Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just Breathe-(Sorry Angie)

I tried all week to write a lighter post, Ms. Fabulous.
Really I did!
I just wasn't feeling it.

Funny things have happened. They do everyday in my line of work.
I just didn't feel driven to find those words.

Friday, Oct 22 marked six months since mom died...
And I remembered her with a smile.

The date holds no power for me.
It is other things that take my breath.

Things I never would have guessed.
The book she took with her that last time in the hospital.

A bookmark still waiting for her to find her place again.
The aprons she wore and the brand new dish towels she
refused to use because she didn't want them to get dirty.
Her hairbrush and tooth brush.
Her nightstand.
Her chair.

Incredibly, I find myself unable unwilling to face
My Sanctuary.
My Church.
The sweet familiar voice of my pastor.

I spent most of the last service I attended there
Struggling to keep a sob inside.
Struggling to catch the tears before anyone else saw them.
Struggling to breathe through the pain.
The cords that once bound me there seemed missing.
I know I own my emotions. Still, I felt unimportant. 

So now...well, now I avoid.  It's something I am a master of....

Years ago, for very different reasons,
I chose the words
Just Breathe
as a reminder that many times in life all you can do is
Just Breathe. 
And when that is all you can do, well,
then you have done all you can.

This afternoon I ventured into a beautiful old church
in Milledgeville. I went in support of my father and in
honor of my mother.

The stately old house of worship smelled that musty
old wood smell that exists only in buildings of history
and days gone by.

The Hospice organization that helped us take care of
Mom in those last few, much too short, days had invited
the families and loved ones of the patients they have served
over the last year to join them in a service of

Maybe it was the easy chatter on the drive over or maybe
it was my old friend Denial.  At any rate, I was blindsided
by raw emotion when they asked me to write something
about my mother for the chaplain to read.

I froze. I panicked. And then I cried.

I didn't know what words were big enough, sincere enough, 
significant enough or lovely enough for her.

I struggled for composure for the next forty minutes.
The wails threatened to erupt from my throat as the
tears flowed. And flowed.I don't mind tears.

It is the heaving, choking
loud wails that I am afraid of.

The service was beautiful.

Each family member present lit candles and the
flickering light they gave was peaceful.

Finally, we gathered outside where the last of four white doves
was handed to my father.

He kissed her head and gently threw her skyward.
Where the previous three doves had flown to the right...
Ours chose the left.

Flying towards the house, a block away, where I grew up
The dove disappeared into the sunlight.

She is gone from us now.

But she is only a breath away.
Only a heartbeat away.

It is our job to continue on-

Even if all we can do is

Just Breathe.

Just Sayin'..................................


  1. You always AMAZE Me. Those feeling of grief I Remember all to well as My Mama 's Soul Took It's flight to Heaven 9 Years Ago Oct 21st. How Precious It was that God Chose Me for them and They for Me. How Very Blessed we are to Have that Love that sustains us. from our Chosen Parents and Most Of All GOD. Thank you for always Just Saying. No one I Know can say it any better Anne

  2. Oh my goodness......You have done it again.
    Ann you have such a way to put into words what others only feel.
    Thanks for sharing.