Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Free At Last

On February 10, 2017, Adalgisa Guhlin de Gonzalez, died from a brain tumor. When she died, I found myself dealing sadness, relief, as well as a "blankness." I wrote about the experience of finding about her imminent death in this blog. Today would have been her birthday.

The Blankness
As each month has passed, the "blankness" that I see now as a comforting fog insulating me from grief has begun to slip away. You might say, it's peeling away like a scab that's no longer needed, leaving new pink skin beneath. But the truth is, it's a bit tougher than that.

My Mom and I never enjoyed a close relationship. Wait, that's not true. We enjoyed one when I was a youngster, while I remained dependent on her love and care, before I defied her high blood pressure, la rabia that seemed so common in the Gonzalez family. I spent most of my life dealing with an angry mother, who opposed much of what I hoped to do as an independent adult. I did it anyways, and learned that I could skip the cost by deadening myself to her scolding. I later forgave her, as I pray God will forgive me, as I pray my own children will forgive me my parental "pecadillos." The blankness that slipped over me after the initial tears comforted me, allowed me to continue my work. To accept that the relief I felt was both her's and mine. She suffered, not a pain in the body, but of the soul that made her life tough, her last years' without Dad, stone sad.

Pain of Soul
In the time since my Dad passed in 2006, my Mom began a slow journey of deterioration. She often believed that the inoperable tumor that found its way into the center of her brain got there the day Dad died in that 2006 October. While one could argue that point, it was clear that she was different from that day.

She and Dad found each other after tumultuous first marriages. Both of them, I once had the temerity to say to their faces, were on their second chance at happiness. As a spoiled only child, I got away with it. Their anger abated for my sake. At least, my boyhood self liked to think so. I truly did not know the extent of my Mom's suffering at the hands of her first husband. When I discovered it, I realized that her whole life had to seen in the shadow of her first husband's evil acts. She kept that secret of her first failed act intensely private.

Why am I sharing it? I'd like to think that evil dies in the Sun's light, that death has freed her from the prison of anger and despair, that God's hands keep her safe, and she knows that she IS safe deep down in her heart. That, at last, she has been redeemed. I can say without reservation that the Last Rites she received brought me peace at her death, and I can only hope they did for her, too. I believe they did.

In the light of my father's love for my mom, his sparkling sense of humor, as a grown man myself with a beautiful wife and wonderful children, I can't help but think that each of us is called to redeem those with whom we walk on life's journey.

Redeem: to recover, to make up for, the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.

My mother held firm to her secret and it grew like a cancer, hurt her heart. What would her life had been if she had let that one go? As I remember her today, November 22, 2017, I thank Almighty God that Mom is at last.

One Lesson
One parting thought. The morning Mom died, the staff reported that she was happy, none of her normal irritation and grouchiness in evidence. I like to think that God has one lesson for each of us to learn, that He does His best to help us learn it in spite of the horrors the world has to offer us. I like to think that Mom learned that lesson and He called her home as quick as he could.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


doug0077 said...

Very moving, Miguel. Thank you for sharing this and have a happy holiday with your family. - Doug

Miguel Guhlin said...

Thank you, Doug. I was trying to share an insight, less to move others emotionally, more to pause and reflect. But now I think of it, I imagine being moved is important. Moved to let go of evil acts committed against one, let go of the anger that anchors you in the past, moved to shift into future living from dwelling in the past.

Thank you!

The Courage to Lead