It started by mourning the loss of my mother. Her death hit me so hard, that I am still in disbelief that it happened at all. I have a frozen image of her in my mind, living, breathing and I miss her like the dickens.
November, all 30 days of it, I had forgotten who I was. Grieving when I had time to step away from my caregiving duties. Often times in the shower when the fan made enough noise to muffle my sobs. And, on my drives home, wiping my face like a crying child, composing myself before stepping back in front of my elderly grandmother. (I didn’t want her to know my grief. Her dementia was a temperament I didn’t want to deal with, so I came home happy for her.)
I was in a fog. Letting one day slip by, then another, and another. I didn’t care what I looked like, often throwing on clothes after rolling out of bed, then flying out the door to an appointment.
I was oblivious to my needs, the mirror melting it’s way into the wall, eventually, I no longer saw it. I went through the motions; bath, eat, sleep, that was enough. Each day was just enough to get by. Just enough to show my tough exterior, as the swelling of sadness filled me. But I was not alone, God comforted me.
Making my bed was hard for a few days, until I remembered that it’s at least a step in the right direction. The laundry followed. I started to be intentional with my actions and slowly I started to come back to life, though still my brain remained foggy.
Then one day, the mirror appeared on the wall. The woman looking back at me, I knew, but parts of her I did not recognize. She was easily a participant for No Shave November, yet still beautiful. So, I let her keep the hair and finish the challenge.
By time December 2nd arrived, I was a pubescent boy with Froto feet waving goodbye to the homemade Brillo pad blocking my drain. I transform back into the woman I once knew; Refreshed, still broken hearted, but moving forward.
Until next year November.