Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I'll be gone away from you.
A Pueblo Indian Prayer
I have been thinking a lot about holding on and letting go lately.
I have a friend who is ill, in critical condition, lost somewhere in a coma due to cancer. It has been over a week. The doctors have vacillated between hopeful and hopeless and left us all worrying and praying. I don't want my friend to die. He is young, only 44. Even though he is miles away, I feel him. His presence. His friendship. His goodness. I rant about the unfairness of his situation. He is a good person. He saves lives. He inspires others. Why him? Why now?
I spent the summer holding on tightly to my hubster who was also battling cancer. As well as my brother, cousin and aunt. I can unequivocally state that I HATE cancer. My husband survived. My aunt died. My friend, cousin and brother fight on...
The past two years have been the roughest ones I have lived through in a long, long time. The year I lost my daddy was hard, but I was 15 and resilient. The year my mama died was terrible, I was newly married, living in NYC, but I had the love of the hubster and ambition to carry me. Now I am older and it gets harder to let go.
In 2011 we have to let go of this house where we lived for 15 years. The bank has called our note. We, like many others, are victims of the recession. No, not victims, but something else. For I will not give up... but I will move on. I will survive this and start over.
But yes, we do have to let go of this house. Our first house we owned. A place where many have come and stayed. My friend in the coma lived here briefly after his divorce and then moved down the street and came often to hang out and do laundry.
This house has been filled with laughter and tears. I had dreams here. I had to let them go. I have stuff here that won't make it to the other place. I must let it go.
I must let go of so much: illusions, dreams, imaginings, things not yet born. I must let go and move on.
I am scared of the loss I will feel. I know that new experiences await me. But they are unfamiliar, unknown. I do not know what to do with the "stuff" we have collected. Bits and pieces of lives from other times and places. Do I keep my childhood toys? Do I keep the chair my 22 year old cat used to sleep in although he's been gone for over a year? Do I hold on to the "skinny clothes" or the "fat clothes"? What do I do with all these books? All these fears?
The hubster said he can't quite see us living in another space. He can't wrap his mind around what it will be like.
I can't either. Not yet. But I have begun to dream of a space that is peaceful and uncluttered. Orderly. Neat and cozy. Filled only with what we need and use. Not with years of baggage, emotional or physical.
Back to my friend. His life hangs in the balance right now. I pray constantly. Sometimes its just his name over and over. Sometimes I can feel his presence. Sometimes he seems more real to me in memories than the present moment does. So this is what I ponder. Do we ever really let go? Even if the physical state changes, even if loss occurs, do we still hold one another in some way, in some time, in some place that only our hearts and mind can see?