I just spent another amazing weekend with my family of origin. It was also speckled with mini-dramas that, cumulatively, were draining to a few of us. We were celebrating the 8th grade graduation of my niece. The original plans ended up being pared down due to one or two of these aforementioned minis…..and then there was the question(s) of who was coming and who was not, and why. Funds were a strain, but it was being worked out, one way or another. Enough of these minis touched my niece enough to cause a decent degree of disappointment, which really pretty much sucks because she is an awesome young woman who is literally intelligent beyond her age group, yet still works very hard. She also has a most amazing and sharp sense of humor. But again, things were smoothing and aligning as they were meant to, and the day arrived.
The morning of the party, my mom and I went to pick up the cake. That’s all….just pick up the cake…the last piece to be done. And then, in the parking lot of the mini strip mall where the bakery is, my mom fell down. My mom is 74. She has some degree of osteoporosis. She has a fair amount of typical physical challenges of a woman her age…and yet, she rocks. Whatever this means, she does not look her age. Her health has been improving amazingly in the last year. She is going to Ireland this fall. (And I couldn’t BE more THRILLED!!) And yet, with the physical challenges, and the osteo….one simple mis-step brought her to the ground in front of me. And yet, in spite of those challenges, nothing was broken or sprained. She has pretty colors here and there, and a fair amount of discomfort….but that’s all. And yet, I was horrified.
For some reason, I have had a really heavy terror of her falling. Of seeing her fall. Every time I visit, and she goes up those stairs to her room, my heart is in my throat. And each time she arrives up to her room, I have to physically shake off the fear. I have imaginations of her falling in almost any given situation possible except when she is seated. I assist her on the TWO stairs out the back door to the garage. I have wanted to follow her up those damned stairs at night, and down them in the morning….even thought she has been navigating them for 7 years with no problem.
I have only seen my mother fall once, and that was long ago. And even then, I remember feeling terrified. I have never seen my father fall down. Not that I remember. I have never seen my aunt fall down, even though there has been so much reason to fear that with her. I HAVE seen my elderly grandmother fall down. Or really, the aftermath. I remember one clearly…the other, my father just reminded me of yesterday, and I have no memory of whatsoever. I’m sure I blocked it out. Seeing my grandmother crying with a bloody towel held to her head made my blood run icy, and I don’t remember running that fast down the stairs to get my father.
Back to yesterday…..after all my terrors, there was my mother, laying on the concrete ground. She rolled partway over, as she is not physically able to lay flat on her back, and repeated over again “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow……”. I had seen her left temple connect with the pavement. I saw her holding her left hand to her chest. I knew she would not sit up and I could and would not try to help her to do so. She was awake and alert, but in pain and shock. Not the physical, dangerous shock….the normal shock of such a physical event. A handful of beautiful angels in human form arrived immediately and helped so beautifully, and called an ambulance. And the feeling of helplessness is still cutting me as I write this. Not to mention the fulfillment of so many terrors.
The night before this event….and pretty much ever since….I have been plagued with mental images of her falling. For years, I have suffered fears of my step-mom’s 93 year old father falling. Of my father falling down. Of my friend Lynn falling down again as she did on Christmas night of 2012. And I am still feeling fairly overwhelmed by these terrors. I know I have my own fears of falling. But what does that have to do with other people falling down? Is there a connection? There is clearly something that needs to be healed.
I know that I cannot and will not spend the rest of my life…..or the lives of those I love so much,…..living with this terror. (I did finally allow myself to follow closely behind Mom on her way up the stairs the night of the fall….and down again the next morning.) I need to get into the cause and root of this fear that is so very terrifying, and find out how to heal it. I’m serious….I actually see in my mind’s eye these lovely people going over….landing at the bottom of the stairs, hitting heads on furniture, and so on. And I refuse to allow these kinds of thoughts to even potentially manifest into reality ANY of them. I understand that things happen for a reason, and that things will happen they way they are meant. I even told my mom this morning that she is teaching me something that I’m not clear on yet. Of course, being her, she said “What, how to fall?! I could have taught you that without the demonstration!”…and we laughed together through a few tears.
One thing is clear, and I have shared this before in previous blog posts. I always seek and mostly find the beauty and love in any situation. Many beautiful lessons came out of this weekend for many people. And the tears that are still showing up about my mom falling down is SO much about how much I love her, and honor her. And want to protect her.
So….next step is to really look into the root of this fear and release it. I hope once and for all. Only then can I be the most up, confident, and supportive. And that is helpful to those I love, and to myself.
(As always, please feel free to respond to this however you may….I really appreciate the feedback. )