Paulo Coelho: Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.
Today I feel small.
Lately I have been working towards something- something pretty big. This process that has spanned several months is reaching a deciding point. It has included three separate interviews and days and nights of hypothetical situations. And while I had expected confirmation of this life altering opportunity last night, I was met with delay. Mind you- not rejection, just delay. But the longer a process is drawn out with little activity, the more that I lose interest or I begin to spiral. I begin a myriad of conversations in my head where it doesn’t work out, I am rejected, or worse, it continues to be drawn out.
So I am sitting on my couch, with a cozy blanket, a cup of tea, watching a fire, typing on my new iPad and feeling downright sorry for myself. Yes- I hear it now. My level of ridiculousness is noted.
But what I am actually trying to do is to understand what the Universe is guiding me towards. How can the delay in this experience create other opportunities? Or is it a lesson in patience? What can the waiting do to make my life better? How can I channel this frustration into something productive instead of wanting to curl up and pout?
My grandma is also waiting. She is waiting to die.
She is 87 and incredibly uncomfortable. She is in a nursing home and is racked with coughing fits so often that now she exists in a morphine haze. Her sly smirk lets us know she can still hear our side conversations that she is desperate to participate in, but unable. She has been ready for weeks, saying her goodbyes, distributing her possessions, but still she lives. It was only after she fell and banged her head a few days ago, that she took a turn for the worse. A turn that is sure to reduce her waiting. But yet, she still waits.
A nurse was counseling her in a moment of frustration recently. She wanted to know when she was just going to die, and why it wasn’t happening. The nurse suggested that time was needed. Maybe not for her, but time for someone else to come to terms or peace with her death. I immediately thought of my son. Ryan, 11, has adored my grandmother his entire life. Growing up directly across the street from this vivacious, spunky woman created a bond between the two that is unlike any other. He has recently shared stories of mini tea parties with tea and sugar and Chex cereal (I’m not sure that’s a “thing” but it was for them!). He reminisces of times dressing up, playing cars on the floor, making apple butter, and stealing sips of her coffee. The time the nurse referred to I am sure is for him. If he were to suffer this loss during a regular school week, he would be a wreck. But as we have just entered a holiday week break for Thanksgiving, it has given me a chance to help him process this impending heartbreak. And if, God willing, it happens soon, he will be home to grieve.
It’s the worse. It forces time to slow down. Virtually stand still. But what if it’s a gift? What if it provides time to reflect, ponder, pursue, pray, seek, breathe, . . . . live?