Thursday, October 17, 2013

Repost - Memory and Mourning

This is a repost from July 2, 2012, entitled "Memory & Mourning".  I believe that I am now living in the fruitful days that have come from the work that was being done in my heart, soul and mind when I wrote this. I miss my mom very much, and while the world doesn't feel quite right without her in it, I am so grateful to have had her as my mum, and to have had the opportunity to know her love for me.  Mum would have liked Brian. She would have been so proud of Grace.  She would have been happy for me.  Not gushy happy. Mum wasn't big on gushy happy.  That's one of the most valuable things that Mum taught me. I have learned that people give love in different ways.  For whatever reason, sometimes a person's love for us can come to us in a manner that may not be as familiar to us as we'd like.  It may not be the way I'd do it.  That doesn't mean it's not love.

Two years. Wow.

I love you, Mum.

Memory and Mourning

Lately I have been finding myself often in a place of memory and mourning.  I have been in mourning for my mother for eight months, but as my heart is adjusting to the reality of her death, my mind is wandering towards other losses, ones that I am beginning to think were never properly mourned.  I have always understood and paid attention to the big losses, like death or the loss of my marriage.  I knew that these things needed to be mourned.  I have spent much of my adult life working through childhood experiences and have mourned losses that lived there as well.

These losses seem smaller, less life changing.  And yet, when I think of them, I find myself weeping.

A promise, made when I was 19, to a dear old man, that I was never able to keep.

A sudden realization, a sharp recognition of a "could-have-been" that left me doubled over in pain and regret.  I generally try to ignore "could-have-beens", but this one held a loss so great, it insisted on being mourned.

The soft look of love, lost, not because of death of the person, but because of death of love within the person. 

Beside these losses, the loss of my mother feels so...clean.  So normal.  I look at her picture and know that I will never, on this earth, see her face or hear her voice again. She was here and now she's not and the entire loss is wrapped in love and affection and holding her hand and telling her that it was okay to want to let go and her asking me, repeatedly, if I needed money, if I was okay, if I had what I needed. 

These other losses leave me stunned.  Broken. And then, I am left with a choice.  I can choose to see them, address them, mourn them, and let them go.  Or I can push them back into whatever heart-crevice they were hiding in and ignore them. Again.

So, I choose to mourn them.  It helps that I am kind of in mourning mode, anyway. Why stop now?  Who knows what God has planned for the space in my life that these things have occupied? 

One thing I am grateful for.  I am so glad that God has been teaching me about letting go.   It feels good to release these things into His hands.  I cannot change the past.  I cannot recoup my losses or make it all better. 

There is an awesome passage in the book of Joel - Joel 2:24 - 26

 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten —
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed. "

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten...I love that. 

Peace out.          
July 2, 2012

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Mother, My Self, Repost

I wrote this on my birthday two years ago, just before Mum died. Last year I reposted it. I'm reposting it again this year. Maybe there will come a year when I won't want to repost it, and that will be okay. But for now, this post is a part of this day.  Blessings.

My Mother, My Self  (October 7, 2011)

Years ago someone gave me a book called, My Mother, Myself. As the title suggests, the book focused on the relationship between mothers and daughters, and how our mothers influence the women we grow up to be. I started reading it, but I don't think I finished it. Thanks to a faith in God, I had already gotten to the point in my life when I was uncomfortable assigning blame for my weaknesses and oddities on my Mom. I knew that both my parents were human beings, and as such, prone to frailties that had helped make me the person I was, weirdnesses and all. I had come to understand that no matter what ball my parents had tossed to me in the parental game of life, I was the one who had chosen to take the ball and run with it, and therefore I was ultimately responsible for the things I carried with me from childhood. 

I've been thinking about the title of that book today, though, because today is my 45th birthday. I have been feeling melancholy all day, and on the way home from the grocery store this afternoon, I realized why. Today is not just the anniversary of the day I was born. It is also the anniversary of the day my mom gave birth to me. This realization was poignant for me. My mom is in the Ottawa Cancer Research Centre, after having received a diagnosis of stage-4 lung cancer, which has spread throughout her body. The body that carried me for nine months, that sheltered and protected me and then worked so hard to introduce me to the world, is suffering, breaking down, expiring. The woman that nurtured and cared for me is now being nurtured and cared for as she faces what is most likely the end of her life. 

Most of my birthdays are about becoming a year older, eating cake, good wishes on Facebook, being with friends and family. This year it is about preparing to say good-bye to the woman who made sure I would see this day.

As a mother, on my daughter's birthday, I always go back in time to the day that she was born. I remember that day with joy. Grace's birth day is a celebration for me as well as for her. She celebrates being born, and I celebrate giving birth to her. Yet I have never seen my birthday as a day that might include thoughts of my mother. This is new to me. This is also wonderful. And sad.

Forty-five years ago today, I opened my eyes and looked into my mother's eyes for the first time. In the near future, it is entirely possible that I will look into my mother's eyes for the last time on this earth. The years in between have been full of many things; hard things, sweet things, the things that make life, life. They have been full of love, which I was only able to fully appreciate when I stopped demanding that my mother's love be presented to me in a manner of my approval, and started accepting her as a woman who loved me the way she loved me and I could receive it or reject it but I had no right to judge that it was not there, that it was not real.

On our birthdays, we say thank you a lot. For gifts, for good wishes, for another year. Today I am grateful for the woman who shared this day with me, 45 years ago. I thank God for her, and ask Him to make me a blessing to her. I pray that the God who loves her with a passion that she cannot even imagine will draw her to Him, and carry her through these days. Of course I pray that these would not be her last days, but should they be, I pray that they will not be an end, but be a beginning - of eternity, of life, of hope, of dancing and singing and joy and laughter and boundless love. 

Today is a day that she and I share. Happy Birth Day, Mum. I love you.
My Zimbio