The two most deadly things you can do when going through the upheaval of a life transition are to isolate and to deny your true feelings. During our ordeal there were many things that my daughter did brilliantly. I’m proud to say that among them were her efforts to seek support and unbridled self permission to express her feelings. “Prayer over pride.” She said as I, in shocked amazement asked if she had really called her grandparents and told them about the test. She was courageous on a level I can only aspire to be. She seemed to instinctively know what she needed in order to cope with the pressure of the wait, and she went after it.
On that note, I have to say, LET’S HEAR IT FOR HUMOR! Erin and I regularly crack each other up and this period was no exception. I think there were moments that our outrageous jokes horrified Casey who is normally very funny, but who pretty much remained in a state of shock through the whole five days. “Gallows Humor” Erin kept saying as another sick joke would find its way across our lips. Her favorite phrase became “Think Negative.” Let it suffice to say that some of the lines we came up with will ‘live in infamy.’ But thank God for laughter, it’s so critical to bolstering your spirits and keeping your vibration high.
So, with the love and support of family and friends and with the tools of Energy Medicine we got through four days with reasonable style. On the fifth day however, my darling daughter hit the wall. I was supposed to call and get the ‘good news’ that everything was ok and then we would have a peaceful drive to LA singing and chatting as we usually do…Not so fast.
I called that morning and was told that the person who could give us the test results wouldn’t be in till noon. I can’t tell you how hard it was to walk into the bedroom and tell my child, who was anxiously waiting with ‘saucer eyes,’ that her torture was not yet over.
Again, I stood in awe of my adult child as she screamed, wailed and shouted her outrage to the heavens. She doesn’t know this but I actually have a process I do with my grieving clients that I call the Grief Rant. During it, I encourage them to do just what she was doing…using her voice and her body to communicate the intensity of the feelings that welled up from the depths of the nightmare she was enduring.
On the drive to LA, I pretty much engaged in supportive listening as my courageous daughter expressed a spectrum of emotions ranging from terror to incredible frustration and outrage.
Upon arriving at her home in West Hollywood I again attempted to make the call to get the results. I have to admit that everything in me wanted to do anything but make that call and only the hope of putting my daughter out of the agony of the unknown, spurred me on.
To my horror, upon making this call, I was now told that the results were in but they couldn’t give them to us over the phone. We would have to drive another 30 minutes to Pasadena and get them in person. That moment was as close as I had come to panic. My daughter who had already been traumatized in that office refused to go and was now sure that the only reason that they wanted her to come in was because it was bad news. She lost it and went into fetal ball sobbing.
At this point I had no choice but to do a Mom version of Cher in Moonstruck, as she slapped Nicholas Cage and said, “Snap out of it!” I, of course, didn’t slap her but I put on the ‘Dad’ hat, looked her dead in the eye and said “We can go in there and we will go in there, because we are not going to allow these people to have power over our lives for one more minute. We will walk in, get our results, and go forward. We will not stay here and endure the torture of not knowing! Let’s go.”
Every parent reading this, I’m sure, will understand the feelings I endured as I held my breath, the way we all, do after a grandstand moment, while we pray that our words have had the desired effect and that the child will now comply. Fortunately, my intention prevailed and my daughter got into the car with me to drive to Pasadena to find out if the day would end in Heaven or Hell. As they would not give us even the smallest clue, we had no idea what awaited us on the other end of this journey.
Fortunately for me a good friend of hers called and she spent most of the drive in a heated release of the pent up feelings from the last five days. This gave me a little time to explore my private terrors and to try to figure out what I would do if it was bad news.
We had been doing our best to stay positive and to ‘tap’ away our fears for the last five days. We had visualized the perfect outcome over and over. But now we were in the moment of truth and in a short while, some stranger would be telling me if my daughter’s life would be a fairy tale or a horror story.
We entered the building and after a short wait that seemed like a life time, we were escorted into a little room to await the results. At this point we couldn’t speak at all, I’m not sure we even breathed, until a nurse entered the room and mercifully said: “We have your results, and they are NEGATIVE!”
We leaped sobbing into each other’s arms and just held each other and cried for a long time. After waiting patiently, the nurse explained many things to us that helped us understand why the ‘False Positive’ had set this horror story into motion.
We walked out of there exhausted and elated. We had our lives back again and it felt so good. Within a half hour we were in our favorite Thai restaurant eating our favorite meal and toasting with a Singha.
It was a grueling five days and we still aren’t totally sure why we had to go through it, but much was learned and a lot of growth was had. Most importantly we experienced how critical it is to have love and support when life turns upside down. My friend Chef Lance Roll always says that Love is the ultimate spice. Well, I think I’d like to add, that Love is also the ultimate healing tool.
I’m so grateful that we have so much love. How about you? What got you through when tough life circumstances found their way to your door? Please share it with us in the comments section below. It would be great to help each other in this way.
I’d like to add one last thought. I am clear that life upheavals don’t always end in the happy way that ours did. Many of you reading this have been in life circumstances where the results were not what you had prayed for. I understand…so have we. My former husband and my children’s father, died unexpectedly four years ago. We heard a lot of things we didn’t want to hear and we know the pain of loss first hand. I’m grateful that this time, life gave us a reprieve.
Blessings and love to you all.