Gifting Dignity – Part Two

There are the risks you can’t afford to take, and there are the risks you can’t afford not to take ~ Peter Drucker

Becoming a traveling companion with my mother on her earthly journey had a rocky start. My parents had attempted unsuccessfully for a couple of years to have a fourth child. Against all odds, eight years later I was born.

In those days my mother, because of her age and because of the likely hood of my being an Rh negative baby, was encouraged by her NY doctor to terminate her pregnancy. My mother was Catholic (something she wrestled with all her life). She was tenacious. Above all she lived her life, expected you to live yours, and left the rest up to God.

I was born in Maine, as my parents were in transition of settling here. My mother shared her concerns with her Maine doctor that her NY doctor had shared with her. He chose not to listen. If you read the former post, you are aware of who wore the pants in the family and so, in part, based on my mother’s insistence, my father and aunt whisked me off to the city where his Masonic brothers waited to give blood transfusions.

I tell you this, because this is how our lives played out for forty years. My birth day being the first of forty years of intermittent fighting. Sometimes together against the world, sometimes one against the other. At times vociferously. At other times through silent prayer.

I share the beginning, because if you don’t know and grasp the beginning, you won’t understand the journey.

As my regular readers are aware, my father died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving my mother at odds with her own life, but as she would share with many, she kept going “because she had her baby to raise”. Quitting wasn’t an option. I remember like it was yesterday, the day we stood alone in the living room clinging to each other as the impact of his passing started to permeate our inner selves. Siblings had returned to their own lives. Visitors were fewer. Tears shed at my father’s funeral fed the grass already springing up to carpet his resting place.

For my part, I was scared; unsure of, well, everything. All ready people were treating me differently which added to my fear. A difficult thing to grasp; the world had changed, not I. My mother had her own fears, but true to form, she didn’t share them. I had no such boundaries and shared them fully. But I remember that fear filled moment was not lasting. The strength I absorbed from our holding each other was like the blood transfusions of a decade back. That absorption would continue over the next several decades, becoming a mutual share. That moment was the second noteworthy moment of she and I against the world. Continuing the journey.

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