Higher Ground

Here I sit, at one of my favorite places on Earth… a brewery. I am in Mesa, Arizona. I am supposed to be in Big Bend National Park with friends. I am supposed to be relishing in the comfort and love of my people. I am supposed to be at a fucking dance party!! Instead, I chose the path of caring for a parent in need. I chose to answer a call. I took the higher ground. 

So many thoughts and emotions rise as I write those words.

Am I bitter? Resentful? Angry? Merely upset?

I am not bitter, as I am here by choice. I am choosing to help and support and guide a parent who challenges me at nearly every turn. I am fulfilling my commitment to pave the way for this parent to have as peaceful, calm, supported, cared for, and “as you wish” exit to his world as possible. I am here because it is the right thing to do.

I had planned a different trip. I had planned to visit my storage unit and gather items I need for my new living situation. I had planned to see my people, my community and let them embrace me while I relished in their love and support. I had planned to visit my friends in Mexico and dance the night away overlooking the Rio Grande. I had planned to see the newest addition to the clan I was part of. Those plans did not happen.

My parents lives have fallen apart and that sucks balls. I mean, nobody should be facing these issues while in what is probably the last decade (at most) and last few months (at the least) of their lives. Everything they worked for, lived for, planned for is not coming to the conclusion they imagined. This is not what they wanted. This now what anyone wanted for them. This is not the last act of the play I wrote, either. 

I am responsible for one parent, legally even, and a support person for the other. What amazes me most is how this process unfolds.

Digression – I used to work in the HIV/AIDS field. I mean, when AIDS was a new disease and people were still freaking out about it. I, and a very important and revered group of people, literally worked in the trenches. My clients died weekly and I was unable to attend all of the funerals, as there were just too many. It was an intense time. 

I also learned a lot during that time. Though I did not always handle the emotional stresses well, I carry the lessons still today. These lessons have come full circle and the circle fuses at this juncture when the truths I learned during that time are coming to life. Amongst the lessons my beloved clients gave me is that people die how the lived. If someone lived in chaos and turmoil, they tended to die in chaos and turmoil. If they lived in peace and tranquility, they tended to die in the same. 

Unfortunately, my parents have not worked to heal their legacy of trauma and everyone is living in chaos and drama and denial and dissociation and dysfunction. Damn, that sucks. Well, it sucks for the two out of three who have enough health to know what is even happening. I have one parent who is pretty out of it and enjoying the oblivion that disease offers. I am sad to write that and feel it sounds flippant. I do not mean to downplay the process of disease and aging and losing who we are and what we have stood for. Man, that sucks in a very profound and deep way. It sucks even if the parents does not know what is happening. It just sucks. 

Two of my parents, ironically the two I grew up with, are struggling. Each in their own way and each with their own challenges. However, each living with the literal reflection of their life legacy. Each has chosen a path that does not resinate or jive with what may be deemed to be best for him or her, but it is what each of them wants. Their dysfunctional patterns live on as this legacy has now reached a new and spectacular point. They are, in fact, ending their lives in the throws of how they have lived.

My intention here is not to diss on my parents or make them sound like morons. I love and support and literally arrange my life around my parents. I understand their history and their choices, whether I agree or not. My heart bleeds at the situations they now face. It just hurts.

My point here is to encourage YOU, always beloved and revered reader, to do your fucking work!! Heal your trauma, dig down deep into your past, relive your painful memories and then live your life. Take the often hard road and work through your own traumas and dysfunction. Bring all that shit to the forefront and laugh and cry and scream and shout it out!! For fucks sake, get a therapist if that is what you need to do. I implore you to just do it. Work on those fucked up family patters and your own dysfunction and work hard for peace and emotional healing. Do this work while you are able. 

If my observations ring true and we die how we lived, think long and hard about what you want that to look like. If you are reading this you ARE in a position to write your ending. You are cognizant enough to heal and dictate how you will exit your life. OK, full disclosure, to the extent that we can. I mean, nobody really controls how they leave this world. BUT, you are in the glorious place to be able to take the steps to make your exit the one YOU want, to work towards an end of any fucked up family legacy, dysfunction, chaos and turmoil. You can do this!!

90K and rolling strong!

I know we are none of us perfect and we are few completely and totally healed . We are flawed humans doing our best. However, if we start now, if you start now, whatever time you have left can be more fulfilling, peaceful and joyful. Perhaps it already is and for that I applaud you. Keep up the good work. If not, now is the time.

Cheers to you’all who got this far, who read these words. Wherever you are in this life and on your journey, give it another thought. I promise you that time will fucking FLY by and before you know it you will see and feel and experience the aging process. Think about you, your healing, your function, or dysfunction, your peace and your well-being. This about your exit.

In the interim, please live well, live fully, openly and honestly. Cherish your loved ones, your friends and those who you identify as family. Maybe your soul will come back, but your body and your mind as you know it today will not. Take full advantage of the time you have. 

Cheers to doing the work and Cheers to our loved ones.

Cheers to your journey.

God’s Speed!

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