Pray that it’s enough for now.

I haven’t written anything for quite some time, but today I felt an overwhelming need to say, “I think I can understand and appreciate what you’ve gone through”. I needed to say how I am in awe and inspired. How, with all the media coverage of Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn, my heart has felt an undeniable passion. A passion that is bound together through something everyone has experienced at some time in their life….. pain.

Let me explain.

As an adult I have had my fair share of pain, maybe more than my share. My first husband had the disease of drug addiction, was an IV drug user who died of AIDS. As I ( and our young son) watched him decline and suffer. Losing pieces of his mind and almost all knowing of who he or I were, I held tight to the fact that, even in this dementia, he always knew who his son was, his one true joy. When he finally was able to be released of this pain and suffering and passed on into peace, I was left with all the guilt. The guilt that the one day I didn’t go to the hospital to be with him, he passed, he was alone. My very soul was shattered as I thought of him, leaving us, this world, alone. Was he scared, was he in pain, did he need my hand to hold, to comfort him, as he had done for me, for so many years? In saving our son the trauma of seeing his father suffer, did I deny him his good bye? This is my pain, that I carry with me, still.

A short five years later, my father passed away, from another devastating disease, pancreatic cancer. I also watched him decline and struggle with not being able to be the strong, active man, who was always more than capable of achieving great feats of strength. He survived a fall from 25ft., breaking his back, to getting up and on with loving, caring and providing for the family he loved and going back to work as a carpenter, after 3 short months. He was the strongest man I knew, he was my hero. He had an ingrained honor and integrity that no one I’ve known has even come close to, until my son grew into a man, he has that same honor and integrity. So after a six month battle, and dying two times on the table during surgery to remove cancerous fluid from around his heart, and being in a coma like state for a month, he too, finally, was released from his pain and suffering into peace. But, after spending 2 1/2 days by his side in the hospital, I finally decided to go to my sister’s to shower and change. I told Daddy I’d be back in an hour or so ( even though he remained in a coma). As I stepped out of the car upon arriving at my sister’s, I was met by my sister telling me Daddy had passed not long after I left. All the pain and guilt I had felt with my husband came flooding back, only this time with my Dad. He was alone, ( my parents had divorced years prior), his girls, ( my sisters and I) were all he had, and we weren’t there. All the years he had so unselfishly given to us. The hours of lost sleep worrying, working through a double hernia for years because he couldn’t afford to stop to have surgery, the broken back, the endless lessons of honor, truth, integrity….the feeling that he could make everything right, and the one time I could give this back to him, he was alone. The guilt and pain overwhelm me still.

My two sisters, whose own pain and suffering, from abusive relationships and financial problems I can’t do more to alleviate. The guilt that I wasn’t and still aren’t able to protect them. My sister, (from my husband, who I will never call “in law”) who has never stopped being a constant source of love and support, who I feel I will never be able to give adequately, all she has given to me. And her husband, who I now see in the same light as my father, a hero, who can make everything right. The pain and guilt that I am not able to do and give all they have for me.

My children, who have sustained me through their laughter and tears. Have given me the strength and purpose to go on. When I’ve felt defeated and worthless for all I haven’t done, have shown me their love is enough. My son who has overcome the loss of a father, a grandfather, moving away from his friends, school, home…only to have become the most honorable, intelligent, compassionate, driven person I know. My daughter who has the innocence of feeling like she is a big shot while standing and holding onto the poles on her first subway ride. The pain and guilt I feel that I have left them to struggle with life while I nursed my own wounds.

And my husband now. Who has had a childhood that left him feeling less than, insecure and unloved. Who I’ve watched struggle with, not an addiction to any drug or alcohol, ( although those have been part of it), but an addiction to escaping the constant pain of feeling unlovable. Who gets up everyday and goes off to work to provide for his family, smiling and hiding all he truly feels. How he tries to make everything better, our home, our family, our finances. How he has always helped, no matter what I have asked of him, loving and caring for my son, sisters…. my family. How he brushes our daughter’s hair and looks up on You Tube how to do special braids, and then does them. How he picked up the slack when I went back to college. The pain and guilt I feel that I didn’t see the pain he was in. How my love wasn’t enough to erase all the hurt he felt and love he didn’t get from his parents.

So, when I say I understand and appreciate what Bruce Jenner has gone through, I mean the pain and suffering. But it is more than that. The overwhelming sense I have to acknowledge Caitlyn Jenner, but also my sweet loving Traci, my son and his partner, Mark and all those, I not only call friends, but family, (you all know who you are). Who, although I know the strength and courage it took for them to be their authentic selves, whether they are gay, transgender, bi, whatever. My awe, inspiration, love and compassion is for the thing we have shared, the pain we carry with us, the pain that isn’t always known or seen by those around us. The courage it took everyday to get up and carry on when they weren’t able to be their authentic selves. It’s that strength and courage that moves me to tears and breaks my heart, because I know it too.

My joy, for all those who no longer have to carry around the pain, because they now can be who they truly are.  My hope and prayer, that those who still share this pain will find their peace in themselves, who they truly are. The lovable, perfect, strong, awesome people they are meant to and have always been.

Lovers laugh and cross this way

They’re weaving out into the street

It seems we never were so young

Or it was never quite so sweet

But the world is always beautiful

 When it’s seen in full retreat

The worst of life looks beautiful

                    As it slips away in full retreat

                    Well God only knows that we can do

                     No more or less than he’ll allow

                    Well God only knows that we mean well

                     God knows that we just don’t know how

                      But I try to be your light in love

                      And pray that it’s enough for now      ( Joseph Lee Henry)

About kzottarelli

Still a mom, still a wife, animal lover, fighter for equality, but now a graduate!! On to the next phase......
This entry was posted in Prejudice. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Pray that it’s enough for now.

  1. Joy Egan says:

    I just don’t understand what all the fuss issbout. Leave them the hell alone. If a gay coupled want to get married and declare their love to God and the world who are we to take that away from them. Let’s stop wasting time on insignificant shit and start investing our time trying to solve our unemployement issues or a cure for Parkinson’s

  2. Marina says:

    Hola. He visto un vídeo en facebook subtitulado y me ha emocionado, por eso vengo a visitaros. Todo el blog está en inglés y no hablo inglés, con lo cual no podré seguiros. Yo tengo un blog todo en español, con lo cual …

    No importa, tenéis todo mi apoyo, mi admiración y mi estima y me parto la cara con quien sea por defender la libertad, desde cualquier punto de vista y desde el punto de vista de la libertad de vida, mucho más.

    Un fuerte abrazo.

    Marina

  3. Tam says:

    Thanks for sharing this.
    For what it’s worth, lived something similar to what you described with your dad’s passing. After 17 months battling my mom’s cancer, it seemed like her moment was close by. After three hours of thanking her for all her strength and courage as a single mother, reassuring her all would be alright, and telling her how much I loved and admired her, just slipped out to the toilet. When I returned 4 minutes latter, the warm hand I had been holding, was cold. For a moment I couldn’t believe she had just left in that precise period of time, but in partial acceptance, just continued to repeat grateful words to her ear (I believe the brain dies last, and wanted that the last she heard, were loving words). Feeling pretty much like you describe, I latter wondered if feeling the silence of being alone those minutes, she “let go” thinking all was over…could be.
    A few months afterwards, sharing all this with another friend who had a similar experience to yours nursing your husband (while nursing her mother), she told me one day it dawned on her, that her mother died during the hours she wasn’t by her side, as a way of protecting her from certain degree of pain (not necessarily because she felt neglected or suffered more that day). That though made me wonder about how wise (and maybe even compasionate) some parents and loved ones could be in this regard.
    We will always be close to our loved ones, death doesn’t change love, but it helps us become aware of how trascendent love is, specially after surviving pain and death.
    Wishing you confort

  4. Tam says:

    Thanks for sharing this.
    For what it’s worth, lived something similar to what you described with your dad’s passing. After 17 months battling my mom’s cancer, it seemed loke her moment was close by. Whilst thanking her for all her strength and courage as a single mother, reassuring her all would be alright, and telling her how much I loved and admired her, just slipped out to the toilet. When I returned 4 minutes latter, the warm hand I had been, was cold. For a moment I couldn’t believe she had just left in that period of time, but in partial acceptance, just continued to repeat grateful words to her ear (I believe the brain dies last, and wanted that the last she heard, were loving words).
    Feeling pretty much like you describe, I latter wondered if feeling the silence of being alone those minutes, she “let go” thinking all was over…maybe.
    A few months afterwards sharing with another friend who had a similar experience to yours nursing your husband (while nursing her mother), she told me one day it dawned on her, that her mother died during the hours she wasn’t by her side, as a way of protecting her from certain degree of pain (not necessarily because she felt neglected or suffered more that day). That though made me wonder about how wise (and maybe even compasionate) some parents and loved ones could be in this regard.
    We will always be close to our loved ones, death doesn’t change love, but it helps us become aware of how trascendent love is, specially after surviving pain and death.
    Wishing you confort

    • kzottarelli says:

      Thank you, and wishing you comfort as well. And agreed, love and pain, something we all experience in our own personal way.

  5. Hello, my name is Cristina and I’m from Spain.
    I was reading my facebook in my little break from studying and I’ve just seen a video from a guy talking about his brother wedding and how did he felt about a rude letter from an old partner from job.
    I hope it’s you who talked, because it made me cry.
    I’m bisexual (that’s how it is said in English?), not because it’s a fashion now, but from the very beggining of my life. Once, when I told my grandma that I had a girlfriend, she ordered me not to go into her house ever again. That hurted a lot.
    So I wanted to thank you for your words and comprehension. That’s so important to people like me…
    Thank you. We love you too.

    • kzottarelli says:

      Cristina,
      That would be David Stevens, allydavidstevens. If you click on his picture on the side of this post you’ll be brought to it. But I would like to say, I’m so happy David’s piece touched you and helped. I will share this with him.
      Kathleen

  6. lmskj1978 says:

    I know I’m a ‘bob nobody’, but my only advice is to talk to your son, see how he feels about it, if he’s turned out to be a wonderful young man I can only say that’s a huge thanks to you… but sometimes if we talk to our children it helps us..  and in a twist of ways, them too. I was a mom/mum before I was an adult, I’d got two children by the time I was 17.  my whole life a mess. I always thought I’d failed. When my daughter hit her 20s.. I sat and spoke to her. (Holding in mind here I’ve only just turned 37).  She was the one that reassured me that I hadn’t. Lost years, and a lot of worries, but still, for now, we do have a future, a chance for new memories.. a way forward.  There is nothing to lose by giving it a shot for both of you x As for final goodbyes it seems like you’d both been saying goodbye slowly for so long, and would a final goodbye be final really? He’s a huge part of your son, of you.. and that never goes. But it does hurt less. As for your dad, you didn’t give up, you told him you’d be back, (They say hearing is the last thing to go so who knows, he might be aware). That doesn’t make you bad, it makes you human. You were there. There in heart, there in care, there as who you are, just as he will always be in your heart. Just as his strength lives on in your son. Spiritually aside, I believe we take a part of those we loved into our being x Take care, (And sorry if if this came accorss wrong).

    • kzottarelli says:

      Dear lmskj1978,
      First, thank you for such a caring response. You aren’t a “bob nobody”, you are someone who has also shared the experience of this extreme pain, so I welcome and am thankful for your advice.
      I have spoken to my son. We have always had a bond that defies all the traditional ideas of mother and child, ( I think tragedy does that sometimes), and I know he understands and we have worked through his father’s passing, and all that entailed. It’s my own feelings of wanting to protect my children from all the harsh realities of life. I’m sure you understand what I mean, our first feeling is to protect, defend, shield, shelter, to make everything good and loving. I do realize that this has made him the man he is today, and has taught him, and is teaching my daughter, how to be the strong, loving people they are, and that certainly lessens the pain. I know it is me and not them, but I think some of us parents are like that, we will always feel there could have been something more. As for my Dad, I believe he is exactly why I feel this way about my son and daughter, because that is always who he was, even in his dying. I do honestly believe he heard me, and my sisters believe he was just waiting until I was gone to spare me the pain of being there when he passed…… always thinking of his children first.
      So, although I do carry these burdens, I have come to accept and made some kind of peace.
      Thank you for all your loving kindness. Much love to you and your daughter,
      Kathleen

      • lmskj1978 says:

        Thank you for your lovely reply, (I forgot to check the reply button and thought I’d pop back in). It seems as though a huge caring part of him, is a huge part of all of you.. and it comes accross in your posts. (And I think these bonds are a wonderful rare gift). Yes, you’re right. I have loved and lost, and carried what feels like the weight of the world at times, but I thinks it’s that, that can help us to reach out to others sometimes. Take care of yourself. Louise x

  7. Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    An incredibly empathetic response to the pain people go through in life and how that relates to people, like Caitlyn Jenner and other LGBTQ people becoming their authentic selves…

    • kzottarelli says:

      Thank you. My wish is that everyone could learn from a pain they’ve experienced, (it doesn’t have to be the same), to just be more loving and understanding of another’s experience.

  8. I think I’ll just sit here and weep quietly for a while…. God bless you, darling. And your family, and all you love. And all of us.

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