It was around Mothers Day about 15 - 20 years ago.
I'm not ashamed to say that at that point in my life I was going through a major, major depression. The shades were drawn. No sunlight could seep into my life; even if someone pulled the shades up on the sunniest of summer days. I was in the deepest, darkest, dampest basement of my life. No sunshine could seep in.
Cimmy lived far away in Kansas. She always wanted me to come to visit her but I didn't. I was afraid of airplanes and not confident enough to drive alone. She'd call me and I'd talk a few minutes but have to hang up because I was so depressed I couldn't concentrate on the call. I rarely called her. To be honest I wasn't a very good friend to her at that time. I am ashamed to say that. Even though she would get pissed off and not call me for awhile, she never, ever gave up on me. Never.
Back home in Indiana I was working my hardest to fulfill the role of wife and mother. Being a mother fulfilled me. If it weren't for my kids, I probably would have curled up into a ball and just died.
I don't think anyone could understand what being in a "dark, dark place" feels like unless they have been there themselves. It's just dark. And lonely.
Sooooo, anyway. It was around Mothers Day 15 -20 years ago. That's where I started and want to begin again.
I was a stay-at-home mom and my kids were in school. I had lots to do. LOTS! I was so tired and overwhelmed.
There were AT LEAST three days worth of dishes in my sink. Dishes sitting in cold, soapy, stinky water. Dishes overflowing onto the counter top. My stove was crusty; proof of three days of cooking - dried spaghetti sauce, pancake mix, dehydrated rice and peas stuck in the metal grates and a wooden spoon glued to the stoves surface.
My counter tops didn't boast one clear area. And, I remember very specifically, a bunch of shriveled, black bananas sat in a very expensive Longaberger basket.
The kitchen floor was sticky and the kitchen table was strewn with the mornings breakfast cereal bowls, mail, hair-ties, brushes, clothes....you name it. Basically, my kitchen was a total, catastrophic, dirty MESS.
The rest of my house equalled my kitchen.
That day I had two choices:
1. Go shopping to find my mother a Mother's Day gift.
2. Tackle the kitchen and the house.
I chose shopping for my Mom. The rest would wait till I came home.
Searching, shopping, looking for a perfect gift for my mom I pushed my cart up and down the aisles.
I remember dreading going back home.
I remember how much I didn't want to have to deal with piles of dishes, a dirty stove, floor and house.
I remember being pulled back into that deep, dark, damp basement in my mind.
Ugh! I didn't want to go back home.
But I did.
When I walked in my front door the smell of lemon-fresh Pledge filled my nostrils. I dropped the paper shopping bag and peeked into my living room. Holy Crapola! Everything was dusted and vacuumed. Spotless! I felt a rush of relief and excitement.
Suzy's bedroom was spotless with clean sheets and sparkling furniture. Eddies was the same!
Piles of clean, folded laundry sat on every ones beds!
Lo and behold my kitchen....MY KITCHEN was IMMACULATE! Not a dish in the sink! My stove look brand new!
A fresh bunch of bright yellow bananas sat perfectly in my Longaberger basket.
I could lick my kitchen floor it was so clean. And my table was clear.
Except for a note.
I came in from Kansas and wanted to surprise you with a visit. You weren't home and I waited. I got bored. I thought I'd help you out a little bit and I sure hope you don't mind. Your house looks great (ha-ha).
I love you, hang in there. You are doing a good job. You are doing the best you can!
You are going to be okay. You will get better. I promise.
I love you always,
I have read that note three thousand times. I just threw it out about two years ago and how I regret that now.
Walking into that clean house renewed me. It renewed my spirit and gave me the ounce of hope and PUSH that I needed. I'm not bull-shitting when I say that THAT very day was the day I started coming out of the darkness. That day I saw the light.
I always told Cim that and she laughed. She didn't believe me.
I realize what she never did. Cim was a bright ray of sunshine in everyone's life she touched. She had a special way of caring about people and making someone feel worth-while and loved. She had a very, very unique gift. And even more importantly she never expected anything in return. She was a "giver" not a "taker".
I believe Cim's light and spirit still shines on. I feel her presence in my life everyday.
In the daytime she is the stongest ray of sunlight lending warmth to my day.
In the night time she is the brightest star twinkling, winking and dancing in the sky.
She IS looking down on those she loves. Praising us and smiling down on us.
And she knows we are looking up, singing our praises and smiling back at her.