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Back when MoC first had the strokes, I was forced into a position I never thought I would be in – taking care of my mom’s household, trying to wrest information from the doctors, keeping everyone informed, going to school full time, recovering from a devastating break-up, working full time, taking care of my own household and trying to understand what the universe was trying to teach me.

What I learned is that sometimes there isn’t a lesson. Sometimes the universe acts like a monkey and throws shit at you just for fun. At first you dodge and duck until you get tired so you just stand there letting the monkey pelt you with crap and then you get pissed off and start throwing shit back. Then the cycle starts over again.

I don’t believe my mother will be able to come home next week. From Sunday’s high came Monday’s low – she’s been weak and tired and unable to do the physical therapy this week. The doctor thinks she might have pneumonia. I just don’t know how it’s going to go. This roller coaster ride is taking its toll on all of us, but on MoC most of all.

Through this whole process, I’ve been missing something. It’s something I said I wasn’t going to discuss on this blog again, but I changed my mind. Because I’m fickle.

My brother has been stellar. Leslie lets me be me and lets me hurt and then she makes me laugh. She’s been in this situation before and it makes me sad that I wasn’t there for her because we had drifted apart. My online friends have been outstanding – they read this crap and they comment and they email me and they get it.

Even with amazing family and friends to walk with me, I was missing something. I was missing a connection that was deep and profound and goes way beyond the surface and all the way to that one little piece of my soul that I never shared with anyone else. I missed the absolute and complete trust that would enable me to fall off a cliff and not be afraid, because someone would be waiting to catch me. I missed being able to let go and let down and just be, with no conditions and no agenda. I missed being able to be myself, with all my doubts and fears, with all my hope and faith, with all my despair and all my optimism. Because even with my family and friends – even with Leslie, who knows me better than anyone  – I could never let go, not all the way.

I miss “Bridget.”

At first, I just wanted to talk to someone who understood all the medical implications better than I did. Then I realized it was so much more than that – it was the ability to let myself fall off that cliff. That’s when it really hit me – she wasn’t going to be there to catch me. That feeling, knowing that you’re truly alone in the world, is a soul-crushing kind of loneliness.

I don’t have to fall off the cliff and I don’t need anyone to catch me if I do – it’s not about someone saving me. It’s about trust and love and faith and openness and honesty. It’s about letting yourself be defenseless because you don’t need defenses. I never had that before and I almost wish I hadn’t had that with “Bridget” because it makes it harder when it’s gone. The walls go up faster and they come down more slowly.

And meanwhile, the universe just keeps flinging shit.