(Diane – July 14, 1956 – February 14, 2015)
“Treat everyone with kindness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are kind, but because you are.”
I wrote this about a week ago but never posted it so here it is!
Recently, I have had some difficult interactions with some people acting unreasonably and petty. I have been pissed for the last couple days and so distressed it triggered a severe flareup of my chronic pain disorder. Last night I laid awake in agony. It was one of my worst experiences. I felt like I was going insane. And it’s all my own doing. I let those people drive me to this point.
Today when I was out walking, I caught myself thinking of ways to unleash my anger in unpleasant ways. I wanted people to know what I think of them (it’s definitely not kind, loving thoughts!) and I realized that my usual kind, loving, patient self was pushed aside and very unpleasant, destructive emotions took the place of the love & patience I usually experience & display.
While I was standing there dwelling on my resentment for the people I had unpleasant encounters with and conjuring up unkind ways to let them know of my resentment, I thought of Diane. My close friend who always talked to and about me and bragged about me like I was her own daughter. She has three sons and grandchildren but no daughter of her own. Her love for me always seemed like a mother’s love.
I used to have it planned to have a job working with people with “extra/special” needs. Diane knew that those kinds of jobs arent the easiest and not always pleasant. She worked at a hospital for a while. She told me one of her worst fears was that I would lose my patience, softness, warmth, kindness….if I had to encounter people who are not easy to deal with. She said she couldn’t bear to think of me changing. As I write this, my heart wells up with gratitude, love, warmth….someone who loved me so much, the real me, that she was terrified of me changing! To have a love like that is a blessing. Diane is no longer is this world and I still struggle so hard with my deep grief, even years later, but not once since losing her have I ever felt that I lost her love. I carry it with me always. Her love for me will survive as long as I do. And even longer since I have stories about her in my writing here.
Diane wasn’t what people would probably describe as “warm” or “soft.” She was loud, assertive, sarcastic, outspoken. We knew when she was pissed, when she had a problem with us, when she was fed up, when she loved us; she did not hold back. On multiple occasions, she threatened to kick my ass. The very last word I heard her say before she was taken so suddenly, so unexpectedly, was “unfuckingbelievable.” She said this then slammed a window in my face. I still smile & laugh when I remember this.
So cursed a lot and even yelled at people. But she was deeply compassionate, extremely generous, caring, loving…she cared for people with drug addiction, mental health problems, financial problems(which she struggled with herself). She always gave to others what she hardly had herself. She would go above & beyond to help people; even those who wouldn’t do the same for her.
She never gossiped about others. If she had something to say, she said it right to our faces. She wasn’t always pleasant, though she often was. I did not always care for her sarcasm, especially when I first met her, many years ago. She did not have the patience I have. But I have always loved her (and still love her!) just how she was.
I love how she did not want me to be like her; she wanted me to be just how I am. Always.
Since she died a couple years ago I have struggled to find ways to honor her life. I have a silver necklace with her name engraved, have performed acts of kindness in her memory, posted things about her…all which I find healing to some degree. But I have just kept having this inkling that there must be more. A more profound way to keep her memory, her love going. And I have longed for a deeper healing.
Then as I was standing outside, contemplating a kind of revenge, giving into thoughts & emotions of anger, aggression, destruction….I thought of her and her worst fear. Her fear that I would let others drag me down to the point that I stop being kind, patient, loving, warm. And I made the decision right then and there that for her, I won’t give in. I won’t give into the temptation to seek revenge, to lash out, to say or do something unkind to someone for doing that to me. I would never become bitter & unkind completely but I can temporarily slip into those things.
There may be occasions in this life that I will be less patient, less kind, less warm, than I am, but I will let Diane’s love for me, wash over me and inspire me to let my love ultimately prevail. I choose to not let this difficult situation with these difficult people drag me so low that I act in destructive ways towards them or myself.
What better way to honor Diane than to keep shining my own light, the light she was so afraid would be snuffed by difficult circumstances? I will keep shining, keep smiling, and keep trying to lift others along the way. ♡
I would love to invite everyone to join me on my journey of love!
I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are. ♡ Hugs to you. ♡
Much love & light, always,