Remembrance - Accepting the Unacceptable
I am a private person. I don’t easily share my struggles, as anyone in my (physical) world intimately knows. I mentioned in the Introduction that I was finally swayed to write this because of constant encouragement (really beratement), of one of my pillars; she was a butterfly in front of the most beautiful sunrise. She lost her own short, yet hard-fought battle to cancer last year. It is not something that I cope well with.
In today’s blog, I share something that I shared with her. It comforted her, and she urged me so to share it with others. So, My Dear Angel-Friend, this is for you.
When you have a chronic illness, daily life is filled with a battle of struggles - from the obvious to the “behind the scenes”. While the obvious is one I no longer struggle with but hold hands with, I do have enormous, stuff-in-your-closet (out-of-sight, out-of-mind, we hope) guilt for the upheaval I have caused in my family’s life, especially my mother’s. Her life path was as much affected as mine. My family’s lack of freedom and sacrifice rarely escapes my notice. I am aware of all that I take from them, including their plans, attention and need of care. The guilt is most consuming when I am most weary and emotionally done in.
The only thing I have learned over the years is that you truly have to stuff the thought in a closet and bury it. I have to remind myself (and they remind me, as well), that while yes, they would rather be doing something else, living another path, it would only be if I were well, healthy and there. But my fight is their fight, and they wouldn't have it any other way. And that's okay. I tell myself that it’s all right to accept their love, attention and tender care. My brain knows it, even if my heart has to hear it a gazillion times (that is probably a literal estimation - not an exaggeration). Yet, since my heart can’t accept it, I have learned to find it as a simple gift of grace—one too big to comprehend, but that I couldn’t live without. (Even as I write about it, I tussle with how it really isn’t okay; see, after fifteen years, I still struggle with it).
Goodness knows I am no saint; I am not easy to live with (I wouldn’t want to live with me), and I truly can only accept such enormous acts of daily love in the form of such a large, mysterious gift; the kind you only take because you need it, and know you can never repay or deserve it.
If you have a situation where you are reliant on your loved ones and struggle with the “burden” that you feel you cause, I hope you will remember this: Accepting the unacceptable in this circumstance really is the only way to not just survive, but to thrive.