Have you noticed just how astounding a horizon is? It’s a spot in the distance that you set your sights on. It gives you hope and as you witness it, stare at it, you’re filled with a feeling of peace, contentment and awe.
It’s beautiful, celestial, amazing, awesome and new. It’s a distant point where heaven and earth meet. It’s a miracle, really. And with any miracle, you exhale and joy begins its precarious journey inside you, slowly and smoothly…just like the light of a horizon — up and over the sky.
It can make you weep with relief. I see it, you say to yourself and it’s attainable. Finally, surely I can get to this — this sweet, indescribable AHHHH, things are going to be okay. I’ll just keep focused on that horizon — that beckoning pinpoint of light.
Those of you who’ve been following me know what I’ve been going through for well over a month now and those who are regular followers know how I tend to get deep and metaphorical sometimes. If that’s not your thing, you may want to clock out now because I’m going to be metaphoring all over the place in this post. For those who like that kind of thing, be patient with me and read on. I’ve missed y’all. I’ve missed my routines and the normalcy that was my life.
I usually post more than I’ve been doing these past few weeks but I’ve been busy. I’m doing so now because I want to share some joy, some good stuff.
Damn, how I love the good stuff.
Love, Pain, Up, Down, Joy, Sadness, Anger and All That Human Stuff
My Father is better. He is a badass. A badass.
I sometimes think he should have been born in a different era — like in cowboy days, where he’d get to roam big open spaces. I don’t ever remember him NOT having callused and rough hands. I can remember when my hand was tiny and I’d put it in his and it’d be rough, but it was comforting. It felt the way a Dad’s hand should feel. They’re softer now because of this “interruption” but I’ll just bet he’ll be roughing them up again — soon.
He’s as impatient as I am. But being impatient also makes one determined. And he is determined to get stronger and better. And he’s seeing that horizon too — I can see that in him now.
He’s a farmer at heart. A nature lover — everything in nature — he respects it. He can make or build anything. He built a house. He’s built furniture for famous people. He can paint pictures, wood carve. He’s made toys for the Ronald McDonald House. He painted a big tiger on the floor of our gym when I was in high school. He built the set for my high school dance/prom. He’s an observer, not a talker. He can size someone up from observing and he’s usually right. He’s soulful that way. He loves rock and classical music. He says things like, “You can’t help who you love.”
He’s always been brutally handsome — thick, blondish hair with a grin that knocked my Mom’s socks off. They met at a skating rink. They lived in Germany when other people back then didn’t do things like that. They raised four girls — all of us very dramatic and Southern; we can’t help ourselves. Daddy — the only man among five women. He was accustomed to pee breaks outside as we were growing up — with one bathroom.
He likes simple things but can figure out very complicated things. Knows what’s important. Loves his girls fiercely. He’s a protector, strong, sure.
Seeing him the way I have has been excruciating. It made me feel helpless, hopeless and pissed. Angry because I couldn’t fix or control any of it. I finally realized I didn’t have control over any of it.
I have felt terrified, alone, anxious, hopeful, desperate, panicked, irrational — all that. And the images in my head — they slap me awake at night. I know in time, it’ll pass. My Daddy has gone through far worse than me and I’m strong and can be strong for many people.
Those of you who’ve been through this with a parent know what I’m talking about. Seeing your protector vulnerable and hurting takes your breath away. Literally, I couldn’t breathe at times (when I was alone and could let the anguish out) and neither could he, literally at times.
Life Goes On
Here’s the thing you begin to realize when you go through a rough time and the fog in your head clears between those exhausting moments of wake and half-sleep. Life goes on. Except for you.
People keep doing what they do. You walk around and see them but it seems as if it’s surreal. You feel as if you’re in a dream — you know that feeling? Maybe it’s Nature/God/Eternal Something’s way of numbing and protecting your heart until you can settle down and deal. You think?
For a blip in this eternity, my life, as I knew it, just halted. It’s still in that stage but I’m beginning to exhale — just a tiny bit — tiptoe around anxiously so as not to knock over another karmic something that may make something else spin out of control.
I just keep looking toward that gorgeous horizon.
It’s there and we’ve not reached it yet, but I’m sure as hell not going to stop gazing at it now and thinking to myself, Just a little bit longer, just keep it in sight….
I was thinking about you this weekend and wondering how you’re doing. So nice to see this post! I’m glad your dad is doing better and you’re doing better. Sending love and holding the sight of that beautiful horizon for you, too!
Hi Cathy, thank you! Doing better and so glad to be able to post and “talk” to my friends. I’m sending it right back to you, my friend. xxoo
Oh Brigitte! I’m so relieved that things are turning around in a positive direction. I don’t have a strong parent and definitely no one like the man you described. He sounds wonderful. A pillar of strength. No wonder you were so distraught. It’s not easy to see your hero in a helpless vulnerable position.
I think nature, the endless cycles and rhythms are healing in a way that nothing else is. Maybe it’s because we feel the divine in nature, we know our place, we feel connected to something much larger, and it gives us perspective? The horizon with it’s sun set and sun rise is one of those beautiful God given events. I think we take it for granted.
This was such a light and delicate and yet deep post. I sense your serenity and I’m soooo happy you’re back. 🙂
Hi Lisa, We’ve been corresponding through all this and I so hope your world is getting brighter and you are seeing that “horizon” as well. I am thinking of you. My Dad is a strong man. Not perfect but when times like this happen, you focus on all the good and positive. I’ve learned alot through all this and it has brought all of us closer. You are right; we do begin to see the divine — in everything — and it does help us gain perspective. Thank you for taking the time to wish me well, despite what you are going through. Know that I am “here” for you. Much love and I’m sending love, light and prayers your way. Big hugs back, Lisa. xxoo
The horizon is not the end of the ocean. My best wishes for recovery to your dad.
Hi Allan, thanks for the correction about the ocean – ? And thank you so much for your best wishes, my friend.
I meant that in a metaphorical sense. 😉
Hello Brigitte! Your loving, tender words have filled my soul this morning. I’ll continue to pray and send good vibes your way. Happy to see you back and even happier to hear your Dad is on the mend. May the good karma continue. Dads are very special men.
Hi Audra, your words are filling my soul as well. I will take your prayers and good vibes and thanks so much for your other emails. They have helped more than your realize. Much love to you and yours. xo
I’ve had a beloved parent in that position, and, I’m so pleased your situation worked out well!! Your Dad sounds a wonder. Best to all of you.
Hi Addie, thank you my friend. He is something! Best to you as well and thanks soooo much. xo
You’ve been missed, Brigitte! Thanks for the update on your dad. I loved the story about how your parents met at a skating rink. He painted a giant tiger on the gym floor?! Maybe sometime you’ll share his art. Sending positive thoughts your way! T.
T!!! How nice to hear from you. I’ve missed you too. Yeah, a GIANT tiger — our mascot. Thanks so much for your kind words. xo
BELIEVE. That is all you need do, Brigitte! It’s sooooooooooooooooo nice to hear your voice again. Have missed your presence here in WP land. Welcome back, my dear friend, and HUGS to you. All will be well. All IS well. Simply believe.
You know, Sue, you are so right — about the believe thing. I’ve missed you too and so look forward to getting back to reading and commenting on all my peeps blogs. It’s nice to be missed and nice to have such a beautiful and wonderful community. I am humbled and grateful. Be well, friend. xxoo
Nice to see you metaphoring again. We need our fathers to be cowboys, metaphorically speking, the first men in our lives to show what strength is, to build us up, to fiercly love us, to teach us that determination makes all the difference. The reason I am constantly looking to what’s on the horizon, what’s next, is because that’s what my dad taught me to do. Hopeful, positive post lady!
Hi Honie, thank you friend and thank you for your wonderful personal emails as well. I meant it to be hopeful and positive — thank you so much. xxoo
I’m sure it’s incredibly painful to see your dad suffer such troubling times. I feel for you and hope everything turns out well.
Hi Carrie, thank you for stopping in. It is, but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? Thank you so much. I hope so too.
I am very very glad to hear your dad’s on the mend. What a role model!
Sandee! So nice to see you here again. Thanks so much.
So glad to have you back and I hope that things get better. Sending good thoughts!
Thank you! I am happy to get them. Slowly but surely, I’m coming back.
Hey Brigitte, I hope that your father continues to improve. His illness on top of the hurricane were a real one-two punch for you. I admire your resiliency and lack of whiny-ness during these challenging times.
Hey V, I so hope so too. Thanks for stopping in — it is always so good to see you here. I hope you and yours are having a wonderful holiday season. Thank you for your kind words and sweet sentiments. xo
Your dad’s a great teacher, dear Brigitte. Continue to pay attention: he’s teaching you more about strength in his apparent weakness than he ever could when he appeared big and strong! Nice to have you back, my friend! xoxoM
Margarita, my friend. Your email the other night helped me so much and it arrived at EXACTLY the moment I needed it == thank you so much. I will pay attention. I am learning much from this experience. You are a wonderful lady and teacher. Thank you. Much love. xo
Thank you, Brigitte. xoxoM
I was just thinking about you 🙂 I love your metaphorical musings,and I am so happy to hear your Dad is on the mend. Keep the horizon in sight – even when you can’t see it, it’s still there 🙂
Hi Sarah my friend — thank you! I will always keep hope in sight. I hope you and yours are great. xo
Your dad sounds wonderful. So glad he’s on the upswing.., and my prayers for his full recovery…and your happiness.
Hi Char — thank you. I will take (and so appreciate) those prayers — thank you so much.
It’s so good to see you back, Brigitte, and you can wax metaphorically whenever you please. I think Margarita said it beautifully—your dad’s still teaching you as you and your family go through these difficult times. I hope he’ll soon be fully recovered and you can share many wonderful days together in 2013 and beyond.
Hi J, it’s nice to be back! He is teaching me things. My sisters and I are working through this, as is my Mom. I hope he is too and thank you so much — you are indeed a wonderful friend. xo
Dear, Brave Brigitte: I don’t know much about watching our parents suffer, but I know quite a lot about having our world stop spinning while everyone else goes on as if nothing has changed. It is all quite, well, quite humbling. I’m so sorry you have been through so much pain, and so happy you have found the horizon that gives you strength. One of my favorite poems is by Vikram Seth,
All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above –
Know that you aren’t alone
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years.
You, my dear, are never really alone, pain or joy.
Michelle, it is humbling, isn’t it? WOW. Absolutely love the poem you took the time to share. It is beautiful and just what I needed. You are so kind and thoughtful for giving me that gift. Much love, my friend — thank you.
So happy to hear your Dad is back on the mend and ready to come back punching! Love the visual of horizons and as usual, you manage to write on a topic that so fits what’s going on in my own life. Not sure how you do that, unless you just have that good of a sixth sense (or you’re psychic). 😉 Wishing you and your family a blessed season this month.
I just reread my comment and it sounds a little self-centered which was totally not my intention. I was just in awe at how you manage to inspire others while still dealing with all you’ve been through so far.
It doesn’t sound self-centered at all. I’m glad you gleaned some inspiration from it — that means so much to me! Thank you, my friend.
Hi Lillian. I’ve missed you! I’m glad you found some solace and recognition in this. I hope you and your loved ones have a blessed season as well. xxoo.
what a beautiful wonderful post–so heartfelt and raw and compassionate — you have a wonderful capacity to say just the right things – your dad sounds like a great dad–and I am glad things are looking up for him–I like how you describe his hands–it tells so much –many hugs
Hey Lou Ann, so glad you enjoyed it and what a beautiful compliment you’ve paid me. My sister read it this morning and she said the same thing. And you and she both saying that — well, I must’ve written it “right” then. Thank you for your wonderful personal emails as well, Lou Ann. You are such a dear friend and it has meant so much. xxoo
It is odd what a kinship I feel for you–odd and nice–I was glad to be there for you – not seeing your shining face made for quite a void
That’s a beautiful post. wishing a speedy recovery to your Dad!! I’ve always believed that sometimes its easier to bear pain ourselves than to see our loved ones suffer. And its good to see you back. Take care!!
Heda, thank you and nice to see you here! You are so right and I wish the very best for you and yours.
Oh, Brigitte, I’ve been wondering about you and thinking you must be going through a lot. This is a beautiful post, hearing you talk about your dad. It’s obvious there’s so much love between you and it warms my heart to read it. I wish him well. Hang in there. You are so strong. Good to see you back here.
Hi Bumble, thank you for your lovely sentiments — they are so appreciated. Nice to see you here and I’ll be glad when I can get back to being “here” more.
Wonderful! Wonderful to hear that your dad is doing so well. Wonderful to read that you’re finding your groove again after a season of tumult. Wonderful to think about the impact your insights on these hard times could have on someone else who may feel hopelessly lost in similar circumstances. Best wishes for a continued recovery for all involved!
Keenan, we miss you and thank you for taking the time to leave me such a wonderful comment. You are such an insightful, kind and soulful person and I’m so glad you’re in our lives. Much love. xxoo
So good to know you’re dad is better. And you’re right about the horizon. Even if it’s still a long way off, it’s out there all right, just so we can look toward it when we need it most.
Hi Sally, we hope that he is on his way to a wonderful recovery. Thank you for taking the time to comment. xo
I’m glad you’re able to breathe a little, Brigitte—seeing your parents suffering is paralyzing and shocking in a way that you can’t really articulate sometimes. Here’s to the horizon ahead, my friend.
Weebs, my friend…you are so right about that. Thank you — here’s to the horizons! xxoo
Hi honey 🙂
I’ve nominated you for Blog Of The Year 2012!
Hope you decide to accept 🙂
Vikki, thank you my friend. I’m honored.