Today my family has survived too much grief this last decade. Things were obviously coming to a head with the COVID19 pandemic, my health decline with COVID, and then James’ health decline with CMML Leukemia, and God knows how COVID played a part. That virus hit all five of us. Too many friends, who were loved, dying too since this pandemic hit. So much sorrow and loss.
The next day, a year ago, he was put on life support. Every machine I have ever seen attached to his body to help him survive. I didn’t realize it, but I have significant PTSD from all this: Leukemia. Life support, fighting for his life and being told he would not make it a year ago.
Losing weak friends that could not cope with my stress. Oh, the irony of that one. Dealing with one who used me horribly for their own ego and gains. Oh, the heartbreak of being used. My own health decline and changes, my evolution as an activist, and our family vanishing due to judgment and prejudice.
Our always hunting for the “rainbow railroad” to keep us safe. Our moving four times since 2012, chasing James’ employment and searching for unprejudiced medical help. The loss of financial security due to my disability and now his losing his lifelong career. To somehow exist on disability payments, raising our kids at the same time.
Having to live at the hospital an accumulation of three months fighting for his life, and my health declined, as I fight for his health. Surrender to a fancy electric wheelchair again and muscular dystrophy crutches. Not a choice, an action that had to be done to keep me moving.
This is on top of having young adult children taking on too much adult pressure to make the family budget, by having to go to work, on top of their own mental health issues with dealing with it all. Their own young relationships and dysfunction piling up on them too.
The cherry on the cake: my accepting my scholarship to go back to school to become what needs to become: Master of Divinity. Doing this while significantly disabled. With the American Disability Association at my side. Hand and hand being loved and supported by strangers that believe in me.
It is pure faith that drives me forward. Faith for me is now a VERB and action word. It has very little to do with the ugly convictions related to any world religion that has hurt so many of us LGBTQIA+ people. That form of Christianity has crushed some of my atheist friends. Those “christians” with a lower case “c” that abandoned me/us. Jesus is someone they truly do not even recognize if he were standing right before them. Only a capital letter to those who know how to be Jesus.
Most insist faith is a noun. I think it is because they have never had to live in faith. They never had to “Run” with it, “breath” it, immerse themselves, as I am right now, with the action of having faith move through my veins and very soul. While stuck, always, in the middle of an ocean. Depending on the waves, the tide, to get me where I need to go. To be taken care of miraculously, always. Somehow.
Faith, to me, is moving forward when most would have folded. But I am not a hero. I simply did not end my life. When I wanted to end the pain and the constant societal abuse. Believing somehow that good wins and evil loses. Because there were those who still stand by me with their own faith. When we are surrounded by so much darkness. Signs all around me that Good wins and evil loses, always.
Tears fall this morning before the sunrises; faithfully again. The sun rises in faith, a verb. A flying animal set off motion detectors visiting early this morning. I assume an angel, an owl. A review of the film showed a fluttering light of hope.
Please give me the strength to move forward. Please give my husband and kids the power to move forward and do the next right thing to survive this all with grace and no more darkness in their hearts. Lift the rage of loss.
Amen, to all higher power(s) that I know proved that there is love and care. Thanks to the “Rainbow Railroad” that has kept us safe.
Thank you for helping our family. All of you. In Faith.
The Velveteen Rabbit says it best:
“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”