[I know, “duh, this is life, it’s supposed to,” right?]
After everything that the past 11 months had thrown at me, I had managed to journey through it all relatively well, being gentle with myself along the way. I leaned on my support system. I granted myself the time to process through it all–to step away and just “be”. You know what I mean by “be”. You ever had those days when you don’t want to get out of bed, so you don’t; when you’re staring at a full to-do list and finally decide, “to hell with it”; when the luster of life has been dulled by one too many elements; oh, and can’t forget the moments when you choose to feel the emotions instead of processing or just pushing through them.
I had made up my mind about how I wanted to face the challenges: my goal was to grow through them instead of resisting or becoming to numb to them. I wanted to emerge from them better than I was and I didn’t want to do so by forcing myself through it. I’m a Taurus–a bull. When I make up my mind that it’s necessary that I take my time, that’s exactly what I do.
That’s exactly what I did.
And yet that day–one that seemed much like any other–those bricks came crashing down me, with their rigid edges of truth.
I cried and prayed so long and so bad, I don’t remember half of it.
But I remember the moment that I recognized what was happening [because honestly up until then I was trying to figure what the hell was going on with me].
After days of hoping for a miracle, I watched my infant god-daughter pass in her mothers arms after succumbing to SIDS. I watched my Uncle Guy’s body succumb to brain cancer [although his spirit did not]. And from 400+ miles away, I watched my grandpa’s health condition deteriorate; I crumbled inside after realizing that the phone call we had (and ultimately preceded his death) was the last time I would speak to him.
I’ve never said the words “I love you” and meant them like I did in those respective moments.
November 17th, 2013 | April 14th, 2014 | October 16th, 2014
The dates are burned in my memory.
The next thing I know, I’m sobbing…like a big ass kid and questioning myself about what I want and truly need out of my own life.
Death will remind you to live.
I witnessed three human beings, from infancy to elderly, fight for their lives. We hear tragic stories of people passing every day. We know that death is inevitable. But seeing how fair death plays, how it has no preference for age or race or class, it’s simply here to serve it’s purpose whether we like it or not–seeing that with my own eyes…it did just what an experience like that could do to anybody: make you FEEL everything that is currently happening in your life.
I felt the excitement and hope of my dreams unfolding, but the agony of the process and having to go through it. Who’s to say that time is on my side in the way in which I envision?
I felt the pressure of the responsibilities associated with the roles, both personal and professional, that I have in my life. Am I loving, creating and providing to the best of my ability? After all, everything comes down to quality of life and…memories.
I felt the frustration of the fact that as I experienced such significant gains in my career, I was losing so many, so permanently in my life. Who the hell can contend with life’s natural balance? Not a human being on this earth.
The list goes on but you get my damn drift. My hypersensitivity to life was off the Richter. I leaned on my support system once again, venting and seeking guidance in the aforementioned areas–the bricks that had hit me. While I didn’t reveal much of my emotional state at that moment, I sought light in a few of the people who love me most. Good came out of it, but my spirit still hadn’t settled and so sleep became the next best option.
Before I fell asleep on that rubble of emotions and thoughts, I promised myself that when I got up, all of my energy would be focused on rebuilding and clearing out the emotional debris that was left. I prayed that God would give me clarity, send me encouragement and the much needed-kick to get my head and heart back in the game.
After waking, I hit the shower, resolving to at least get some work done since my morning was so damn intense. Almost immediately things began to turn around. Good news came in the mail, family randomly checked on me and sent their love, and my productivity rebounded significantly. I sat down and began mapping out certain areas of life and business with a keener sense of focus.
If my loved ones could fight for their lives until the very end, carrying the love and pain of as many people as they did in their last moments, surely I can LIVE.
Those bricks may have came crashing down on me but they didn’t bury me. They hit me in the right places and brought me clarity.
Later that evening, I sat on the steps as I watched my daughter’s finish cleaning up their toys in the living room. My youngest, always the comedian and adventurer, ascended the steps as she laughed uncontrollably. When she got to the step closest to me–at the very top–she nearly fell backwards in the middle of laughing.
Any parent or caregiver knows how fast your heart drops and how quickly you’re likely to react in that moment. Superpowers seemingly come out of nowhere.
I grabbed her arm just as quickly as she regained her footing. She looked at me and giggled some more, completely missing the fact that mommy almost had a damn heart attack. I told her to be careful and mindful when on the stairs; she said okay and continued on her merry way.
Still stuck in the moment, I thought about how fast my heartbeat was, how my blood rushed, how relieved I was to see my baby okay.
She probably won’t remember that moment in the midst of all of the others that will come in her amazingly blessed life. But mommy will…because the day when a brick wall of emotions came crashing down on me, the day when I felt shrouded by the deaths and trauma that had taken place in our family, in an instant she reminded me not to lose sight of the gift of life and love–of the present.
I believe those bricks came crashing down so new ground could be laid in my life. I consider myself a trailblazing kind of spirit and that means that all too often, the rubble of your life will be used to lay the road to the fulfillment of your purpose and destiny.
I gained so much in that moment that it all seemed to fall apart inside. And wouldn’t you know my writers block cleared too? Life man…I tell ya.
Maybe that’s why they say things have to completely fall apart in order for it all to come together. Those bricks that fall make a path to…
Well…hmmm…what will those bricks of yours make a path to?
– Sincerely Syreeta