I read an article or blog or book a while ago, about a woman who had and extremely hard life, marriage, hardships, burdens… and still came out alive. She referred to herself as too adaptable… and I often think about that word. I wonder if it is what gets me to where I am, and if I am too adaptable. I might just be too stubborn to crash or too adaptable to give up- I must find a new way to survive every situation.
Is adapting a good thing? Is it a way to overcome? Is it a way to win? Does it allow you to enjoy what you have and move through life’s hardship with lessons learned and appreciation for the ‘good stuff’?
I don’t freakin’ know. I know that a word that would describe me in so many areas of my life would be adaptable. I can survive almost anything the world can throw at me. Am I glad I can? Sometimes. Do I wish I could just sleep through some things and not evolve and adapt? OH, YEAH. This woman I am writing about described herself as adaptable in a bad marriage. That she just adapted to the status quo… and accepted the junk. Do I do that? Or am I fighting for a real reason? I wonder why I am still here in this confusing, heavy and hard relationship… to this person I used to know… and I am here. Still here. Am I just stubborn and tough? Or is there more?
I think about it in the same way I do Madeline. I know Madeline is in heaven. I don’t know how I know that. There is no textbook or journal that I read that proves she is there. I just know. There is something telling me that I know that God made Matthew for me. Something telling me that I KNOW I NEED TO BE HERE. (please remind me of this often, because I am tired). I fear that I just adapt and believe that we should be together, blah, blah, blah… but there is something in me telling me we should be together.
Am I too adaptable? Does my mind find ways to survive this and live and move? I don’t know… I would love you to let me know your thoughts…
Tonight I went to a dream workshop, to help you remember and understand your dreams- and find peace in the gift that they are. I have a hard time remembering my dreams… or know if I dream at all. I left feeling a sense of lightness and okay and almost happy. I was in a room with some very open people and I shared my lovely and the only ‘kind of’ dreams I have… which are more of a feeling. I had a dream that was so real that I know I was feeling Madeline’s hair. It was a while ago, but I can still go back to that feeling and know that it was real. I often wish and hope and pray that Madeline will come to me… but maybe I don’t know she did. I went tonight with an open mind and a real hope that this is where I should be tonight. I think that was about right.
I think for the first time in a long time (I don’t relax easily) I felt relaxed and open and with no time constraint. I just breathed and let my mind travel. I definitely tried to direct my thoughts to a positive thought or focus on Maddie… but was brought right to the only time I can really see. I went right back to Madeline sick, Madeline getting worse at home and Madeline in the hospital and our last times with her. I also had the first clear and vivid remembering of her in her casket… looking all lovely and cold and dead… it was weird, sad and hard… but not bad. I think I think this and nothing before because I NEED to find a place to put it away… and a way to know those event all happened- for sure. I think I am ready to put them away. To acknowledge them, accept them and put them in a little box and know that those 5-10 days were a tiny bit of Madeline’s being and soul and spirit. There was a great and smart group of people whose thoughts brought me to that. I think I need to let those things go- and to carry on with other things… with Madeline’s life lived well and happy and equal.
We worked on getting to our safe place and going there when we needed it… Picture ourselves in a place we were happy with our lovelies… and they may come. My brain inventoried, to the last detail, the cottage we stayed in as a ‘Musto Family Unit’… that tiny space that Madeline loved and we all enjoyed… it was weird how many details my brain could recall… down to the rug and the curtains in the girls room. If I can remember those details I can remember my dreams and find meaning in them… use them for living and knowing and accepting… Laurel’s thoughts during mediation brought her to Maddie holding Myles hand and skipping… happy, joyful and simple… children. It makes me smile even though my thoughts brought me to Maddie’s hours before death. It was a little tiny gift…
I am going to bed soon. I am going to start a journal. I am going to state my intentions and hopes… I am going to share my comfortable place and safe space and try to go there… I am going to ‘invite’ Madeline Elizabeth Musto to bug me… I hope she gives me a big freakin’ hug that I can feel.
I love you darling. Help me live, breathe, move, enjoy, cry and get through the life-junk.
I have walked and run and moved through life lately sans feelings. It was hard to miss Madeline, it was hard to feel love, hate, happy… anything really. I was the most numb I have been in a long time. Life has gotten VERY complicated and confusing and different. I prayed that God would just take some numb… I would like to feel some pain, some grief, more sad… I want to miss Madeline more. Numb is terrible. It is a veil of safety. It removes all that can hurt you, knock you down and make you feel… but feeling is good. To feel happy you must feel sad. To feel joy you must feel pain. To understand loss you must feel missing… all the things my brain hid from me.
Yesterday I feel that some of my brain’s shield dropped and I felt missing and sad and heavy and hard… I felt sick and icky… I felt my grief. I kind of missed it. It keeps me more sane than most can imagine- without it I feel as though I am forgetting and moving in directions I am not full ready for. I am not prepared for any ‘next steps’ in this journey. I am just here… and need to feel out a lot of these things.
It felt good to feel, but then it brought out all the mad and sad and hard and angry and resentful that I carry about other things. It made it a rough weekend to get through and I am kind of glad it is Monday tomorrow… I don’t know. I guess I am just glad it isn’t today. I am going on one day closer to completing or moving or something. I hope that some of this evens out and I am more clear soon. I hate this ‘limbo’ish and unsettled feeling… but alas I am sure it all past of this.
Anyway… just wanted to let you all know that I could feel some things that I have begged for… and that I am still alive… kicking, moving, living and trying… I would usually add running but I sprained my ankle and am actually taking it easy on my poor cankle. I hope to be back to it soon…
Good morning. I travelled this week and came home to a stuffy house full of last weeks air. Ugh. So we opened up the windows and turned on the fans and let some new air in. It felt so much better to wake up in a chilly and fresh house… with ‘new air’. Some days it is just the little things that remind me to just breathe… even if I don’t want to. Fresh air and a ‘movie morning’ with nowhere to go and nothing on the books to do today was a welcome Saturday treat. I keep reminding myself to just breathe and let some things go… at least I let all the ‘old-stuffy-last-weeks’ air out. So even in my bad mood moments today I am reminding myself of just that… just breathe…
So… I have opened this book and closed it several times in the past few years. I remember the night I acquired it… a book swap at Amanda’s House. I was intrigued by it and knew I should leave with at least the number of books I brought to swap… even if I would never read it. I opened it, read the first section and think ‘I don’t think I love this’. About a week ago I restarted this book. I have no idea what kept me from finishing before, but have a pretty firm belief that I was not ready for this book. I was not ready for this real and very parallel walk through someone else’s life and journey, someone else’s living and learning and knowing and believing… someone else’s carrying of God and truths on their life and faith.
I feel a strong connection to this story… me- a conservative, ‘safeish’ and not supremely feminist girl who did not grow up in any part of the same times or structure. I get her journey. I feel that she has defined in words much of mine. Having read this I would define life as a series of travelling mercies and I didn’t even know that was a term before. Mercy being a kind or compassionate act… in a way a show of God. Her book is a story full of those travelling mercies… things that helped her find herself… helped her help others and showed her that God is there and He loves us all.
I love her writing style. I love her bluntness. I love her real. This is what makes me feel sane in a way… much of my life I share the ways that I know God is there, God is great and how he shows me. Like her, these aren’t always what we ask for and often are not the easiest ‘fix’ for the situation. Honestly though… I am often reminded when the world doesn’t work out the way I planned that there was something different and more important or better there instead. I see this pattern repeated so often.
Anne Lamott writes about her car breaking down on her way to see a friends mother before she passed away… how her car broke down and it was days before she could be there. The day she made it was the day her friend needed her most… her mother passed away and she was able to be there. Did God make her car break down (just a little) to get her there at the best moment? I don’t know for sure… but I think that is the way He works. Free will lets us go in our ways and make our own choices… but I think the Big Guy has a hand in those outcomes and he gets us right where we need to be, when we need to be there.
Madeline died 5 days after diagnosis. In those 5 days we lived… it was hard. So much of the world sent us referals and ideas and plans and doctors with ‘new’ treatments. We could have been in NYC at Sloan getting her a second opinion instead of painting pottery, visiting ice castles and being together. We could have been very far away from Amelia and Lucy on February 8, 2012. I believe that God kept us together. I believe that Madeline’s days happened exactly the way that they were supposed to… and although there were only 5 days they were spent the best way we could have. I also believe that God would have put some hard things (cars breaking down, hospitals not having appointments) into our time if we had veered from His plan…
I just wanted to share this book with you all. It has helped me very much. I feel that she has written many of the thoughts my mind throws around all day and night. It is a great read. You will laugh, cry and feel many things… you will get her take on faith and all she knows and all she has learned. I would recommend it to you 🙂