Plans Gone Awry
My plans for tonight were to attempt to regale you in a humorous story of my giving the rats in my lab a dye job. I did indeed dye their fur during most of the morning. I use a sponge brush and paint a permanent color stripe (permanent meaning it will last roughly one month) on the side of each rat to be able to identify it specifically from others in the cage. The colors I use are orange, blue, green, and purple. Perhaps another time I will go into how and why I use this technique.
However, as the day progressed, my plans, goals, and ideas seemed more unimportant and unnecessary. Tonight, especially has been a challenging evening because of multiple, strong pangs of sadness related to thinking about my mother's passing. It has been almost 10 months now, and many days are quite bearable, but there are still many days (and evenings) where tears well up in my eyes at nearly every thought.
Do not get me wrong, I probably think of my loving Mother a dozen or more times each day, just like I think about my beautiful wife and cherished kids dozens of times each day. I believe what happened specifically to cause sadness for me today is very similar to what I was feeling often during the start of the Fall semester. Today was the first day I was in a fairly normal, "work" mode when compared to the last several days which were not routine at all. The last several days were filled with specialized, unique tasks related to the Holidays. But today, after spending a few hours in the lab on research, I closed up my lab and locked my office, and as I have done thousands of times before, I left work feeling satisfied in my accomplishments for the day, and as I normally would do, I began to look forward to my drive home and my time to be with my family. Of course, I then have my heart drop as I again am jarred out of my comfortable "happy-to-go-home" mood with remembering that, of course, my Mother is no longer there. Combined with the various times her absence was especially pronounced through the Holiday, it caused an immediate welling of tears in my eyes.
Please do not misunderstand... I left thinking of my whole family, but it was that part that was missing... my Mom... that clouded my mind and overshadowed the joy I felt about everything else. Not that I was despondant, or unable to cope... just simply I *hurt* and feel very sad.
I do not know where my level of faith is anymore. I keep thinking I should go to visit a priest I have been listening to for the last several Sundays and ask him to hear my confession. In my confession, I believe I would be able to talk openly with him about what it is I am feeling: 1. How I am grieving quite strongly about my Mother's untimely passing. 2. About how I PURPOSEFULLY broke my Lenten vow to refrain from my pipe... out of shear ANGER at God. And, 3. about how I am still VERY angry at God, and am not even sure if or what I believe anymore about faith or about life.
It is all such a chaotic set of emotions I feel balled up inside my soul. A part of me still believes in the ideas of service for others, the idea that working to live a kind, gentle, helpful life is good, the feelings that I am doing an "ok" job in this world by trying hard to uplift others and to help make the world better. These "good" and "helpful" thoughts converge violently with my anger at God and at life for taking Her away, converge with my DISTRUST of those tenets that I had always previously believed in (knowledge, truth, hope), and converged with my feeling that I have been DUPED my whole life and that perhaps I should have been or should simply become a selfish bastard. I am often filled with thoughts that my own spirit and my soul are becoming only a rotted empty shell, a void of only nothing. All of these ideas described above, swirl through my mind, chaotically ricocheting between what I have believed all my life, to what I feel may instead be reality.
As I have said before, I used to feel as if I were a "Don Quixote", in the vein of the musical... a somewhat befuddled buffoon, but one with a deeper inner wisdom and kindness who strove to fight the good fight for what was right, just and true. But I no longer feel that sense of conviction about a purpose in life. In so very many ways I simply go about tasks, feeling nothing REALLY matters, but that I have nothing else to do. If I think about THAT too deeply, I will cry out for my loss of self, for the loss of my own moral/philosophical compass.
That may be it... I had a compass that guided me through life... trying to do good, trying to help, trying to love, trying to be of service. But now I doubt the compass, for I think it lies to me and is just making me out to be a fool, a wretched, tired old fool who is nothing more than a zero.