“Just remember, in the Winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love
In the Spring, becomes the rose.”
"The Rose", Amanda McBroom
Though it’s still Autumn in Mexico, the weather has been very cold for the past three days (in the North), with cloudy skies, drizzle, and an unmistakable wintertime feeling in the air. Time to take out the raincoats, sweaters, scarves… I find myself drinking more and more coffee, and an urge to eat cookies and/or bread with is ruining all the progress I had made at losing weight . To make things worse, I had finally taken up to jogging in the park every other day, but the weather’s been so harsh that I’d rather stay home.
But I guess the early Winter not only is in the air – it’s come to my heart too. I’ve realized that my heart has frozen. I can’t hardly hear the beating now, but I know for sure that it continues to beat. And I can’t think of a single reason, but I feel very tired. I don’t sing. I’m irritable. I find it very hard to tolerate people as they are.
I dream of being very far from here, living in a place where I can hear and smell the ocean every day. Start my own business. Get out of my comfort zone. But I continue to be here. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been living far too long in the same place, walking and driving by the same streets over and over again, seeing the same people, going to the same places. I think it’s time to move ahead but at the same time I’m frozen with fear of the unknown.
And I’m also tired of hearing that “happiness is within yourself”.
Perhaps this year has been a year of realizations and transformations, some of them for the better, but most of them for the worse. After more than three decades, I decided to speak out the resentment I had kept all those years towards my brother, because he never paid a significant sum of money that he talked me into borrowing him when we were very young. This happened during a family reunion, and most of my brothers and sisters insisted that I should forget about that, because it was “past”.
Much to my surprise, my debtor brother seemed bewildered and only responded that he didn’t remember that, how could that be?, and tried to make it look like I had invented it all. But it happened. Now he won’t talk to me.
Neither will my other sister. Out of nothing, she said she would disagree if my other brothers and sisters proposed me as the heir of my mother’s property upon her death, because, in turn, I would surely give away that property to the dogs or who knows who (meaning a man).
She went on to say she would rather propose one of my nieces, who has a retarded son and “suffers a lot”. I got very upset and told her that in the first place I wasn’t asking for my mother’s property, because I already have my own. And, in second place, her example of that niece as someone who deserved the property better than me was plain stupid and unfair, because that niece has a much higher income, a husband who also has a good job, and she even drives a big brand new car, whereas I hardly afforded a 2009 model. “So you give me a better example!,” I said with an angry tone. We haven’t spoken to each other ever since.
At this point, I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to keep that resentment in silence for the rest of my life. Anyway, it’s done and there is no getting back in time. Perhaps they will never talk to me again, and that’s very sad, but I won’t beg their forgiveness me because I only defended myself.
This year, with great sadness and a terrible feeling of impotence, I’ve witnessed the decline of my mother. She’s been my world, she’s been the strongest and most independent woman I have ever known, but time has changed all this and now she’s a fragile woman who forgets things and who needs more and more attention from the others.
Time went on passing by, day by day, so slowly that I didn’t realize that she who used to protect me, now needs my protection. In general, she has a very good health. Only the doctors have detected that she has had AF (abnormal heart rhythm) for several years now and that makes her a candidate for a major heart attack (she’s had one or two minor attacks, that have caused the loss of memory). Anticoagulants are often prescribed for this, but doctors have to take care with this because there's also a history of ulcers.
In the beginning I was very anxious and emotional, but somehow I've learned to take it easy and understand that this is the law of life. My analyst says the reason I resent the decline of my mother
more than my brothers and sisters is because they already have a "substitute" for when she leaves: a spouse, daughter, son, etc.. but I do not have a substitute and realizing this at a subconscious level is what makes me more vulnerable.
Another thing that has been keeping me a little depressed is the realization that I’ve chosen my past romantic relationships based exclusively on my desperate need of company – and that’s the perfect recipe for failure. Soon enough, I feel miserable and I make the other person miserable too.
I feel very ashamed of myself, but that’s the way things are. Fortunately, this realization, however late, makes me feel sure that it won’t happen again. I won’t make myself miserable again, and I won’t make anyone miserable either. I’ll be stronger and wiser this time.
Having a chronic disease, the uncertainty of my future without a family of my own, without a spouse who can be supportive in time of need, makes me feel afraid. Mostly, this is what prevents me from being the rebel I once was, quit my job and move to a place like Merida to live my golden years.
Yes, it’s certainly Winter in my heart. But deep inside, I know that soon it will be Spring again.