From the moment I was born, I lifted my head to take a good look around. My eyes were curious, bright and focused. This is the story that I have been told and this is the person I have been, since the day I was born. Several months ago, my Grandmother was passing on. She was in a hospital bed and quite aware, yet, seemed content within the process. As she dosed, I sat beside the bed and held her hand.
She opened her eyes, saw me smile, and asked, "Why are you always so happy?"
"I don't know, Grandma, I just am." I replied.
My mother chimed in, "Don't you remember, Mom, the day she was born, lifting her head and already looking around? She always had that joy."
On the drive home, I cried much of the way. I found comfort in the way she lived her life, not in the length of her life. She had outlived her own husband and parents, as well as some very difficult times. Through it all she always held true to the person she was. She laughed, oh, how she laughed! There were times, usually when remembering something that touched her heart, she cried. But, everyday she kept going. As sweet and frail as she was, she was one tough cookie. I've always admired that quality and aspired to age in that manner, if possible.
I view life itself, like one, great-big canvas and each experience a brush stroke of colour.
A beautiful painting, still in creation, never forsaking each brush stroke as they build upon my soul's portrait.
Here, now, I find myself shaken by my husband's disease. Not so much the mortality of it, but instead in the daily efforts that occur. It is my great honor to share in this difficult journey hand-in-hand with him. All of my strengths, from deep within, are called upon in order to do so. Then, one day, suddenly I find myself wondering where did I go?
I try to remember the ways I thought or the feelings I had before this and I cannot find a connection. The only way I can describe it is looking at an old, faded picture of someone who resembles me. I'm not sure how to define myself anymore or who I will be once he is gone. This experience has definitely changed me. Yet, I know the brush still strokes against the canvas.