Aunt Baby and Alvin Wesley

Aunt Baby and Alvin Wesley
Reasons I Smile...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

To Forget if for But a Moment

Allow Your Mind to Be Still and Rest

I remember telling my therapist that all I wanted was to be able to have one day when I did not think about the worst 46 hours of my life, in June, 1999.                                                                

For years, I handled myself fairly well, on the surface.  Those in my immediate circle knew how easily I startled at any noise sounding like a gunshot.  I shied away from violent movies and television shows, even the subject of violence disturbed me.  Both crowded scenes and tight, enclosed spaces were avoided as much as possible.

I had difficuly sleeping, experiencing frequent and intrusive nightmares.  During the day, I had an aversion to anyone who remotely looked or behaved like the perpetrator. Heaven forbid, if he had the same first name!  I even had difficulty driving past the expansive hospital where I worked, which, at the time was less than a mile from my home. 

Thankfully, these signs and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have, all but, subsided.  I sometimes notice, when thinking of another stressor, I tend to remember the incident. I remain grateful that it has always seemed manageable in comparison! 

I have been honored, to date, to have presented three Forgiveness talks to students, in a Theology elective .  I speak primarily about forgiving myself in my perceived role.

When I last spoke for the Instructor in February, 2011, I was asked when I was able to actually let go and forget for awhile?  It dawned on me, that Mom's death, a year ago today on May 7th, 2010, was the first time that I realigned my priorities into their rightful place. I was able to completely focus on my family and forget about the events that had stemmed from a madman.

My Mother's sudden death has clearly had the most profound impact of anything now in my life. So unexpected!  I now appreciate that death does not send a calling card. Ironically, I remember Mom telling me she would "not have gotten over it if I hadn't made it in 1999".  In some odd way, this has given me the strength, despite this loss, to keep going.

With Mom's death, I have finally and totally freed myself of the pain and self-imposed guilt from 1999. I know she left me words in her Journal that "my worst days were behind me and to be happy".

"Learn to wish that everything should come to pass exactly as it does."  (Epictetus, Greece)   


  1. "Allow your mind to be still and rest." Good words to follow.

    I'm so sorry about the loss of your Mother. My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to you, Maria. I can't even begin to think in that direction, when it comes to my Mom. Every day is special for its very limited presence. Each day is a gift.

  2. Dear Sista,

    Today I read on your blog how you celebrated your Momma's birthday in June... this is what you do, darlin'... you live and love and enjoy every single day that you are blessed to have her. And this will fill those days you do not with the most beautiful of memories...

    Love you so much, Maria