife of the day.  This is the “hat” I wish were more of a presence for the world to see, but that is not the culture of my society.

I am a woman of many hats.

I don’t think it wrong to don whichever hat is needed, in the moment it is required.  This is living.  This is life, this side of Heaven.  In fact, I think it right.  I think it honors those of whom have traveled to the great beyond before me.  I think in their state of peace, sorrow no more, and fulfilled earthly mission, my wearing of each hat pays tribute to their journey.  …and in this perspective, you may feel free to call me a “wierdo.”

I am weird.  My hats are weird.  My life is everything strange.  Your perspective of me, whatever it may be, is justified.

I also wear a cap of self pity.  This particular hat, I wear, when I step outside of myself and look at our loss from those around me.  When I go to the end of my driveway and pick up the newspaper, only to see a few of my neighbors conversing in the crisp of the morning.  They look at me and wave.  I wave back.  Yet as I return, paper in hand, to the kitchen table where I will read the news, I know their hearts are filled with sorrow for the reduction of our family unit.  I feel the eyes of “the other people.”  The idea that our new Bent life reflects the obvious–the, this can happen to you, feeling.  For when a loss is felt, close at hand, it reverberates the possibility of, it happening!

Are you able to follow this wild train of thought?  My soul feels my intention, though my use of language, at this time, seems to be failing me.

It is not a self pity that is debilitating.  As I have described above, the other hats come into play to thwart “debilitating’s” victory.  It is more the realization that my life’s reflection speaks of the possibility of sorrow’s touch.  Again, my use of language is failing me.

Should I just stop here?  With this post?  Is it too heavy a concept to pass along to the reader?  hhhmmmm…I pause to ponder.

I miss my son.  My family unit misses his presence.  And my world around me, misses our unit.  Sorrow is right, for this time.  I look forward to the day when the fictitious black veil is no longer adhered to my head.  I look forward to the day when our unit, and those connected, can celebrate the memory of Cole and the many memories his short life gave to us.

But for now, I am a woman who wears many hats.  And with that, I shall take my leave.

4321–Here We Are

24 Aug
Miramar National Cemetery

to dust we return

Hello.

I began this post with the above photo for my family (and friends) to see upon opening their notification of a new post from me.  For though the photo has captured the shadows of my husband and I, viewing the headstone of our son for the first time (yesterday), I know that we are surrounded by our family–in spirit–though the miles keep them from being present in the shot.

It has been a few or more weeks since I have had the ability to write.  I had jumped into my new full time job hot on the heels of jet-lag and more relevantly, in the throngs of sorrowful mourning.  And as it goes, my particular job has not been (so far) a slow paced environment.

There is so much about this road I am walking that is unknown to me.  While I do speculate my potential reactions, thoughts, and future choices, I speculate through the eyes of the ignorant and then quickly step into the shoes of the knowing.  Forgive me, I am speaking in riddles.

The unknown= “Perhaps traveling will be good for me.  The ‘getting away’ from it all will ease my sorrow.”  The known=  Nope.  Traveling, right now, is not good for me.  My soul ached for home.

The unknown= “Working will be a good distraction from mourning.”    The known= The two are not connected.  I work and feel sorrow, simultaneously.  Sometimes I cry at work, sometimes I don’t.  While working I am distracted, but the second I turn from my duties, I am met with the reality of my loss.

The speculation and ignorance come from not having walked, previously, this road.  This road, of course being, living life with the loss of a child.  And though I do borrow from those who have left their footprints on my path, as time has put them ahead of my stride, I still don’t recognize myself within the new terrain.  My thoughts, my reactions, my opinions.

Now I’ve had friends and family who read this blog and get quite concerned for me as a result.  I apologize to them for that.  If one can be in a place of ‘healthy mourning’ consider me there.  I eat properly, I sleep (though still with interruptions from nightmares from time to time), I laugh, I joke, I am not drinking alcohol, not using drugs, I’m caring for my daughter and husband (attending to their needs and wants and sharing in moments of enjoyment with them), I cook, I clean, I love, and I live.  And through it all, I ache for the suffering my son endured these last few years.  I ache for myself–the mother facing her son’s legacy as carved out on a stone tablet.  I ache for my husband–the father who’s natural positivity cannot touch this sorrow filled reality.  I ache for my daughter–the seventeen year old who has experienced too much of the ‘hurt’ in life at too early an age.  And, I ache for those who continue to ache with us.

Now I truly have more I’d like to say, but I am going to keep this particular posting on the shorter side (in Rivka terms).  I want those of you who need to spend time viewing the photo, to not be distracted by my voice.  The voice that comes through in my writing.

I invite you to view the picture with your own thoughts and reflections.  And I will return soon, Lord willing.

In the words of our Lord:  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  -John 14:27

 

Nature, Films, and Devotion

18 Mar

Nature (part 1):  Finding my way through the great out of doors.

I am not a photographer.  In fact I abhor the task of photographing anything.  Yet with the cell phone camera, now at my disposal, I have found myself more eager to capture something I want to remember.  For instance, while out on a walk or hike should I come across something in nature that causes me pause, I think to myself, “I would like to capture this inspiring moment and share it with someone else.”  But more important than this nonsense of my use or non-use of a camera is the idea in the aforementioned sentence of nature giving one, a cause to pause.  For as you know, from reading my last few posts, I am slowly crawling out of the pit of extreme stress.  And while in the pit, I don’t care what kind of natural phenomenon might occur before my eyes, my soul was too bogged down to appreciate.  Oh my mind was keen to understand the beauty before me if an instance such as a hummingbird allowing me the rare opportunity of a private viewing, should present itself.  But my soul would have no response.  It was just plain ‘ol, flat.

So it is, when I am out and about in my suburbian nature and my soul is touched by something, not just my mind, I can delight in the knowledge that I am “coming back”.  For when in darkness, it is difficult to even recognize oneself.  I am a nature lover, thus when nature I cannot love, there is an obvious disconnect.

The following photos are ones taken with my little Samsung cell phone, while out walking with Piper the dog.  Their occurrence before me caused me pause.  And in that quiet state, I thanked my Lord for utilizing nature (once again) to call me back.  The beauty of the Cherry Blossom seemed to say, “I lay dormant along with you, but it is again time to bloom.”  The trickling of the San Juan Creek reminds me that while the hand of man is just a few steps away, the hand of the Lord is always present (as the running water, in an otherwise dry creek-bed, testifies).  And the colorful turning of the leaves of one solitary tree, amidst the evergreen backdrop, silently demands recognition…you decide what it says!  For me, its silence enacts a balm-like remedy to my spirit…the golden quiet.

Last, but not least, is the juxtaposition of the man made stop sign alongside the pink blossoming tree.  Actually, the sign is appropriate to the context of this post.  “Stop,” it says.  Stop and redirect.  Somehow, someway, get a new perspective.  See again.  Breathe again.  Take pause.  Utilizing the grand, or not so grand, natural occurrences around us can call us back.  Back to a place of understanding who we are.  Even in a city environment one can experience the powerful call of nature as a weed makes its way through a crack in the concrete, shouting loud and clear, “I am Here, I made it!”  And the inadvertent message to us should be, “so can we.”

Next up, Films, part 2.

Nature in Suburbia

Nature in Suburbia

Fluffy2012

The accomplice

SJCcherryblossom

Engulfed in Pink

SJCcherryblossom2

Harmonious living

San Juan Creek

The running creek

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