Such a simple question. We ask it several times a day to everyone we meet. Friends, strangers...."How are you doing?" We don't really want to hear the answer do we? We just wait for the standard reply of "Fine, How are you?" God forbid someone should really stop and tell us how they are really doing.......Well, Mom is having a bad day, I am wondering if I can hold my family together, we are all wondering how to take care of the car and house and how we are ever going to pay the bills. Sit down and let me tell you how I am doing..... My mom spent all day today crying....she is falling apart.....it is so hard for her to be brave....she feels like they killed the man she has loved her entire life.....the man who said good morning to her for 54 years is gone....Nope....you cannot handle that one.......Okay, my son is trying to be brave when the only man he has ever known as a father was taken from him, his biggest fan will not see him in another show.....this 18 year old son of mine took the time to comb his gramps hair before he was taken off of a machine because my dad hated to have messy hair.....do you want to hear how he is doing today? No you cannot handle that.....None of us can. And I cannot bear to tell you how I am doing....it would be too much for both of us.
This is my life right now.....people asking me how I am doing. It is a hard time for me. No one gives you lessons on how to behave when your life is changed. How you are going to feel...
I put on the brave face. Become the "Master of Illusion". Fine...I am fine. Okay, if I need something I will call you. Yep one day at a time, one minute at a time, one moment at a time, one breath at a time. See me smile? See me laugh? See me hold it all together? That is what we want to see isn't it? The magic act of smoke and mirrors. The grand illusion of someone getting on with their life. We both want to see someone who is fine....It is too scary to see someone falling apart.....so welcome to my grand illusion where everything is fine.
I think of my loss and how heavy it is but then I remember I have dear friends who have lost children. I know I am suffering the loss of my beloved father...but the loss of a child? That is the unkindest cut of all. The mothers of these lost children are quietly spiritual, strong, kind. I am inspired by them to try to go on with grace. I lean heavily on them to try to learn how they woke up each morning and had the strength to go on. They have told me "Be gentle with yourself".
I want to thank those who keep emailing or calling or sending cards. Especially to my mom. It means so much. To just call to say hi can make her feel like she is not alone. Thank you for sitting with her and just letting her be. God is in the silence then too. She may not be fine now, she does not even pretend to be fine. But with time she will get there.
Day by day I am taking the steps to the new normal....I will tell you that I am fine....and in a way....maybe for one brief moment.....I will be telling you the truth,
But for now in answer to your question "How are you doing?" Well my answer to you is this, "I am being gentle with myself, thank you for asking."
Be kind~ Smokey's Daughter