Day 2. This morning is a typical Seattle rainy and overcast day yet very peaceful. It seems to reflect how I am feeling inside. After driving cross country 8 years ago, mom, Gerry a close family friend and I arrived in Seattle on May 1, 2003. On May 10th, Mother’s Day, mom died from metastatic breast cancer. I inherited the gene from her and was diagnosed 3 years after her cancer came back after 13 years. I am 11 years out, have been fearful it will return. In the meantime, I am dealing with the complications from the failed reconstructive surgery in 2000. There was a tremendous amount of scarring from the surgeries I had to endure in order to save my life. I was in constant pain. Mom’s death hit me like a lightniing bolt that pierced my soul leaving a large void in my heart. I was all alone. My best friend was gone and I felt it was all my fault. I suffered. My plans to start my new creative life had been shattered leaving shards in my heart that when brushed up against, the pain would cause me to subconsciously sabotage myself because I felt I wasn’t deserving of a new life.
Adding insult to injury, mom’s birthday was May 25th. That date takes me back to 1994 when my dad had suffered a massive stroke in March and he was in NYU Hospital. He was in a coma for 6 weeks, I asked my brother to make a tape of his music and we played it constantly. When we first played it, he smiled. A few days later, he came out of the coma, but still could not speak because of the tracheostomy tube. We had to move him to a nursing home for rehab because he was paralyzed on his left side and could not walk. He wanted to come home, he made me promise. I did. We celebrated my mom’s birthday at the Home, we ordered his favorite Chinese food from a joint on Broadway near 106th Street. We had jello with whipped cream for dessert. Mom and I stayed until 9 that evening and went home. I lived in Washington Heights and mom and dad lived in Hackensack, New Jersey. My dad died 12:15 am on May 26th. He didn’t want to die on her birthday. I moved in with mom. She depended upon me to take over a lot of the things my dad did. I was frustrated and somewhat resentful and withdrawn. I felt as though I was giving up my life’s dream again.
Three years later, mom’s cancer had metasticized. We went to Hilton Head, S.C. and mom was limping. I asked “why are you limping?” “I put my pants on wrong.” was her response. “For 6 months? We are going to the doctor when we get back. It must be bad if we had to get a wheelchair for you at the airport, I’ll make all the arrangements, no arguments.” When we got back, we went to the doctor and the doctor told us that her cancer had metasticized to her bone. In October 1997 she underwent chemo and radiation.
Today, during my morning meditation a flood of sadness came over me remembering the events that had occurred in over the years in May. I just sat still and watched as my thoughts slowly drifted by. I’m comfortable with myself despite the uncomfortable feelings and tendencies. I realized it is part of the process. As a rugged individualist, I am now ready to embrace the light of my creative, inventive and true self… I just have to be patient.