Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
So ... last night was a low in the grief process. The unanswered questions and the things gone unsaid. The mother-daughter relationship is a complicated one. I know my mom loved me. I'm told I should get over the past and move on. I'm moving on. I'm over the past. It's just ... there are things I wanted to ask. Things I wanted to say. And I often felt she did too. Instead, I just sat by her bedside holding her hand. Perhaps that bridged the gap. But there were some really deep-seated issues between us. I'm not one to dwell on the issues to the point of being incapacitated or depressed or angry. But...they are there nonetheless. The memories just spring up. These are not remembrances of teenage angst, but mostly things that happened during my adult life.
I suppose we all want to be validated for our efforts and to be acknowledge when we've been wounded. I suppose mom reaching for my hand often while she was ill, well, perhaps that was her silent way of doing that.
I bought a journal last night and will start writing in it. Questions to my mom. I can't blog about something so very personal so I'll just spill my heart on the pages of that journal. I remembered yesterday that for years I've done that in another journal when I am troubled about deeper things. It's kind of a prayer journal. A questions to God, if you will. Funny how quite often before I get to the end of a particular writing, I have an answer. An epiphany of sorts. But at least I've settled it in my heart and mind.
I am a woman. I am a human being with emotions. You don't just get over it. It takes time. Oh, I've gotten over zillions of things. But some things rock your soul and take a different process than just putting it behind you. So journaling it is.
Mom, if you're looking over my shoulder, just know I loved you with everything I have. I forgave you for what I felt were hateful jabs, jealousy, partiality and alienations of affection. Those were my adult perceptions. I know you misinterpreted my independence as not needing you. I knew you loved me. I guess I just needed to know you liked me too. I know as a mother myself, no mother is perfect. My girls have taught me that. Just know that through all the pain there was still joy. And you are a large part of who I am today. Thank you, mom. I heard your voice on the answering machine yesterday. I miss you.
Footnote: Ironically, after I completed this post, I sat down briefly to watch CBS Sunday Morning. There was an interview with Patti Davis speaking candidly about her relationship with her mom, Nancy Reagan. She spoke of feeling exiled by her mom; the silence during her adult years, and the reconciliation. She and Nancy spoke of mother/daughter conflicts. She, however, was defiant. I simply pretended all was well for the sake of harmony within our family. Oh sure I exploded a couple of times....not with my mom or siblings. Just vented to my dear husband about complicated issues as he comforted the tears and very subtly told me to get over it! I accept that cause we are wired differently and I know I am the one, the only one, who can work through it.
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