Someday I will be able to write about hitting rock bottom, just not today. Let’s just say I was done. Fini. Kaputski. I wanted to rest. Sleep. Be at peace.
Fortunately, I had a handful of persuasive friends who often pulled me up and out of the abyss of my wanting to give up. Unfortunately, there were times I couldn’t hear their words of encouragement because I was so tired. Yet they said them anyway. And they said them often, even if I wasn’t listening.
If you are a caregiver and you’ve had enough, please, I implore you, keep going. You are needed, loved, appreciated, respected, cherished and very dear to this world. This is a difficult time, NOT a difficult LIFETIME.
If you are the friend of someone who is at the end of their rope, speak softly and let them know you love them. Let them know you are there for them. Let them know you need their friendship. Tell them not to give up. Life will get better.
I couldn’t see past my circumstances in October 2013. I didn’t believe life would get better. I just couldn’t see that happening. However, for a combination of reasons, even those that were beyond me, I still I hung in there.
Now I have moments, if not days, where I think to myself, “I wouldn’t know this kind of joy if I had given up.” That thought brings me to my knees in regret because I now have joy, I now have peace. I am rebuilding my life. I am finding good in the world and good in my days. What a shame realizing what I would have missed had I given up and gone away. All the places I would not have gone. All the people I would not have met along the way. All the laughter, the experiences, and the connections, I would have never experienced.
Last night I read a passage (not a coincidence) in a *book of true stories that resonated so strongly, I felt it had to be included here. This particular small chapter was about Audra. Audra was a beautiful lady of 91 who lived a very full, good life. She knew she was dying after breaking her hip and was living out the days she had left in an extended care facility. In the remaining weeks Audra and Dr. Childs had together, Audra went through a myriad of memories she shared with Dr. Childs.
Dr. Childs wrote: ‘The sunny patches outweighed the storms for sure, but Audra was certain to let me know she was going to leave the world a big fan of the storms she had known. You see, it was the storms that had shown Audra the strength of her being. It was the storms that reminded her to turn and face the sun when it shone. Indeed, as Audra took inventory of her life, she could see it was very often the shadowed places of her past, that brought her to a place within herself that was true and good and whole.’
The last time Dr. Childs saw Audra, Audra knew her time was short. She took Dr. Child’s hand in hers and with beautiful clarity she said, ‘Annette, don’t try and outrun the storms. Stand there, with your cup out and collect every sacred raindrop that you can. Every single drop has worth. When life becomes barren and you are parched and think you cannot go on for another step, it will be those very drops that sustain you. They will tell you who you really are.’
I didn’t have these words of such great wisdom and love in October 2013. If I had, I would have had less hopelessness and heartache, and more strength, more courage and more understanding. I would have simply put the day away and gone on, not consider chucking everything altogether.
I didn’t know it as succinctly at the time, but I did go on with my cup out. I went on with curiosity, and I learned to live the words Audra spoke. I know several other extraordinary individuals who had different circumstances but faced their storms far better than I did, with far better grace and poise. They went on with curiosity and learned to live the words Audra spoke, including the individual of today’s quote.
The magnitude of Audra’s last words assembled and composed from 91 years of living, I have taken into my heart and soul with such gratitude. What a message to leave behind for the rest of us. Now that I have read those words, I am conscious of living my days with my cup out. I am conscious of facing the storms, even if I’m scared shitless.
What Is True For Me: Hear me when I say, please don’t give up. If your strength is weak, it’s okay, just put your cup out. Each and every experience of caring for your loved one, each drop of sacred water that lands in your cup, is for you and you alone. It will lead you on your unique path and tell you who you really are. Sure, some people have their cup turned up-side-down, but you found this website and read this particular day’s offering. That is very much on purpose, not by chance, not by coincidence. I don’t believe in “by chance” or “coincidence,” never have.
*The book, Soul Messenger, by Dr. Annette Childs, PH.D., can be found in the Resource section of this website. It is a true story that transcends the space between Life and Death. It is one heck of a wonderful read~