Offering it up

Lately, I have been experiencing hot flashes…and it really is about time, given the fact that I am going to be 56 this year, and it was beginning to scare me that I hadn’t  felt any symptoms of menopause. I was starting to look up to the sky and say, “Hey, did you forget me down here? …don’t need this anymore!” I had visions of being on the cover of the National Enquirer as the oldest living woman who still had periods. I could see the picture of me bent over with a cane, leaving Rite Aid with a box of Always Extras (possibly holding a half human half ant baby). I guess the message finally got through because in one fell swoop, the periods stopped and the hot flashes began!

We were raised as Catholics and whenever we got sick, and started complaining, my mother would say, “offer it up”. Somehow our suffering was supposed to benefit someone else…I can’t remember if we were “suffering for the suffering” ones, or for the newly departed who had possibly landed in Purgatory and were needing some bonus points to move up a level …but whoever or whatever the offerings were for, I don’t think they got much help from my pain.

The other day, in the middle of a whopper of a hot flash, the words of my mother came rolling back to me …like a 50-year-old echo….”offer it up”…and I, for the first time, thought, “If someone, somewhere in this world is cold, I wish I could send them some of this heat.” I meant it. I kept doing it with every hot flash. I have no idea if this “prayer” is helping someone else. I do know that my feeling about the hot flashes has changed dramatically. I do not dread them…so what if I am hot? When I am, I send my love and my warm thoughts out to the world , I remember how good my life really is, and I feel better…maybe my mother was wiser than I thought.

7 thoughts on “Offering it up

  1. I love the words spoken by your mother.I will remember them when I have a hot flash………!!Why do I get the hot flashes on the most unwanted times??As when I speak to someone who I have never met before or something like that!

  2. I was also raised Catholic and taught to “offer it up” for the poor suffering souls in Purgatory! Your mother is wise. And so is Christiane Northrup, M.D. In fact, her book is entitled “The Wisdom of Menopause”. And I love her new little book, “The Secret Pleasures of Menopause”. In the introduction she states,
    “…your midlife body is Divinely designed to help you make choices that will keep you healthy and happy”. I bet you could “google her” for more instant information and inspiration if you don’t have one of her books yet.
    Welcome to your “midlife rebirth…the beginning of the best years of our lives”.
    For those readers who think you are too young to need this, file it under: The Best is Yet to Come! Smile & enjoy this lovely day.

  3. I, too, was raised Catholic. Over the years of my childhood, I was told to “offer it up” SO many times, I used to wonder what I was allowed to keep for myself! Funny what forgotten memories return at the oddest times.

  4. I always thought it was the ultimate cosmic joke that after the ever so brief respite from Huggies, we trade the Always maxipads in for the Depends super slims! Our lives revolve around milestones of very similar paper products…
    And a wholehearted concur with Mary Rita’s book recommendation for Christine Northrup’s work.
    As long as the hubby likes to sleep with a window open, this too shall pass!

  5. Wish we’d been in touch when I went through that…I would have gladly “offered it up”!! If I ever experience another warm episode, I will send it to someone who is cold as you did, what a great idea!!!

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