She called this morning. She called because she cannot reply when she sees I’ve texted her. She lives too far away for me to pop in and remind her of my love so I text randomly to let her know she’s in my heart. Her voice is weak and her voice is strong. Her spirit is fighting and her spirit is tired. Her words are filled with joy and her words are filled with sorrow.
A few months ago, the last time I saw her, I told her my story and promised her I would stay strong. I’ve let her down. I’ve let myself down. Recently I’ve been retreating to old habits. Drinking, not all the time, but sometimes. Hiding it. Doing it in the open. Rationalizing. Justifying. Feeling guilty. Feeling sad. Feeling angry.
How can I waste the gift of my life drinking at night and walking in circles in the morning with a foggy brain? How can I intentionally harm the same part of me that my dear friend is trying to save in herself? How can I continue to waste a precious moment or day of my life when her days are finite and fleeting?
28 years ago today my beloved grandmother, for whom I was named, died at the age of 88. To my young 20something heart and mind at the time, she was the strongest woman I knew. Grandmother lost her own mother when she was only 34, and then her husband when she was 68. Yet she lived, and loved, and cared for all around her. She was strong, and independent, and opinionated, and I miss her every day.
I wish my 50something self could talk to her now. To ask her how she navigated her life. I wish I’d listened more carefully, known the questions to ask, and had written her wisdom down so I could go back and re-read it now.
The time we have in this life is precious. The moments we share with people, be they our family, our friends, or the strangers we interact with every day, are precious. Drinking, numbing my spirit and my mind, only wastes those precious, fleeting moments.
I tested the waters and found them to be just as dark and dangerous and deceptive as before. Time to get back into the lifeboat…