I have to start this off by saying that never in my life would I ever imagine I could speak, write, or even think those 5 words. Even writing them makes it hard to swallow the truth that I spent years covering up and wishing was not my reality. I’ve been very reluctant to post the title of my “story” because even I still cringe when I write it or tell someone what it is.
I feared automatic judgment from others, like “who in their right mind would EVER say that?!” and that people would not understand… well I can tell you that I am thankful and appreciative for the countless gifts that have resulted from my mom’s passing… true blessings in disguise never expected. A miracle that was definitely not foreseen. I miss her more than could ever be expressed, but I am choosing to consciously see the light in the darkness.
As the saying goes, when life hands you lemons… you make lemonade. And this applies to everything.
Even if I wanted to, I cannot keep this part of me to myself anymore. My story is being published in an Amazon best-seller book series titled, Thank God I: Stories of Inspiration for Every Situation, volume 3 and the book is being featured in a major movie being released this summer called Discover the Gift. The book is a compilation of stories written by different authors who experienced great tragedies and lived to tell about it and come to appreciate all that can arise from ALL circumstances and situations. It’s really quite profound if you sit and think about it… and I am torn – yet honored and humbled – to be a part of a book that is featured in a film with the Dalai Lama, Michael Beckwith, Jack Canfield, David Wolfe, and so many more. My name is on the cover of the book riddled with stories of tragedy to triumph.
I never would have thought this pivotal experience in my life would come full circle and end up inspiring potentially millions of people. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around that one.
There is a short book excerpt that is released online of the first few paragraphs of my story/chapter in the book. I just about fell off my chair when I saw it post online a few months ago. Serious vulnerability, anticipation, and ultimately – acceptance of all that is. I write this today because it is the 10 year anniversary of my mom’s passing. TEN years… I remember it like yesterday.
My sister said to me in a panic-stricken, shaky voice, “Oh God, Bethanne, I thought that was her last breath” … and we looked at each other with a slight smirk and light sigh of relief, which lightened the mood for just a second, because it wasn’t. In what must have been just a few short minutes until the next breath, a lifetime of thoughts came over me. I was about to take on another life that was so unknown, with so much uncertainty. My perceived stability would be taken away, and with no motherly support. In that time, I had an overwhelming feeling that I had to pull it all together as if to keep my sister and grandma, the only two remaining in my family, from falling apart. It was as if when I took that sigh of relief I swallowed all the emotions that were unraveling before me.
Overcome with fear and grief, a proud sense of composure swept over me. I kept telling myself to just power through it and I would have all the time in the world to deal with it. My head was spinning, body entirely physically empty and numb, my breathing constricted. I held my breath thinking if I released it that the inevitable would happen… so I held on, and held on.. however, for me, life continued.
It was the next breath that was her last. Right there I felt completely defeated – just a few seconds earlier I had managed to somewhat convince myself in that forced sense of calm that my mom was not taking her very last breaths of life. How could this be happening to us—to me? Would her breathing somehow return to normal and life would be miraculously better? It was as if time had stopped for me to sit there and seriously consider this. Yet, within just a couple of minutes, my life changed forever, and I would not be the same. This moment in time was irreversible, and I was now on a new path.