A simple title this time, for a topic that is anything but.
A lot of things I'm about to say are not things I was planning on mentioning anytime soon, but would eventually. But now, I have to. So keep quiet about it so it doesn't spoil it when I go to talk about it later. =)
The first point, I do want to mostly save for later when I decide to really discuss it, because right now it's still kind of in the works and I don't want to bring it up yet. But suffice it to say that my first brush with death this year came in a letter in the mail, explaining that I would not be receiving the remainder of the child support my father still owes me, because he passed away. I haven't seen him since I was less than two years old. He was so behind in child support that, even though such payment ends when the child turns 18 years of age, he still owed me several thousand dollars in arrears when he passed. He never attempted to contact me throughout my childhood. I grew up thinking he wanted nothing to do with me, and the circumstances of his death--no one telling me he was ill, no one informing me of the funeral, no one even letting me know he died only a few hours away instead of almost across the country where I thought he was, and no one seeming to know that he even had an heir--tell me that up until he died, he really didn't want anything to do with me. For me the news was a huge mix of emotions. On the one hand, I never knew this man, so it really meant very little. On the other hand, I had always planned on meeting him one day and showing him what he missed out on all those years. I never once considered that he could die before I got to meet him. He was just this idea, a thought of a man far away living another life. He wasn't a real person, really. My father has never been so alive as the day I learned of his death.
Since then, I've gotten a day job working as a housekeeper at a health care facility. There is a hospital care type unit, long term care, special care for Alzheimer's and dimensia, and so on. There are young people and old people. Most of them are Christian, from the looks of their various items. But all of them are mortal, and that was never so clear as this past week.
Sometime last month I was assigned to clean the same area for several days in a row, so I got to know the patients pretty well, and one day I came in and they told me a patient was dying, so I should clean her room first before her family all came to see her. I had spoken to her every day for several days before that and she was a delight. I couldn't imagine such a quick downturn, but there she was, clearly not the woman I had met earlier. Still, I spoke to her as usual, talked about the fine weather, asked if she needed anything. I may have blogged about this before, but I literally "saw" Death that day. Or at least, a black figure who was real enough for me to speak to it and move out of its way before I realized it wasn't actually physically there, whose brief presence brought to mind "The Chariot" which I then recited as I sent her some positive energy. Later on in the day, I learned that she had passed just a couple hours after I left her room. "The Chariot," a poem by Emily Dickinson, still echoed in my mind. The patient's name was Emily.
And then, of course, my friend's cat, Zoey, passed away. Which I wrote about previously on this blog.
But this week, I was assigned to another area in one of the more specifically Alzeimer's/Dimensia units, and when I got there with the girl who was working it with me, I learned that Bob had passed on Monday so we had to sanitize his room. As we walked around the unit, marking down which rooms were empty and therefore didn't need cleaning, we discovered that Mary had passed the previous week, Rusty had passed the day prior and the current day was her birthday, and, just as we approached the other end of the hall, Jean was being taken out on a stretcher, wrapped in her blanket. My number of rooms to clean had gone down to four. We spoke with Jean's son for a bit and then had to carry on about our work.
Today, the stray kitten we brought in from outside, who is just a wee bit of a thing, caught a bird in our yard and hasn't returned to our front door since.
Last month someone asked me for a custom order Tree of Life pendant on Etsy. We corresponded for a while, they said how much they liked my videos, we designed their order and I made it up quickly. It came out differently than my trees usually do. It wasn't the style I preferred, but the customer loved it. Then I stopped hearing from them for a while, until I said I needed to know if they were purchasing the item or if I should put it up for sale to the public. They said they would have money by a certain day, they had to get it from their parents. Just today I realized it had been another two weeks since they said they would have the money, and I hadn't heard from them again, so I sent another message saying I would put it up for public sale on Monday and then they could still buy it or not, but at least that way they wouldn't have to feel badly if they ended up not being able to buy it. Well, the subject of this post gives it away, but I got a reply message from one of the parents notifying me that my customer, whose Tree of Life is sitting in my display case, just recently passed away, and I can put the pendant up for sale. Well, honestly, how can I very well give that away to someone else? As I said, it came out so unlike my usual work... It is very obviously, uniquely theirs. This is a person, who is probably incredibly young, far too young for me to be getting a message like that, and who I didn't know well enough to know if they were sick or not, but who knew me pretty well because they were a fan of my videos. And all I can think is that I have been missing a LOT of opportunities to know people lately. I am well aware of the balance and that life is not fair but purposeful, and yet I can't help thinking it's not FAIR that this person knew me and I didn't know them.
I can only hope that the parents oblige my requests to know more about this person, and/or to let me send their Tree of Life anyway. Though it seems a bit odd, considering... It's still theirs. Maybe the family would like to have it. I wouldn't feel right selling it to anyone else, knowing that they had still wanted it. It would be different if they could tell me themselves that they no longer want it, but that's not the case. It just wouldn't feel right. And after all, my path has always been about what I feel is right.
The Wheel is turning, the skies are staying darker, and more loss is evident. It's a lot to deal with, if you don't have the tools to cope. I'm just glad that I do, and I'm glad if I can be anyone's light at the start of the tunnel.