“You are talking like it’s over,” TBB said to me. “But it’s not over for you. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
My life was over when my parents died. That is for certain. My life was so enmeshed with them for so long that once they were gone, my life crumbled.
But TBB is right in quoting Yogi. It ain’t over ’til it’s over. Truth is truth.
So if my life is over, but it’s not over ’til it’s over, where does that leave me?
It leaves me needing a new life.
I’m certainly not the only human who ever faced this challenge. Illness, death, divorce, unemployment, so many other life challenges destroy the lives of humans. And they have no other choice than to make themselves a new life. Most of them, do, they succeed, and often they find that new life more considered, more fulfilling and more joyful than the life they lost, even if the slog to transform is hard.
Miss Paige called me once after oiling up a a newly purchased piece of cast iron and putting it in a slow oven.
“I’m just too old,” she said to me, “to have to be seasoning new pots.” I know that feeling.
But it’s not over ’til it’s over, and when you need new, you need new, no matter how worn out or whipped you feel.
My siblings don’t really understand this. The parents lives impacted them, sure, but their lives go on, pretty much as normal.
In fact, the idea of radical reformation, of needing a whole new life, scares them, much as it scares so many people in the world. Who the hell wants their life shattered, and then to have to pick up the pieces and make new?
For me, the challenged is enhanced because I have had to deny so much of my life in the cause of duty to family. That’s a worthy cause, indeed, but that duty makes habits and fears that are very hard to get past. It sometimes feels like going forward with a new life is a betrayal of what I have done before, making it less.
I know, on some level, that this is not true.
Even my father, on his deathbed, made it clear time and again that after speaking for him and my mother for so long, now I have to speak for me. Kate B says, after reading some bits of mine, that she is very happy to hear my voice again, and even the judges at Startup Weekend wanted me to know, know, know that they loved my voice. “I could listen to you for hours,” one therapist told me, “but I know that wouldn’t help with the pain I see in your eyes.”
But a whole new damn life at my age, at my state of health, after all I have endured?
It feels impossible.
But it ain’t over ’til it’s over.
And it ain’t over yet, apparently.
A new life.