Day by day, though this being only our third day together, conversations have been taking place regarding the past and the future. Mostly, Cliff's been going "there". I've been keenly aware of his presence and his actions. which are SO different than they've been over the past many years. A great calm has rooted itself in Cliff's soul where a noticeable transformation has occurred; Cliff's been going through his past life and remembering some of his actions, choices and behaviors.
Cliff took a quick inventory of my environment and recognized that his hand was in the history of setting this present table. The inventory is not for "things" but for aura; areas of my life are still in a chaos that shows itself in my home. Stacks of old mail to be dealt with, cluttery areas of "stuff" that I just haven't figured out yet if they're necessary or not. I'm certain in the midst of the stuff are things I HAVE to deal with and just don't have the funds required to do so. Thus begins the stack(s).
Now, all of this "stuff" isn't just from life with Cliff. I grew up in a home with stacks of stuff, and now realize that I learned this behavior from a loving mother who was the daughter of an alcoholic. I vividly recall as a young teen, being in homes of friends where order was everywhere. I constantly wondered where their "stuff" was? Where did they keep their bills? Where was the newspaper? Everything must have had a place and it was put there as it should be. Our home wasn't like that and I never grasped having order in my life. I always thought I was just being lazy, but that didn't line up in all areas of my life.
Cliff began talking about his life and the insanity he lived in. He also said, "I know that I created a lot of insanity for you. I didn't realize how infectious it was until I've had a chance to pull out of it and see it in a whole new light. What I did affected people more than I was willing to admit. I always thought you were exaggerating about the impact I was having on you and the rest of my family. I figured "you'd get over it...."
Yesterday we had a great day at my sister's home and for once I was truly able to enjoy the day without wondering where Cliff was or, if he was present, what concocted story I was going to hear next about his having to go somewhere for plans he forgot to tell me he'd made. At first, he was on the outer fringes for just a bit and then slowly began to mix it up with his relatives and I observed him in many conversations with some whom seemed judgemental in the past. Maybe in our infectious insanity it was just me putting up walls for myself and for Cliff; I'm not sure. But I know that yesterday Cliff was quietly open with anyone who engaged him in conversation. No more secrets! This was surely the freedom I've been lacking and longing for in years past.
Finally, it seemed, Cliff is taking his rightful place in this large family and feeling that he is part of it all. He matters to all of us and we love him and want him to be *here* instead of ----------> there.
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