Monday, October 26, 2015
a weekend with family
It’s dark…and quiet, this morning and I’m sitting here with my coffee reflecting on my recent weekend out of town to visit some friends and family members in my hometown about 200 miles away. I have not been ‘home” in more than 7 months, actually since my broken engagement, and although I was a bit emotionally apprehensive about the trip, it was a long overdue visit. It was good to see my dear friends, Jim & Carol Tilley, and my nun friend, Sr. Therese Michael, as well as my family members. The highlight of the trip was a big family reunion Halloween party. My cousins from Florida came in; I hadn’t seen them since my grandmother died in 2011. Overall, it was a great, but short trip, and although a car problem grounded me for most of the day on Friday, I still managed to enjoy myself.
The first thing I did when I got downstate may seem strange to some of you, but it was a spur-of-the-moment thing that I just felt like I needed to do: I stopped at the cemetery to visit my grandparent’s gravesite. I typically don’t visit cemeteries very often because I believe those loved ones who have died are with me always, but for some reason, I just felt like I wanted to go that day. Many of you have read or heard me say that I truly believe that my miracle began when my Grandma Florence Borawski-Forrest died. Grandma used to pray for me on a regular basis, and even though she rarely brought it up, I am certain that my obesity was a great concern for her, especially since she lost her son….my dad…..at age 34 to heart disease. It was troublesome for her to see my crippled up and in pain, and yet, she couldn’t do anything but pray for me.
I am 100% convinced that on the day she died, she and God had a little chat, and my life began to change. I like to imagine that she pointed down from heaven at me and told God, “see that one….right there….that’s my granddaughter, and you really need to do something for that kid before it’s too late!” It may sound foolish, and I’m not a theologian, but I firmly believe that God heard her plea…..and a miracle was born! What else would prompt me to boldly proclaim….at 428 pounds and sitting in a wheelchair….at her funeral, “You just wait and see what God is going to do for me now that Grandma is in heaven”? There was no diet; there was no surgery; there was no gym or trainer…..and yet….I was blessed with a moment of epiphany….beginning at her death and continuing for 5 weeks with God sending multiple messengers to me, finally culminating with that now famous conversation with my sister and another proclamation, “Just watch me! I’m going to show you!”
I hadn’t really thought much about any of that in recent weeks, but somehow last Thursday afternoon it all came flooding back to me and I pulled into the cemetery…..BECAUSE…..I wanted my grandmother to see me walk! Yes….I know she sees me every day and is with me always….but at that particular moment, I just wanted to go….and take a few minutes to say a prayer of thanks to God for His goodness and to walk!
The rest of the day was filled with visits with my Aunt Barb & Uncle Clive, and surrogate parents Jim & Carol Tilley, as well as dinner with my sister and nieces. It was great to see everyone! On Friday, I found myself stranded in my sister’s driveway with a frozen ignition, but fortunately, my brother was able to get me back on the road in time to head to the convent motherhouse to visit another dear friend, Sr. Therese Michael, before heading to a high-school football game that my cousin was playing in and catching up with an old classmate I hadn’t seen in about 25 years! Yikes…has it really been THAT long? I even managed to stay up past dark!
Saturday was another busy day. I did a bit of shopping with my sister, another visit with the Tilley’s, and then off to the family reunion Halloween party. What great fun! By the end of the day I was very tired and my body was sore, but I had a wonderful time. Before I left on Thursday my washer quit mid-cycle leaving me with a washer full of water that wouldn’t drain; the car problem on Friday, and then I arrived home yesterday to discover that I left a large bag of clothes at my sisters…..but in spite of all that….it was still a nice weekend, and I made it home safely.
My guess is that the trivial details of my life aren’t really of much interest to most, but there is one point that I would really like to focus on with this post: NONE…..NONE…..NONE of those trivial experiences would have been possible had I not taken the first step several years ago to change my life. My visit to the cemetery would have involved a drive-by, hoping to catch a glimpse of a familiar headstone. My trip to the motherhouse would have been nearly impossible in wheeled walker. There would have been no way that I would have even considered climbing a set of bleachers to watch a football game (it was hard enough as it were). And absolutely, I would not have dressed in a Halloween costume for a party. Rather; I would not have even ATTENDED the party because it would have been just simply too hard and too embarrassing. This, my friends….is what it means to “get your life back.” This is what it means to be a ‘participant in life” rather than a spectator. THESE experiences are those things that many people take for granted….and many who are struggling with obesity….long to be able to do again, or for the first time. These are moments where I simply and humbly say, “Thank You, God!”
And so….today….Monday morning….I ask you…. “What moments in life are you missing? What would you do if you were free from the bondage of weight, addiction, depression, or immobility?” Perhaps the more important question is, “What do you need to do to get your life back….and Are you ready for a change?” If so…. I encourage you to take one small step and make one small change….so that you, too, can post of your ‘trivial or not-so-trivial” weekends away. You can do it!!!! I know you can!