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This Year Alone….

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Dorothy Haynes – CHHC

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Forgive the departure from our usual chatter. After coming across so many coaches and practitioners concerned that their less than perfect diet, lifestyle, relationships, kids…etc somehow made them less worthy to work in their purpose I decided to share a little about my walk this year. I NEVER share my personal life. E.VER.  – so make a note of this date.

This past week I received a note of congratulations from a fellow classmate for being a “featured graduate” this year.

I had no idea.

Between finishing requirements for graduation and laying the groundwork for new ventures – and dodging raindrops, I had not looked up. Head down – doing “the work”.

There has been no time for looking up this year. I made every deadline, completed every project, jumped every hoop. I got the “work” of building a practice done. Busy with clients, busy with life, growing faster than imagined – and life going on.

This year my only daughter left home, got engaged  and now we’re planning a spring wedding. I cannot imagine no being here for her – and I wondered how my own mother had managed it.

This year I became a grandmother as my son and his beautiful wife had their first child. I cannot imagine missing a single moment of welcoming this wonder into the world.

This year my mother died.

I held her hand and stretched my arm across her chest so I could feel the last beats of her heart as I watched her leave her shell and glisten away.

I dreamt of her several nights before – blasting down a dusty road together in an old pickup. Sun glaring, both of us acting up and laughing out loud – and when I saw her blink, I said to her, “Mom – its ok, You can pull over now – I’ve got it the rest of the way”.

The sun still rose the next morning and I have not slept a full night since. The truth is I had not slept since she had come out of remission. Every day I vacillated between being ready for whatever happened next and Just praying she would last another day.

While there is something to be said for always remaining steadfast – for “Keeping Calm” and carrying on; there is also the fallacy of stoicism that intimates that between that and allowing one’s self to stop…stoicism is by far the nobler of the two.

This year I heard a lot of choruses of “Its up to you now” – a tired old refrain that places to sole responsibility of maintaining an familial semblance of her (my mother’s) presence at my feet.

This year I sang back – “Hell no I won’t go!”. I will not trod off to the sidelines to play surrogate all the while harboring a deadly resentment for being thrust into the role. The kind of  resentment that turns once vibrant, compassionate women into hard, sullen shadows of themselves. The kind of resentment that raises blood pressure and breaks hearts over and over again because nothing you can do will ever be enough to get you out that “responsibility”.

This year – with all of it’s peaks and valleys – could not change the path I’m on. Only I can do that. At the toughest times I buried my head in the “work” and shut out the world until –

This year someone shared with me the virtue of self-love – the prism through which loving and serving anyone else must be viewed.

This year I will walk my way back to whole.

This year I will  sleep again.

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