I find myself talking or e-mailing about my mom as if I'm writing about someone I vaguely know. It's not because I feel like I don't know her or am not close to her. I am very close to my mother. But when I tell someone that my mother almost had a heart attack this week, it's like I'm talking about a stranger. I think my mind is trying to protect me from breaking down; I am saying "my mother" as if it was coming out "some person I don't know." The emotion is not there.
Perhaps my mind is telling me not to grieve for what isn't gone. Maybe I'm growing up and am being responsible and "strong." Maybe I'm denying it's happening. I feel helpless. What can I do? Can I take her heart in my hand and soothe it? Can I trade it with mine and give hers a rest? I know I cannot. But I want to. I want to do whatever will make her better. She means too much to too many people for this to be happening.
A friend of mine asked me to look after her younger sister in a way the other day. That isn't how she put it, but I know what she means. Her sister is my friend, too, I just haven't known her as long. She's a very cool person. The thing is that while my whole agenda in the world is to make everything in the world better, I know I can't do it all on my own. When a co-worker's parent is sick, I'm the first to run out and buy a card or little trinket to cheer her up. I guess I'm what you could call an "empath." I feel how a person would feel. I get a tinge of the pain, confusion and grief. I want to help. I want to put a bandaid on the world. But since my husband had a serious health scare and now that my mom is in the middle of one, I see clearly how I can only focus myself on them. I understand it now.
World, I love you. I know you are in dire need of being saved. Big bad horrible people are trying to smother you with greed, self-righteousness and my-god-is-better/bigger/awesomer-than-your-god attitudes. You know I will help you as much as I can. Right now my family needs me. I know you understand.