Thursday, January 14, 2010

Running to find peace

I went for the most lovely run yesterday that I have had in a long time and was writing about it when my sister in law called to tell me that my step father has cancer and does not have very long to live. He has a brain tumor that is going to make his passing painful and difficult to say the least. It was a shock to everyone since it came on so quickly. I hesitate to write about it because my perspective, at least the pervasive one, will be disagreed with by many. I feel rather detached from the experience due to the distance both emotional and geographic.

I am estranged from my mother and step father and I am happier for it. The first thing I thought when hearing the news was, I do not wish suffering on anyone and I feel compassion and empathy for their pain. I do not however want to run back to a destructive situation that would be fueled by the added stress. I don't want that kind of interaction to taint my happy little bubble. A life that I have built in spite of efforts by my mother and step father to break apart. I have worked hard to distance myself and grow and heal as a person so ultimately I can be the mother that my son's deserve to have. Honestly, a last ditch effort will not take away the responsibility or ripple effect of a life of choices based on running from oneself.

My relationship with my mother is dysfunctional. When I am around her I don't like who I am inclined to become. A pattern that has been reinforced since birth. Now that I have my own family, which she does not agree with and makes it passively aggressively known, I choose to consider them first and foremost.

I have never liked my step dad and he has not liked me either. We tolerated each other and thats about it. My brothers relationship with him however is much different. When my mother married Grumpy (his grandfather moniker) my brother was around 6 or 7 and I was entering Junior high. Phil adapted to the change more easily than I.
I remembered my parents being together and the impact of their divorce was quite devastating for me as a child so when Grumpy came along I was very against the marriage. Grumpy became a father figure and male role model for Phil so this change in life, this passing is more profound I would imagine for him and I am sorry that he is hurting. I hope they all can find a measure of peace in the midst of their suffering and stress.
I came to terms with and said my goodbyes long ago...

As the days pass I will probably write more about this surreal experience I anticipate this to be. The questions of life and death are fodder for a million blogs.

I have been heartbroken about the earthquake in Haiti the last 2 days. I wish I could go there and help. I have a strong desire to work and do something useful. My place is here to raise my boys and by example instill in them the desire to help and care for their fellow humans. I do hope that when I get the chance someday that I can build and get my hands dirty to help others.
I have such wealth. There is nothing that we need that we don't have. We have a nice home and plenty of nutritious food to eat. We have water and a phone and computers. Such luxury.
I have my children in the room with me as I type and somewhere in Haiti someone is walking past a corpse on the street or digging in the rubble to find a survivor with their bare hands. They live in fear for their lives. All suffering is suffering however there are different degrees and I am so full of humble gratitude for what I have.
No one in this world should go hungry or live in such fear and poverty and why is it that a place like Haiti, so full of strife keeps getting hit with massive disasters. I can only believe and hope that the growth and rebuilding that Presidents Clinton and Obama have spoken of become realities.

A friend posted this as her status update

"when you learn of real suffering, it puts ones entire life in brilliant perspective and I shudder with gratitude."

I agree completely.

So my run yesterday was in perfect timing. I felt relaxed and happy. The stress from the day melted away much like the snow in the warm sunshine. The fear of loss of what I hold dear disappeared and I was left just feeling all mellow yellow. I ran to find peace and not to run away from my problems and I found it.
The glow of the sunset on the downtown buildings was glorious and the air was crisp and clean. I ran in my Teva Protons and felt confident running on the ice and snow although there was a great deal of cleared road to run on after so much melt from the warm 43 degree weather. The Protons are thin enough to still have a nice ground feel and yet descent traction as well. My feet were toasty with my wool socks even running on snow. I thought to kick off the shoes and give running barefoot in the snow a try but then spaced it off and remembered it again only on the way home. My thoughts were flowing and clear as the air. The thick and comforting smell of the evergreens made me breather deeper and smile. I would have liked to run twice the time and distance but as the sun set it began to get cold again and I missed my boys anyways.

Running is a useful tool for me to keep my stress in check and manageable so when my sister in law called with the news I was able to handle it in stride and with a measure of grace. I must add here that I also think a good orgasm or two,some deep breathing and mediation, talking to my dear one and venting and exploring ideas are also priceless tools to staying in a frame of mind to continue thinking instead of getting lost in emotion.

So I have tried to to write many times today and thought about ditching it all together but I vowed to write in this blog once a week so here it is, disjointed as it may seem.

"Your life is an occasion, rise up to it" as Mr. Magorium says in his delightful movie.

1 comment:

shel said...

so sorry for your brother, and the wierd situation you are in. glad that you are at peace, and continue to actively seek it.

I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
I serve families in Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Silverdale, Kingston, Port Townsend, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and the greater Seattle area. email me with any questions you might have
running apps